May 2-4, 2014Santa Cruz Mountains | Conference Center
In early May the second FIGHT Conference was held at Mount Hermon. 140 advocates, faculty, exhibitors, vendors and even some survivors were in attendance. Over 20 different anti-trafficking organizations and churches from California and states as far away as Massachusetts and Oklahoma were represented.
This year’s FIGHT Conference went beyond our expectations. We were able to provide that place of peace, set apart for these people to come away, get refreshed, meet others involved in the struggle and learn better ways to FIGHT this terrible battle.
“What an amazing thing God will be doing with the connections and conversations that happened this weekend!”
“Thanks to the Mount Hermon team for all the amazing work each of you put in to host such an incredible weekend. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We have returned home refreshed and inspired in many ways. We look forward to the planning process of FIGHT 2015!”
—Betty Ann Boeving
“Thank you for all of the hard work and energies in putting together this conference! There couldn’t have been a more peaceful place and I know that we have all been refreshed. Thank you for including Made For Them and the desire to bring a holistic conference.”
“Thank you so much for including International Justice Mission in your FIGHT Conference. It was an honor and joy to be a part of it. The grounds set up the weekend for adventure and reflection and was a welcome change of scenery for us all. I know you poured so much into this weekend and hope the team at Mount Hermon has a sense of all our gratefulness and God’s delight.” —Jocelyn White
“Thank you so much for the opportunity to teach our training program on Human Trafficking and Pornography at the FIGHT Conference. I was actually able to connect with a few of the survivors who were in attendance. I’ve been praying about a mentoring program and now because of what God did at this conference, I am connected to Fresno, Modesto, San Diego and the East Bay with girls and advocates who are able to send us more girls! I’m so thankful to the staff at Mount Hermon who have been so kind and cared so much about this issue. God bless you!” —Jill Ranes
Plans are already underway to offer this conference again in 2015. We’ll be moving the date to the fall (October 23-25) to better coordinate with other area anti-trafficking events. We’re humbled to have been used by God in this unique way to reach a group of people who desperately need what Mount Hermon has to offer; a place set apart to retreat and become refreshed and encouraged.
We’re thankful for the blessing of resources, expertise and manpower that we could contribute to this effort. We have been blessed to be a blessing to His Kingdom.
Recordings of the 2014 conference sessions are available here
Check out the
photos from Fight Conference
Read that definition again and let those words sink in…
Human trafficking is an evil in this world. An evil that preys on the defenseless; on those who can’t fight for themselves. This evil is pervasive, it’s persistent and it crashes on the shores of our cities and towns with the relentlessness of a rising tide.
Recognizing this evil and making the decision to do something about it are two different things. As Christ followers we can no longer turn a blind eye. A huge opportunity lies before us. It’s time to act. But more than that…
It’s time to FIGHT.
The mission of the FIGHT conference is to defeat human trafficking by empowering people and mobilizing the Church.
Join us as we bring together a network of dedicated individuals in the Central California area who are committed to fighting modern-day slavery. Whether you are just learning about human trafficking or are already passionately engaged in the fight, come for three days of training, teaching, networking, and refreshment.
Eugene is the founder and executive director of One Day’s Wages — “A movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty.” He is also the founding and lead pastor of Quest Church and the founder/executive director of Q Cafe — A unique non-profit community cafe and music venue in Seattle. Born in Korea, he immigrated to the United States at age six and grew up in San Francisco. He trekked out to the East Coast for several years, returned to the HomeLand of the Morning Calm (South Korea) for couple years, and now lives in Seattle with his family.
Justin McRoberts has been a constant and noteworthy presence on the independent music scene since 1999. A songwriter, storyteller, teacher and an advocate for Justice, he is one of those rare artists who blends artistry, passion, honesty and humor seamlessly.
Sharing songs and stories with an audience is where Justin’s gifts are most fully realized. His live shows strike a delicate balance between intellect and emotion. Justin is an impassioned, wise and effective teacher and communicator. He teaches widely on the Biblical link between Worship and Justice.
