Last week 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.
One of the highlights of the conference took place Saturday evening when we moved the general session to Victory Circle. The evening was even cool enough for us to have a campfire! Most of the attendees to the FIGHT Conference had never been to Mount Hermon before and we felt it only fitting to share this Mount Hermon tradition with them. They were inspired, not only by Eugene’s closing message but by the beauty and peace of the unique setting.
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On Sunday we spent time in collective prayer, visiting stations set about the commons and following a prayer guide that canvased many important needs related to trafficking world-wide. Then we ended our time by celebrating communion and committing to one another that we will work together in the fight.
A resource center included about 12 organizations and vendors who offered information, services or merchandise for participants. This is an important part of the conference as it educates everyone about sources for needed help.
We were also pleased that many participants took advantage of recreational opportunities offered such as the Redwood Canopy Tour and sea-kayaking on the Monterey Bay. Many said that they had not been in the forest or in fresh air for a long time, and though they did not come expecting this to be something they would enjoy, they found that it ministered to their souls in ways that were life-giving and unexpected.
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.
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.
What others are saying about FIGHT:
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, Out of Egypt
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, Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition
“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.”
Andrea Shabaglian, Made For Them
“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, International
What an amazing thing God will be doing with the connections and conversations that happened this weekend!
Brian Wo, Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition