Wilsonville church event combating trafficking

By JENNIFER BAILEY / Staff Writer

WILSONVILLE – On Saturday, Aug. 1, the Women’s Missionary Union from Wilsonville Baptist Church is hosting an event titled “Walk Against Traffick.” The purpose of this event is to bring awareness to sex trafficking in Cambodia as well as raise funds to help combat the problem.

The members of Wilsonville Baptist Church became aware of the problems in Cambodia when Alli Mellon, executive director of the Hard Places Community, came to speak to the church in April.

Members of the Hard Place Community do outreach work in several different places around the world, including Cambodia, India and the United States. The organization’s slogan is “hope for the hopeless in the darkest corners of this world.”

After hearing Mellon speak about sex trafficking in Cambodia, the national WMU researched sex trafficking. Laurie Jones, the Walk Against Traffick event coordinator, said, “when The Hard Places ministry came to our attention, we decided that our first international project would be to support the efforts to release children from this industry in Cambodia.”

Registration for the walk will be at 7 a.m. at Oak Meadow Park on Hebb Road in Wilsonville. The walk will begin at 7:30 a.m. The registration fee is $10 to walk, but there will also be opportunities to sponsor walkers. Adult sides, red and black Walk Against Traffic t-shirts will also be available.

The Hard Places Community has several different places in Cambodia that help with the prevention of sex trafficking. These places include: Punlok Thmey Prevention Center for Boys, Prook Thmey Prevention and Restoration Center for Girls, Prook Thmey Safe House for Young Adult Women, and Ponluk Thmey Tours.

Jones said that Hard Places Community will “use the funds raised to carry out the day to day operations of these centers, from Cambodian staff salaries, to daily food for the children who come to the centers, as well as all supplies.”

For more information about the Hard Places Community, visit Hardplaces-community.org/what-we-do/cambodia/. To find out more about the Walk Against Traffick, contact Laurie Jones at jonesrestoration@gmail.com or 422-3547 or visit Walkagainsttraffick.org.