One of the star features of the FIGHT conference is the venue itself. In addition to outstanding conference and meeting facilities, Mount Hermon is home to some of the finest recreational opportunities in the area. Whether you want to get up in the trees on the ropes course or canopy tour or stay grounded on the trails either hiking or mountain biking or on the water with an afternoon sea kayaking junket, Mount Hermon has just what you’re looking for. And it’s all complementary (with the exception of the canopy tour). Experience by yourself or turn it into a team building exercise by including your staff! Mount Hermon has trained team builders on hand to help you and your team get the most out of their experience.
Jocelyn White, Director of Church Mobilization | West International Justice Mission
Explore accessible strategies to help your church respond to God’s call to seek justice, defend the widow and orphan, and rescue the oppressed... in far-off places and right in your own community. Whether you’re already committed to doing justice in God’s name and want to mobilize others around you, or you’re newly awakening to God’s call.
Brian Wo, Director of Partnerships | Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition
Learn what the faces of human trafficking look like here in our backyard, and find out what people are doing all around the Bay Area to fight it. We will share about the unique landscape of the anti-trafficking movement here and how to get engaged in areas of prevention, intervention and aftercare.
Benita Hopkins, Education Director | Love Never Fails
The U.S. Dept. of Justice states that 65-88% of victims and perpetrators of trafficking have been abused as children. The Love Don't Hurt Program is an abuse prevention program and tool delivered to children around the Bay Area from 4th grade to high school. In this seminar, we’ll discuss this nationally sought after program and why it has been effective in giving students services and strategies to combat abuses of every kind. This seminar will show you how traffickers use abuse to oppress and manipulate. We’ll discuss how you can become a facilitator of Love Don’t Hurt at your local schools, and how to not get caught in the web of not knowing what to do.
Mark Fisher, U.S. Director | Red Window Project
For trafficking survivors, release is not recovery nor is liberty livelihood. Often, their primary vulnerability factor is poverty. After intervention, poverty remains and trauma from their criminal abuse increases vulnerability. Red Window Project has developed and refined a unique, comprehensive, and innovative model that equips survivors for economic self-sufficiency in promising careers. Learn about their principles, process, and practice to better understand how to help survivors achieve long-term success by empowering them to thrive.
Vanessa Scott, Executive Director | Love Never Fails
‘Rescue alone is not enough’ doesn't just sound good it's absolutely correct. When a person is removed from their abusive exploiter they need resources, somewhere to go and some to love and support them as they heal. During this session we’ll discuss the importance of aftercare programs which include mentoring, job training, housing and clinical services and how each of us can play a important role in restoring survivors of sex trafficking.
Ken Wytsma, Founder | The Justice Conference
In this course the concept of Justice will be explored in relation to our knowledge of God or as a matter of 'theological necessity.' Often, justice is engaged out of emotion, fashion or hobby. This session will help root the concept of justice in the heart and character of God and help build a holistic framework for engaging in Biblical Justice as a Christian. In addition, we'll provide a framework on how to discuss justice in your church, home group or workplace.
Chris Stambaugh, Founder/Network Director | The Grace Network
What makes a child or teen vulnerable to sex trafficking? What are some indicators that a young person has been exploited? Once a survivor is identified, how do I build an empowering relationship with him or her? All these questions and more will be explored in this training. Please join us for this engaging workshop if you are passionate about advocating for exploited and high-risk youth!
Ken Wytsma, Founder | The Justice Conference
The foundations of a slave free-city are the foundations of individuals grounding themselves in justice. Come learn about relevant philosophical foundations for justice, and historic examples of activism that will inspire ideas to implement in your context to move others towards the action of creating a slave-free city.
Mark Kirchgestner, Lead Pastor | Dolores Park Church
As we grow in awareness that God loves those who have suffered from violent oppression we are compelled to care for them holistically; this includes their spiritual needs. However, this requires great care as we consider how they have been traumatized. This seminar will focus on the essential elements every caregiver needs to keep in mind when addressing the spiritual needs of survivors, with special attention to the importance of our motivation, theology, presence and spiritual preparation.
