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February 9, 2014

Local church raises funds to fight human trafficking

NORMAN — Church members dedicated to ministry and other members with skills in the art were brought together for one cause on Saturday night. A night of art, refreshments and fun lead to the big pay off of $2,062. Wildwood Community Church’s, 1501 24th Avenue NE, community art show and silent auction benefited victims of human trafficking and groups of people who are considered to be at high risk of being trafficked. 

Mark Robinson, Wildwood Community Church executive pastor, said the church started a few years ago with the intention to reach out and become more aware of community needs. Robinson said the church had worked with international ministry partners who were involved in stopping human trafficking and that the church had always thought of it as an international problem. When Kris Newlin, art show coordinator and Bethesda volunteer, asked Wildwood if it would be interested in hosting an art show to benefit human trafficking victims, Robinson said the church was excited to help.

“Ultimately people matter to Jesus,” he said. “And when we have the opportunity to help people, we do it.”

The silent auction included paintings and photography donated by local artists, decorative items and valentines for sale, books signed by Newlin who is also a local author and four raffles (each valued at $75.00). All of the proceeds raised will be split between four organizations including: Beautiful Dream Society, Bethesda, Stand In the Gap Ministries and The Spero Project.

Beautiful Dream Society has a shelter in the Oklahoma City area for ladies who have been rescued out of trafficking. Bethesda, 1181 E. Main, is the only agency in Oklahoma that completely focuses on treatment of children who have been sexually abused. Stand In the Gap Ministries provides mentoring for young adults who have aged out of foster care but never connected with a family. The Spero Project does a variety of work with people who are marginalized in our society.

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