Tag: unbound

A Recap in Photos: UnBound Light Up the Dark 5K


This past weekend, UnBound partnered with Chick-fil-A to host the Light Up the Dark 5K and raise money and awareness for their anti-trafficking work in our city. In addition to the race, we also enjoyed a concert, played games and had treats from Chick-fil-A and Pokey O’s food trucks.

Check out some highlights from the night:

And a special thanks to Drew Dodge and Rebecca Burris for taking photos at the event.

An Update from UnBound

This past month, UnBound hosted our 2016 Director’s Summit here in Waco, for the 3rd year in a row.  We spent a weekend touching base with each UnBound chapter, building deeper relationships, refreshing leaders with vision, equipping leaders with necessary tools and sharing resources.

This year, we had three attendees come from the Fort Worth chapter, six from Houston, two from Baton Rouge, four from Oklahoma City, three from Lawrence, four from Waco and three from Mongolia.

Throughout the weekend, many people came and spoke to the group. The speakers covered a variety of topics, ranging anywhere from setting chapter goals, to building the right team and working with trauma victims. The mix of speakers and professionals allowed the group to walk away with a wide assortment of practical tools and inspiring vision.

A specifically memorable time was hearing UnBound Mongolia share about their new campaign called, “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls.” In Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, where UnBound Mongolia is headquartered, it is common knowledge to the public that massage parlor advertisements are used to advertise sex.  Over the past few months, UnBound Mongolia’s team of 30-40, created a campaign with hopes to stop the number one commercial sex avenue in Mongolia. The “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” campaign activated a team of volunteers to go into the city of Ulaabaatar and cover up all massage signs with stickers that say, “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls.”

They’ve challenged buyers to rethink their actions, prevent future trafficking and spread awareness.

We are encouraged by the momentum of the campaign as picked up both from men and the viral publicity they have received on social media and the news.  UnBound Mongolia is actively motivating their community to fight human trafficking.

In each UnBound community, the fight to end human trafficking looks different, but the same mission is carried out. UnBound exists to “mobilize the church and activate local communities to fight human trafficking through prevention, professional training and awareness.” God is on the move, bringing hope to desolate cities and providing freedom.

Whether it is refugees in Greece, massage parlors in Mongolia or women right here in Waco – hope is being ignited through a variety of unique expressions.

One way you can be a part of the story God is creating through UnBound is by partnering with us Saturday, October 8th, as we “Light Up the Dark” and run for freedom in our annual 5K race. The event exists to raise awareness and funds for the anti-human trafficking work of UnBound in Waco. Join the fight for freedom to see human trafficking eradicated completely. Click here to sign up and learn more about UnBound’s Light Up The Dark 5K.

Also, check out some pictures from our Director’s Summit:
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By Emily Wible, UnBound Intern

Playing A Part

Human trafficking is the fastest growing industry in the world today, with more than 30 million people being exploited each year in labor and sex trafficking. It is heart-breaking, it is evil and it is dark. It is beyond our control.

But the good news is – there is good news! This is the type of work our very powerful God has been up to since the beginning. It’s what He’s always done: the work of entering the most broken, hopeless, depraved parts of our world and our hearts to rescue and restore. It’s the type of work that He’s called His people, the Church, to do, too. Each of us are called to use the gifts and resources we have to accomplish what God has called us to do.

When we step into situations beyond our control, and play our part, we get to see God move.

Our mission at UnBound is to “activate local communities to fight human trafficking through prevention, professional training and survivor advocacy.”

“Activating local communities” basically means making sure everyone in the communities knows it’s happening and is equipped to do something about it — to play their part.

One way we’ve done this in Waco is by developing and leading the Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition. The coalition is a group of people representing agencies across our community, each doing their part to make the Heart of Texas a hostile environment to human trafficking and a safe place for the vulnerable. This group is made up of local, state and federal law enforcement, schools, health care providers, governmental and nongovernmental agencies, victim service providers and more. Many of these groups have been doing incredible work in this area for years, or even decades, much longer than UnBound has been around. We started the coalition in 2014, however, because we knew that if we worked together, each playing our specific part in collaboration with each other, we could do so much more.

