Saturday, July 20, 2013
Sex trafficking is not a new problem in the Wichita area, but a local church is joining the fight against it.
Victory Church is not the only local organization involved in that fight. However, the church offers a unique way to help victims of that crime.
A dining room in the church at 812 S. Oliver assumes a lounge-like atmosphere on Friday and Saturday evenings. The atmosphere is complete with live smooth jazz music, mood lighting and people out for a leisurely dinner.
It is more than just a desire for a relaxing evening out that brought a crowd to Victory Church Saturday.
"We host an event here every Friday and Saturday night to bring awareness to the epidemic of modern day sex trafficking going on right here in the Wichita area," said Misty Miller, a member of Victory Church.
The events, which feature a variety of bands and speakers, began about a year ago. Profits from dinner sales and other donations have piled up enough that the church will open The Overcomers House in September. It will be able to house six girls rescued from human traffickers.
"Our goal is to, as we bring awareness and people begin providing monetary support and voluntary support, our houses will grow and we'll be able to house more girls," Miller said.
Randall Fritzler and his wife heard about the church's Jehovah Java House from a friend and thought they'd try it out while supporting the mission.
"We've enjoyed it so far," he said. "It's kind of a relaxed atmosphere."
Miller said there is still a lot of work to do to combat human trafficking, as shown by the arrests this week of a 23-year-old woman and a 26-year-old man who are accused of pimping out three runaway teens at a north Wichita motel. Click here for that story.
"A lot of times, people close their eyes to it," she said. "They don't believe it's happening right here, but it is."