From Beth in California
As an Ambassador for Shared Hope International in the Bay Area of California, I have found that those most interested in having awareness presentations are church groups, so the Faith in Action Kits resonates with their interest.
I was privileged to have been sponsored by the United Methodist Women (UMW), California-Nevada Region, to have a SHI booth at the worldwide UMC General Conference in Portland this past April. My relationship with the United Methodist Church began about a year and a half ago. Within five minutes of my arrival at the conference Shared Hope booth, the Bishop for that region showed up. We had met only briefly before, but Bishop Brown began our conversation with, “I’ve been looking everywhere for you.” Kismet! And music to my ears!
I showed him the brochures and resources at our table, including the Faith in Action kit. Then I began to load him up with an armful of materials as I shared stories of our work. I knew Linda Smith wouldn’t mind if I gifted him with her book, Renting Lacy.
He was very interested in the faith-based materials and informed me that, upon his retirement this fall, he plans to train pastors using the Faith in Action kits to effectively speak and preach on the issue of sex trafficking. My reply?
“Well then, give me back all that stuff and I will MAIL YOU every single tool you will need to in order to do that, including a Faith In Action Kit. And I will come and train you!”
He is going to get permission from his leadership and then we’ll get started. I can’t tell you how exciting this is!
At the moment of this writing, I’m here at the California Nevada United Methodist Church Annual Conference working a Shared Hope booth, and Bishop Brown just walked by and shook my hand and thanked me for the packet! The new Faith in Action kit opens doors for us and all we have to do is walk through!