One year ago, Janet Theus was preparing to travel with Presbyterian Women sisters to the Bay Area for nine days, to be a part of the 2016 USA Mission Experience. You can read her full account here, but below are a few excerpts:
We were going to witness the faithful work being done by our sisters in the San Francisco and San Jose’ presbyteries. Their work and dedication to God’s promise of a beloved community would prove to be the most amazing experience of this Mission trip.
Our goals were: (1) Learn about victims of sexual trafficking, human slavery, domestic violence, the homeless, and immigration issues. (2) Develop skills to advocate for these victims and (3) Explore personal stories to examine the myths and realities associated with these victim’s experiences and (4) Identify resources to help eliminate these scourges against humanity.
Janet’s report is full of vivid detail, which she supports with pictures and anecdotes when she speaks in person about her experiences. Since all USAME participants promise to share what they’ve learned and bear witness, please contact her about having her bring her witness to your group.
I want to compliment the Cecilia Moran (Churchwide CT USAME Chairperson), Katharine Reeves, and the local planning committee…. The sequence of experiences, speakers, times to rest, listen and learn, travel arrangements, variety of activities, education, and opportunity to think could not have been better planned and executed.
All of the locations visited and speakers are supported by faith-based groups to one extent or another and all are welcome. I did not feel animosity toward Christianity, even from government representatives. Separation of church and state does not appear to an issue with anyone. The focus is on solving problems. Dedicated and caring Presbyterian women were involved with each of the non-profit organizations visited.
The work by those who help these groups address the challenges involved with the issues of trafficking and violence in our society is amazing. There is reason to believe that these vile scourges on humanity will be increasing in the future due to the growth of social of media and technology. Thankfully, the people in our society who are working against its proliferation really do care. We are ready to work beside them with faith in God’s help to bring Love, Hope, Peace and ultimately, a ‘quiet soul’ to victims and society.
Thanks be to God.
Thanks be to God, indeed.
If you are hearing God’s voice speaking through Janet’s experience, applications for the 2019 USA Mission Experience will start being accepted in 2018, and applications for the 2020 Global Exchange (a similar trip with an international focus) will open in 2019.