Faith family, we all know how unique and challenging the past few months have been for everyone, not only in our church, but in the entire world. We have been so encouraged by the faithfulness you’ve exhibited in continuing to gather together online, in small groups connecting and encouraging one another, in so many serving our city in a variety of ways, in your constant prayer for our neighbors and our world, and in your generous giving.
Because of your faithful giving specifically, as of last Sunday, we have now fully funded our fourth special missions project, “Clean and Living Water,” as part of our Roots & Reach Initiative. This means our friends and partners at Neverthirst will now be able to complete three water projects in Miltou, Chad in Africa and provide training for local pastors serving in a least-reached context.
With the completion of this project, we now have a new opportunity to expand our gospel reach by giving to “Invest in Hope” with a partner ministry right here in our city called Blanket Fort Hope.
Human trafficking, the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain labor or commercial sex, is the second largest and fastest growing crime in the U.S. In Alabama, there are approximately 10,000 victims of sex trafficking each year. Of the 10,000, 57% are children, and the average age of child sex trafficking victims is 11-14-years-old. In the city of Birmingham, over $110 million is spent annually on commercial sex. Once a child is trafficked, they have an average of a 7-year life span beyond when the trafficking occurred.
Blanket Fort Hope is a fortress of safety for child victims of human trafficking, forging a path of purpose and hope for children. They were founded in 2015 and are the only anti-trafficking organization in Alabama dedicated to fighting child human trafficking beyond the initial few days following rescue. They exist to love and care for child victims through housing, services, long-term commitment, and prevention by community education and advocacy. Blanket Fort Hope gives a voice to the most vulnerable members in Alabama—children—through education, advocacy, and the building of a safe haven for Alabama’s child victims of sex trafficking. They do this through assisting law enforcement on child sex trafficking cases, speaking to the Alabama State Legislature on House Bills, conducting education training for churches, governmental officials, schools, and legal and healthcare professionals, and by starting the Foster Care Initiative, which is a training program for foster parents who welcome child sex trafficking victims into their homes.
Through their “Invest in Hope” campaign, Blanket Fort Hope will be opening a crisis center for child trafficking victims in Alabama that will serve Alabama and surrounding states in 2020. The crisis center will allow Blanket Fort Hope to stabilize children who have been rescued from the sex trafficking industry so they will be prepared for the next step in their restoration. Blanket Fort Hope believes this will lessen the number of runaways and give these children a much better opportunity to heal if they go in stabilized, not just off the streets. This crisis center will also be the only place in Alabama that specifically houses and addresses the needs of child
Brook Hills has the opportunity through our Roots & Reach initiative to invest in hope by helping fund about half of Blanket Fort Hope’s capital campaign which will fortify land development, housing and facility construction, crisis center services and programs, and, most importantly, the opportunity for these child victims to be introduced to the love and redemption of Jesus Christ.
The total cost of this project is $30,000, which means an additional $150,000 given to the Roots & Reach Initiative will ensure its funding. If you add this amount to our initial four goals of $1,155,000, we as a faith family will fully fund this fifth special mission project once we hit a total of $1,305,000 given to Roots & Reach.
For more information on the Roots & Reach Initiative, along with ways to give, visit brookhills.org/rootsandreach.