Break the Chains Initiative Passes $200,000 Mark

Post a Comment » Written on December 15th, 2008     
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CHICAGO, IL (December 15, 2008) – Giving to the Break the Chains anti-human trafficking initiative has reached $205,000 just 10 months after it was launched in February – a first-year giving record far surpassing any previous project sponsored by the Department of Women Ministries of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Previously, the project receiving the most donations during its first year was Educate the Girls (2006) when Covenanters donated $128,000. The project was designed to increase educational opportunities for girls in Congo and ultimately raised $276,000 over the course of two years.

Women Ministries began sponsoring projects in 1924, when it raised money to construct Caroline Hall on what is now the campus of North Park University. Valued in terms of today’s dollars, giving to WM projects exceeds $8 million.

“It is inspiring to see the Covenant respond to Break the Chains,” says Ruth Hill, executive minister of Women Ministries. “I believe Covenanters have been hearing about human trafficking from numerous media sources and are now finding a way to respond.”

The funds will be distributed to the project’s two partners: the Hindustani Covenant Church in India is ministering to prostitutes, and International Justice Mission (IJM) will direct 100 percent of the donations to five areas in India to help rescue and restore modern-day slaves.

Some local churches have addressed the issue during several weeks of their programming. Peninsula Covenant Church in Redwood City, California raised $34,000 – triple its target – by focusing on the issue at nearly all age levels.

Glen Ellyn Covenant Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, will involve all ages during the first six weeks of 2009. Special speakers that include Jim Martin, director of mobilization for IJM, will address the congregation. The junior and senior high groups will use a video-based curriculum, and children K-5 will do activities to help them better understand the poor quality of life experienced by street children in India.

Covenant churches also are participating in national Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11. It will be the second national observance since the U.S. Senate passed a resolution observing the day in 2007.

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