Our part at UnBound is to facilitate and lead this coalition, train the community and advocate for survivors. Law enforcement’s part is to investigate human trafficking crimes, arrest the buyers and traffickers, and protect the victims. State and federal prosecutors build strong cases and prosecute human trafficking crimes. Hospitals, schools and outreach programs identify and report victims. Service providers give support and services to victims and survivors. Everyone plays their part, and we do it together.

Recently Susan Peters, our executive director, was talking to a victim picked up by law enforcement. Susan asked her, “How did you end up in Waco?” The young woman answered, “I didn’t know I was in Waco. People know you don’t come to Waco for this anymore.”

As we’re working together, God is doing an incredible thing — He’s taking Waco, a place known for poverty, crime and disaster, and turning it into a city known as a hostile environment for human trafficking and a safe place for the vulnerable. God is working through our unified effort, each member playing their part, to bring about results beyond our control.

Doesn’t this remind you of the Body of Christ? It’s how God designed us to function together, each playing our part (1 Corinthians 12).

God loves to use our unity to do his work.

Learn more about the Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition:

Local human trafficking coalition reviews county’s first trial

Round table helps increase human trafficking arrests

 

By Natalie Garnett- Assistant National Director at UnBound

Natalie headshot

Not In My City

Most of us learned about human trafficking as something happening on the other side of the world. As we continue to learn about human trafficking, we get local. We see it in our communities, down the block, in “that” part of town or your part of town, there are people being exploited as victims of human trafficking every day.

Our first response may be, “No way! Not in my city! I can’t believe that’s actually happening here.” As we learn more, have more conversations, talk to law enforcement and hear stories, we have to see the truth. The bad news: it is happening in my city and in your city. The good news: it doesn’t have to. If we all play our part and work together, our initial naive rejection of the truth can turn into our battle cry: “Not in my city!”

There are countless ways to make this statement in every city across America, and it’s going to take everyone’s creativity and action to make it happen. One of the most significant ways to activate your community is to raise community awareness. We’ve created an outreach that specifically target local businesses to inform them about human trafficking and ask them to join us in saying, “Not In My City” by putting up community awareness posters that provide victim identification tips and resources.

Join us in saying, “Not In My City” this Friday, February 12th at 7 p.m. for our human trafficking awareness night in the Auditorium. We will kick off the night hearing from U.S. Senator John Cornyn about the work he is doing to end trafficking in our country. We will also hear from the mother of a teenage trafficking survivor followed by a panel discussion facilitated by channel 25 Anchor, Ann Harder. Panelists include: Sheriff Parnell McNamara, Judge Gary Coley, UnBound’s Susan Peters and Detective Joseph Scaramucci. Come learn from area experts about human trafficking in our community and how you can be a part of the fight!

Being an Advocate

Advocate defined means: a person who pleads for or on behalf of another; intercessor.

God has given us a wonderful ministry in UnBound, Antioch’s anti-human trafficking initiative, and we have been able to advocate for kids in desperate situations. Last week we were able to place a victim in a safe house to begin the process of healing and restoration. It was amazing to see so many people advocating on her behalf. There were dozens of phone calls, hours of driving and lots of prayers prayed by UnBound staff and volunteers. Now, this precious 16 year old arrived safely at an aftercare home that is equipped to meet her needs and begin her journey toward healing. This happened because the people of God were compelled by His compassion to advocate for her.

Our team often asks, “Where would she be if we were not here to advocate for her?” Like many others, she was in a place where she could not help herself. She did not have the resources or ability. It is an honor to be her advocate and be a part of God’s restoration in her life, but this is just like Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is our advocate.

We do not have to figure things out on our own; we have a helper, an advocate to help us.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever” John 14:16

— Some versions of this verse says “He will give you a helper.”

What do you need help with today?

