Here are five recommendations by human trafficking survivors to the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.
On her very first day of “freedom,” one survivor was radically transformed by the love of Christ. Four and half years later, after living with one of Compassion Connects’ founding families, she was engaged to the man of her dreams and needed not simply a dress, but an entire wedding celebration.
The church family rallied to create a beautiful wedding chapel out of their rented gymnasium/worship center by repurposing used wedding gowns into wedding decorations. Basketball hoops were lovingly adorned with cascading tulle. Folding tables were gracefully rippled with silk and lace. Volleyball poles were creatively transformed into royal entryways by beaded, satin trains.
It was an incredible ceremony.
After hearing this survivor’s story and learning about Compassion Connect’s vision for uniting churches to bring the love of Christ to their communities, donors came forward with over 400 used and new wedding dresses to be used as Compassion Connect saw need. Simultaneously, a co-founder of Compassion Connect was asked to serve on the Board of an organization committed to providing support and shelter for victims of trafficking. It became obvious: the “gifts” (i.e., all those wedding dresses being stored in our spare bedrooms) were given for the purpose of raising money and awareness for the plight of human trafficking so prevalent in our city.
Since that beginning, we have seen the impact of those first few hundred wedding dresses multiplied in ways we never could have imagined. Now, with our very own shop and an incredible network of volunteers, donors, and anti-trafficking organizations, we have been privileged to see how even just one dress can truly change a life. \
Our mission is to see transformation occur in individuals, churches and communities. In order to accomplish this, we seek to involve people who have a commitment to Jesus Christ and Christian values. We ask that volunteers be willing to work within biblical guidelines, modeling integrity in ministry. We recognize that for those we serve to genuinely know they are loved, we must show consistency, commitment, respect and unconditional love.