Human trafficking forum open to public


Community event set for Aug. 27

BELLBROOK — Community members will have the opportunity to learn about human trafficking 6-8:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27 during an educational forum and training at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 2928 Wilmington-Dayton Road.

Ohio Faith Net, Thrivent Financial Services and the Faith Partnership Team from Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Human Trafficking Commission will host the free event, which will include Human Trafficking 101 Training, training for church leaders for ministry opportunities, and a testimony from a local survivor.

Refreshments and childcare will be provided. Interested persons can register at https://bit.ly/2MsmKKc

Pastor Greg Delaney, part of the Faith Partnership Team and also the outreach coordinator for Woodhaven Recovery in Dayton, speaks to church communities around the state on how they can address Ohio’s issues.

“What we really tried to do is ask churches to look at their own folks and their own gifting and their own talents as a church, and give them alternatives that they can be part of the solution,” Delaney said.

He has educated communities — connecting local resources with churches — on the heroin epidemic and now human trafficking.

“Technology is wonderful, yet it has made it too easy for people to reach a potential victim,” Delaney said. “People do not have to leave their home to lure someone away from the safety of their family.”

Along with Delaney, Director of Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Family Resource Center Susan Lopez will lead the event. Lopez is also a candidate for Greene County commissioner.

“This issue is tied closely to the heroin epidemic and impacts our most fragile citizens. Our social service system is becoming overburdened because of these two issues. We cannot continue to ignore bad things are happening in our communities,” Lopez said. “I’ve been given permission to share with you that in Fairborn, a pastor’s daughter was trafficked. And this isn’t an isolated case. Trafficking is a devastating, horrific crime; a huge devaluation of human value.”

The two are working on the project with Bellbrook Sugarcreek Ministerial Association.

“This project is hugely important, it is crossing all lines for the betterment of people and our communities,” Lopez said, adding that it is non-denominational and non-partisan.

Interested persons can contact Lopez for details at 937-848-3810.

Community event set for Aug. 27