“In August 2014 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Gathering, there was a moving panel discussion on Human Trafficking. As a result it was decided that our region would get involved in combating sex and labor exploitation within our borders. Aglow International has an Anti-Human Trafficking Ministry; and we need to follow that lead, getting seriously engaged at the local level…” – Edwin Thomas, anti-human trafficking coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Anti-Human Trafficking (AHT) Community Action Forum
The Hickory, NC Aglow Lighthouse hosted an Anti-Human Trafficking (AHT) Community Action Forum on Saturday, August 13. I knew beforehand that the Lord was connecting people with their destiny. The Spirit released prophetic words of encouragement and the speakers shared heart-felt messages. AHT is truly a plan of God to rescue, restore and transform lives.
Report on MD East Aglow Area Anti-Human Trafficking Seminar
On September 17, 2016 MD East Aglow Area Team and Woodlawn Christian Fellowship Pastors Michele and Tom Perrera co-hosted an Anti-Trafficking event at the Woodlawn Christian Fellowship church, 6426 Kriel St., Gwynn Oak, MD 21207, under the guidance of Aglow Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator, Ed Thomas.
Aglow Mid-Atlantic Region Anti-Human Trafficking Activities
Aglow International has a global Anti-Human Trafficking ministry reaching out to over 170 nations. Within the United States, Aglow is divided into regions. The Mid-Atlantic Region is composed of: Washington, D.C. and the states of Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.
The Mid-Atlantic Region began its actions to combat human trafficking in the summer of 2014. Some of our local groups, Lighthouses, were involved prior to that time. Much has been accomplished during this short-time period and much more is planned. Following is a summary of the highlights of what has taken place regionally and locally throughout the mid-Atlantic area.
Praying is at the core of every Aglow level and event including:
- Prayer Walks and Drives to and around truck stops, trucks, highways, churches, schools, police stations, motels/hotels, restaurants
- Prayer Conference Calls
- Prayer in groups at local and regional meetings and with other ministries
- Prayer for local leaders and with individuals
Conducting Conferences, Workshops, Community Meetings and Forums
Conducting Conferences, Workshops, Community Meetings and Forums focusing on building awareness of human trafficking and creating action plans to prevent and stop trafficking. These events take many forms at the regional and local areas including:
- Panel discussions, presentations
- Showing and discussing movies and DVDs
- Small group sharing and planning sessions
In addition to Aglow events there are events co-sponsored with other organizations. Aglow representatives attend and participate in many other community and church events to inform, educate and learn about human trafficking.
Reaching out to inform and provide educational materials to those who are or should be involved in anti-human trafficking activities:
- Meet with pastors, youth leaders, school officials, law enforcement officers
- Talk to and provide information to friends and neighbors
- Develop and provide materials; for example, a six step intervention program to fight human trafficking:
Pray, Mentor, Awareness, Show that you care, Prevention, Support advocates
Taking Action to directly address human trafficking:
- Give time, money, materials
- Provide baskets containing personal items to trafficked victims and survivors
- Place cards and posters in truck stops and other rest rooms and in hotels/motels
- Go into strip clubs talking to the women who work there
- Contact school boards, middle and high schools, and provide materials
- Contact Boy and Girl Scout groups and leaders to inform them of the dangers in human trafficking
- Partner with human trafficking agencies working with survivors
- Reach out to the media
- Make information available about the Human Trafficking Hot Line
- Support proposed state and local legislation
Networking with many officials and organizations to assistance, encourage, inform, share with and learn from; for example:
- Local and state human trafficking task forces
- Civic and business groups
- Schools and Universities
- Providers of services to Human trafficking victims
- Local, state and federal law enforcement officials
Using Social Media
Using Social Media, Warning about Social Media to include:
- Make information available via websites, Facebook and other forms of social media
- Provide information and arrange for speakers to explain the dangers of using apps, smart phones, websites etc.
Recent and Upcoming Events
Recent and Upcoming Events, below is a list of recent and upcoming events to illustrate the type of activities Aglow arranges and participates in:
- May 16 – “Caged No More” movie shown in Salisbury, MD
- May 21 – N.C. East Team Spring Advance – Director of A Safe Place, a ministry that helps victims of Sex Exploitation shared
- June 4 – Delmarva Area Team Co-sponsored, Eastern Shore HT Prayer Breakfast
- June 11 – Human Trafficking Summit, Sex Trafficking of Minors, Why Prevention Education is Necessary, Richmond VA
- July 9 – MD West Anti-Human Trafficking Awareness Day (Showing “In Plain Sight” movie and having an Internet Safety speaker, Charles Town WV
- August 13 – Hickory NC Lighthouse will be holding an Anti-Human Trafficking Community Action Forum
- September 17 – Maryland East, Human Trafficking leadership awareness seminar
- October 22 – Greenbrier Valley Lighthouse, Human Trafficking and Awareness Event, Fairlea WV
For more information contact: Edwin L. Thomas
Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator
1562 Efford Road, Pasadena, MD 21122