God wants to help you. He did not design this life for you to have to figure things out by yourself. He longs to talk with you every day about what concerns you and give you his comfort, wisdom and help.

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Again, God is telling us we can find help when we come to Him.

Where can you advocate for someone?

You were made to be an advocate and help others in need! You can do that in a variety of ways. Consider volunteering with UnBound, STARS, Grace House or Mercy House and advocate for God’s best in vulnerable people’s lives.

 

By Susan Peters, Adult Pastor and Unbound National Director

 

Light Up the Dark 5k

We had a blast at UnBound’s Light Up the Dark 5k last weekend! More than 650 people from the community participated in the race. Thanks to all who came out – your investment makes a difference to help end and bring awareness to human trafficking in our city! Let’s continue to pray for the captives to be set free and for human trafficking to come to an end in our lifetime. For more ways to pray, and information on how to volunteer with UnBound, visit unboundnow.org.

Natalie Garnett, one of the coordinators for the event, gives volunteers directions before the race.

Pre-race warm up.

Getting glow in the dark gear ready for the race.

One of the best things about the night was getting to hang out and have fun before the race started!

We had the best volunteers!

Lined up and getting ready to run.

Sun goes down and we lite up the dark!

An invitation from Jimmy

For the last 26 years we have gathered as a community for World Mandate to take time and focus on the world around us and those who have never heard the Gospel.

I can honestly say, in 26 years of being a part of this event, I am more excited about this year than any other year. From the worship to the creative arts to our line-up of speakers and the heart with which they will communicate, there truly will be something for everyone.

Friday Night: Francis Chan, well-known speaker and writer, spent a year in the underground church in China and is now living in the inner-city of San Francisco, seeing the Kingdom work in and through his life like never before.

Saturday Morning: I’ll share a message called “Sign Up” where we’ll dive in to the book of Acts, sharing inspiring stories from the past and looking to the future.

Saturday afternoon: Scott Drew and Paul Mills, Baylor men’s basketball coaches, will talk about the incredible work of God that went on through the basketball team last year. The UnBound team will also host a panel discussion at the Baylor Law School from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. with anti-human trafficking specialists from around the nation.

Saturday night: David Eubank, basically an “Indiana Jones” for Jesus, works among the oppressed Burmese tribes of Northern Thailand and Burma.

Sunday Morning (10 a.m. at the Ferrell Center): Robert Herber, lead pastor at All Peoples Church in San Diego, has an incredible message on the prodigal son, on those who are far away coming back to Him.

As I said, this is for everyone.  If you can’t make it to the Ferrell Center for the whole weekend, you can attend a single session for $40 (tickets available at the door) or stream the entire weekend with the digital package for just $25. Either way, please don’t miss what God is doing in our midst through World Mandate.

To see the pricing and the different packages available, go to worldmandate.com. 

I love you guys so much and want everyone to have this opportunity to engage with what God is doing among us.

In His Strength and Love,

Jimmy Seibert

 

Week in Pictures

Last week included a glow in the dark run, progress on the exterior of our building, Jimmy dressed in SWAT gear, a powerful worship night and getting ready for Jimmy’s new book, Passion and Purpose, to be released on April 7th. You can download a free chapter on Noisetrade (it’s already one of their top downloads!).

Light Up the Darkness:

 

Building Progress:

 

Jimmy Doin’ Work:

Worship Night:

 

Passion and Purpose:

 

 

UnBound Night

At UnBound, we are committed to combatting slavery and igniting hope. One of the ways we do this is by bringing people together to share what we’ve learned about ending human trafficking. Next Friday, November 15th, we are gathering together to do just that. You’re invited to join us for our Community Collaboration Forum, featuring speaker Dr. Tomi Glover, Executive Director of TraffickStop and author of the book, Compelled. UnBound Night will also feature a panel including professionals from social work and education.

UnBound Night is Friday, November 15th from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the Underground (located in the main office building) at Antioch Community Church, 505 N. 20th St, Waco 76707. Contact UnBound with any questions.