Betty Ann Boeving, Director | Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition
Let's not forget WHY we do what we do. Fighting injustices like human trafficking is not an accessory but a core part of our faith journey that we are called to in pursuing Christ. But, opening ourselves to the realities of such dark injustices surrounding us can bring up a real sense of exhaustion and/or vulnerability that can leave us feeling overwhelmed, small or ineffective. Personally sustaining in fighting for the freedom of others is deeply linked with own ability to experience and know the freedom we have in Christ. What is a life rhythm that is healthy for me and those who support me? What are the major trends in the Church fighting trafficking? How can we align our passion and talents within what God is already doing?
Jill Ranes, Director | Out of Egypt
Pornography is an issue that society at large still deals with in secret. However, in this seminar we will bring it out of the darkness and into the light of truth, trusting that when you see the truth you’ll see things differently. We will talk about specific ways to pray and have the opportunity to hear a part of Jill’s testimony of being enslaved, trafficked and filmed all the while believing God for a miracle of escape. Additionally we’ll explore the social costs and the spiritual implications as well as the physiological and psychological changes that occur in viewers.
Rosario Dowling, Program Director | CAS Research & Education
There are about 60,000 children in California’s foster care system with 70 children entering every day. Research has shown that 60% of the sexually exploited children and teens currently on the streets are from the foster care system. What can your church do to FIGHT this trend? This seminar will focus on how your church can prevent human trafficking by using the HOPE model, which engages healthy families within your church offering group support and training.
Kate Case, Regional Advocacy Coordinator | International Justice Mission
This workshop will equip you with long-term strategies and immediate next steps to help end slavery. IJM believes that advocating through a relationship model is the most effective way to create change. You will be equipped with tools to engage your community effectively, learn how to turn your elected officials into anti-slavery champions, and begin brainstorming your unique plan to keep your community involved. This workshop will debunk the common myth that talking to your Member of Congress is difficult and challenging, and uncover simple ways that you can get involved in advocacy that takes 5 seconds, 5 minutes, or 5 months –- depending on how deeply you would like to engage. No prior knowledge of government or advocacy is needed.
Guy Noland, Executive Producer/Director | SAVN.tv
If you can't hold them in their seats, you can't hope to deliver your message! With nearly 25 years experience in the Film Industry, Guy Noland has worked as writer, producer, and director on multiple films and documentaries spanning a diverse array of media platforms. In his session, Noland introduces the important techniques of storytelling and film production needed to capture and hold an audience's attention. This session is sure to benefit both novice and advanced filmmakers alike.
Andrea Shabaglian, Founder | MadeForThem
“Reject anything that breeds the oppression of others… This is one of the most difficult and sensitive issues for us to face, but face it we must.” —Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline. In this conversation we will discuss the opportunities we have to be conscious consumers, and receive resources to help equip us to become more responsible in our purchases. We need to take a stand for human rights and understand the impact our purchases can have on either side of the spectrum. Let's FIGHT for the ethical efforts in the supply chains of the products we use daily. We CAN make a difference. Let it start with us.
Breaking the Supply Chain —Shabaglian
The Theology of Justice —Wytsma
The Power of Storytelling —Noland
The Pursuit of Justice —Wytsma
Ingniting a Justice Movement —White
American Slaves on Film —Ranes
Training Volunteers —Kirchgestner
Sustaining in the Long Haul —Boeving
A Snapshot of Human Trafficking in the Bay Area —Wo
Preventing Human Trafficking with HOPE —Dowling
Lasting Freedom: Best Practices to Equip Survivors —Fisher
After the Exit... —Scott
Helping Students Seeking Justice, 10 Minutes at a Time —Cress
Love Don't Hurt —Hopkins
How to Identify and Work with Child Sex Trafficking Victims —Stambaugh
Advocating for Change —Case
Arrival & Check-In
Meet & Greet Reception
General Session I
Coffee Shop Concert
Morning Devotions & Early Coffee
General Session 2
Coffee & Tea Break
Resource Center Open
Networking, Recreation, and Relaxation
General Session 3
Morning Devotions & Early Coffee
Coffee & Tea Break
General Session 4
Lunch & Depart
With so many great seminars, it might have been hard to get to all of them. Never fear, the download is HERE! Want to go back and listen again? We have two options for you, you can download or listen to the individual messages, or you can download a single zip file with all of the MP3 files.
Listen again, take notes, be encouraged, and continue in the FIGHT all year long!
The complete collection of talks is available as a zip file (760 MB).