The Story of Adorned in Grace
Having experienced first hand the plight of several victims of human trafficking placed under our care, one especially memorable survivor was radically transformed by the love of Christ on her very first day of “freedom”. Four and half years later, after living with one of Compassion Connects’ founding families, she was engaged to the man of her dreams and needed not simply a dress, but an entire wedding celebration.
The church family rallied to create a beautiful wedding chapel out of their rented gymnasium/worship center by repurposing used wedding gowns into wedding decorations. Basketball hoops were lovingly adorned with cascading tulle. Folding tables were gracefully rippled with silk and lace. Volleyball polls were creatively transformed into royal entryways by beaded, satin trains.
It was an incredible ceremony.
After hearing this survivor’s story and learning that Compassion Connect had been birthed out of a church home that had a vision for uniting churches to bring the love of Christ to their communities, donors came forward with over 400 used and new wedding dresses to be used as Compassion Connect saw need.
Simultaneously, a co-founder of Compassion Connect was asked to serve on the Board of an organization committed to providing safe shelter for victims of trafficking. It became obvious: the “gifts” (i.e., all those wedding dresses being stored in our spare bedrooms) were given for the purpose of raising money and awareness for the plight of human trafficking so prevalent in our city.
Compassion Connect is a non-profit organization that has provided leadership in uniting churches to bring the love of Christ to thousands of people over the last four years. As the tragedy of human trafficking lands squarely on our Pacific Northwest doorstep, Compassion Connect is committed to doing its part to fight this atrocity.
The exploitation of young girls through sex trafficking has thrived as a hidden crime for far too long in our community. Typically, a vulnerable teenager is approached by someone who flatters her and makes attractive promises. Once the victim is isolated in an unfamiliar environment with all communications severed, she is lied to and cruelly forced to work in conditions which she cannot leave. Any sense of her old self is shattered and she begins to think of herself as only fit for this life.
Fortunately, individuals and organizations at all levels of our society are awakening to the existence of this crime and rallying to shine the light on it and combat it.