Teens send out S.O.S. on human trafficking
    May 25 2011 by Laura Moore, BR Editorial Aide

    Today somewhere near you is a girl that feels alone and sees no hope. She is being used to provide income in a brothel.

    She sees no way out. She might even have children. She sees no way out for them either.

    “Through S.O.S., I have learned so many things about God. He has taught me what faithfulness is,” said Morgan Barney about Save Our Sisters (S.O.S.), the ministry that she and her friends started July 14, 2010.

    Four high school freshman girls, including Barney, from Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, sat down together and prayed July 4, 2010, for women across the world trapped in the sex slave trade.

    Before they knew it, they were planning and shaping a vision for Save Our Sisters. Through this ministry, they raise money for Project Rescue (www.projectrescue.com), an operation that runs safe homes for girls being rescued from sex slavery.

    Save Our Sisters strives to support the effort of freeing girls in the sex slave trade and bringing them into safe environments where they can heal and learn about Christ. When forming the ministry, the girls chose Project Rescue to be their focus because “they are unapologetically founded on Jesus Christ,” Barney said. Both Project Rescue and the S.O.S. girls agree that the only true rescue these girls can have is through Christ.

    Currently, Project Rescue has 11 homes in India, Nepal and Moldova with plans for homes in other countries as well. These safe havens and places of healing and teaching are called Homes of Hope.

    BR photo Dianna L. Cagle

    Amy Burke, left, and other young ladies from S.O.S. work at their display table during the North Carolina Baptist Men’s annual meeting April 2. The girls led breakout sessions at the youth conference as well as participated as an exhibitor at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. See photo gallery.

    One of the S.O.S. girls, Amy Burke, was able to recently visit a Project Rescue home in Delhi, India. Many of the girls in this home are actually daughters of sex workers, and their mothers do not want them to have the same fate they have had. Without a Home of Hope to turn to, these children would have no option but to continue living in the brothels and eventually become part of the prostitution. In the Homes of Hope more than 1,000 young women have found freedom and a new meaning in life.

    So far, the ladies have raised around $25,000, most of which has been sent straight to the field through Project Rescue. A huge part of S.O.S.’s mission in the last couple of months has been highlighting the Delhi Home of Hope, which is older and outdated and needs to be rebuilt. They want to raise $90,000 toward rebuilding this home. They are beginning to set aside funds toward this effort as well.

    Barney said, “It’s been amazing to see the positive response. So many have wanted to help and be involved.” In just under a year, S.O.S. has grown to include nine girls on their leadership team ranging from 7th through 9th grade with many others that support and contribute to the effort.

    Julie Barney, mother of Morgan and McCall on the leadership team, talks with excitement about all that her daughters are accomplishing: “I feel like I’m getting to be involved in ministry right along with my children, and only our God would do that.”

    Through their efforts, the girls have managed to hold a fund-raising event for each season of the year with their spring event May 14, a barbeque in Advance. Many supporters came to join in fellowship, music and dancing, henna tattoos and eating while all of the proceeds went to S.O.S.’s mission.

    Reflecting on the bondage and utter darkness that sex slaves are in, supporters put together a sanctuary project by bringing personal pictures that they posted to a collective display. “These girls have no sanctuary,” Morgan Barney stated as she talked about how she wanted people to contribute photos of their own sanctuaries and safe havens: places that they spend time with God.

    As S.O.S finds more ways to raise support for girls in slavery, they are advocating for those that have no voice. As they embrace Isaiah 61:1-3, the Lord has given them a passion to serve girls often around the same age as them, but who were never given the choice to fight for their sexual purity.

    The U.S. Department of Justice reports that the average age for trafficked victims is 11-14. A 2004 study by United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has shown that 30 million children have lost their childhood through sexual exploitation over the past 30 years.

    Not only do the S.O.S. girls strive to be examples for Christ with their own standards of purity, but they are fighting for the purity of others.

    S.O.S. is building these young women up in their faith, teaching them how to trust God as well as stretching them to handle tough challenges. One of the leaders, Brianna Weir, said, “We continually are trusting in Him for our strength and courage even when things don’t go as we had planned.”

    “We want to encourage youth to be serving in things that they are passionate about — to respond to God’s call,” Morgan Barney said in response to being asked about S.O.S.’s local goal.

    Visit www.saveoursisterstoday.com for more information about S.O.S. and to donate to their cause.
    5/25/2011 12:50:00 PM by Laura Moore, BR Editorial Aide | with 0 comments

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