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SSTOP Conference Counters Horror with H.O.P.E.

February 25, 2019

The Bryan College chapter of SSTOP (Students Stopping the Trafficking of Persons) hosted its biannual chapel conference February 18th-20th. The theme focused on “H.O.P.E.- Healing, Opportunity, Purpose, and Empowerment,” and the hope that our savior gives to us in even the darkest of situations. The conference featured speakers Jolien Haggard (Monday, February 18th) and Tammy Kennedy (Wednesday, February 20th). Both women shared their own stories of abuse and stressed that, no matter the circumstances, God can bring about redemption. Shame and the lies it brings have no place in the lives of God’s redeemed, as Ms. Kennedy powerfully reminded the audience.

Jolien Haggard and her husband, David, are the founders of Blazing Hope Ranch, a therapeutic horse ranch that provides healing and hope to female survivors of sex trafficking through long-term aftercare. She has a Master’s in Christian Counseling from Philadelphia Biblical University (PBU) and 10 years of experience as a therapist in residential mental health and managing therapeutic group homes. A former counselor at Bryan, she developed her passion for the outdoors and caring for the vulnerable into what is now Blazing Hope.

Tammy Kennedy is an abuse survivor and the founder of King’s Treasure Box Ministries, a non-profit organization helping other survivors learn the truth in order to reclaim their true identity as children of the King. She has a Master’s degree in counseling and has authored two books: Jingles Lost Her Jingle (a therapeutic resource for abuse survivors) and From Rubble to Royalty, her autobiography. Her personal story of recovery after abuse, including being trafficked for sexual purposes by her mentally ill mother, is a profound illustration of the power of God’s love and redemption.

SSTOP (est. 2007) is a branch of Practical Christian Involvement at Bryan (PCI), falling under the ‘Advocates’ branch that promotes awareness and activism regarding the sanctity of human life. In addition to hosting a conference biannually since 2008, SSTOP hosts monthly educational meetings, and organizes various prayer and educational events regarding the prevention of human trafficking throughout the year. SSTOP also volunteers regularly at Blazing Hope Ranch. They are currently planning an event to recognize National Human Trafficking Awareness Month in April.

To learn more about SSTOP and how you can be involved, contact Titus Prude at tprude7141@bryan.edu

You can learn more about Blazing Hope Ranch at https://www.blazinghoperanch.org and King’s Treasure Box Ministries at https://kingstreasurebox.org.

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