Nixing the Nefarious: Ending Sex Trafficking

Note: Our Voices Against the Grain team has been discussing ways to eradicate the evil of sex trafficking. It’s a modern day global slavery that has emerged with a brutality beyond what’s visible in the physical. It breaks the spirit. We stand with our ministry partner, pureHOPE,  to review strategies and tactics to put a nix to the nefarious (“nefarious” meaning “vile, diabolical, heinous, evil”). To restore hope to the hopeless through the love of Jesus Christ. Thank you to our devotional writer Herbert Bowen Jr., who is also a pureHOPE advisory board member, for writing the message below. Following his message below, please view the 6-minute preview of the documentary “Nefarious” which gives more  insight into the dark underworld of sex trafficking and its victims.  As God’s people and concerned citizens, we are called to make a stand today.

Proverbs 12:1- To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction. (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

What a blessing it is to be in the presence of the Lord. What a blessing it is to see his plan unfold before our very eyes. What a blessing it is to commune with role models like my friend Noel Bouché from our ministry partner, Purehope. It’s through his consistent and avid guidance that gives me hope for today. It’s through his discipline and persistence to enact change in a world dominated by the perversion of men. It’s through hearing the Lord’s voice to remain faithful to the laborious task of ending the trafficking of women. Therefore, may we sympathize with this cause as if our sister, mother, son or daughter were showcased within this arena. For the spotlight is too refulgent for us to see the dire need of change. The reason we must shield the glare in order to uncover the atrocities cached within obscurity. Thus, let our eyes be opened to what lies before us and stand united as brothers/sisters against this nefarious evil. Amen


About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

 

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C.  Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the pureHOPE advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.

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1 Year Later: Blessings, Joy, Service Continues

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Today, May 28, 2014, is the one-year anniversary of Voices Against the Grain media ministry. The blog launched on May 28, 2013, followed by the radio show’s first episode that aired on September 4, 2013.  In March 2013, the Holy Spirit prompted me to launch this bold platform where we are “advancing God’s Kingdom in a ‘do your own thing’ society.” A platform that allows God’s people to share the messages He has placed on their hearts to equip others in Christ and free those enslaved by the deceptions and bondage of this world. To bring clarity amidst confusion. To bring truth where there is deception. To bring healing where there is brokenness.

Within this past year, God has blessed us to be connected with more Kingdom-minded people, including our devotional writers, show guests, supporters and others. He has given us favor in areas and territories unexpected. He has allowed us to touch lives in ways I had not conceived. It is a joy to serve with the Lord and His people, as we equip and empower others to stand as Christ’s light and truth in a fallen world.

The blessings continue to come, as witnessed in the following post below. Our devotional writer Ana Martinez, through the almighty power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, was freed this year from 22 years of shame, self-hatred and brokenness brought on by sexual abuse and rape that occurred in her youth. Voices Against the Grain served as part of that healing when Ana bravely and authentically shared her testimony during our February 12, 2014 episode. After the show, many people contacted her and us to thank her for inspiring them to seek their healing. Today, she continues to share her testimony to help free others and remind them how the Lord will restore what was stolen from us. He will break the chains that enslave us.

I invite you to read her post, “Loss of Innocence, A Future Restored” published on the blog of pureHOPE, a ministry that envisions a world free of sexual exploitation and brokenness by providing Christian solutions in a sexualized culture. pureHOPE and Voices Against the Grain became partners in January 2014, with a passion to combat porn and other forms of sexual exploitation. During the February 12, 2014 radio show, we were grateful to be joined by pureHOPE president Noel Bouché. We thank pureHOPE for publishing Ana’s story.

We also invite you to listen to today’s radio show as our team reflects on the past year in Still Punchin’: Voices Against the Grain 1-Year Anniversary.”

We have more work to do, but stay encouraged and stay staunch. Keep moving. We have the victory through Christ! We are excited to continue serving with you. Thank you for your support and prayers.

God Bless You,

Nicole

Your Testimony Will Free Somebody Else

Your testimony, your healing will free somebody else.

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

On Wednesday’s Voices Against the Grain radio show, we heard a powerful testimony of healing and restoration from sexual trauma and self-hatred shared by our blogger/devotional writer, Ana Martinez. For 22 years, she stuffed feelings of shame and guilt, starting with being molested at age 8, statutory rape at age 13, and raped again at 15. Growing up in her parent’s church and loving the Lord, she then walked away from God and His call upon her life. Today, she is a mom and bold woman of God involved in several ministries and has received freedom by sharing her story with others—so they too can heal. The episode, entitled “Christ: Your True Heart Healer, Soul Lover” conveys how deep, wide and unconditional Jesus Christ’s love for us. He is our special Valentine. No matter how horrific and dark your past or present situation, He LOVES YOU more than you can imagine. He died, rose and lives so you may experience true freedom, joy and peace —not bound by things of this world that enslave.

We were joined by Noel Bouché, president of pureHOPE, a ministry that provides Christian solutions in a sexualized culture. Noel discussed how they provide strategies to equip parents to help their children navigate in this digitized world, where images and messages of sexual immorality are rampant. pureHOPE envisions a world free of exploitation and brokenness. As a new partner with pureHOPE, Voices Against the Grain will join them to fight the proliferation of porn and sex trafficking in our society. To win this fight, Jesus Christ is our HOPE.

Ana Martinez, Chef and Voices Against the Grain Blogger

Ana Martinez, Chef and Voices Against the Grain Blogger

Noel Bouché, President of pureHOPE

Noel Bouché, President of pureHOPE

Immediately following the airing of Wednesday’s show, the calls, emails and text messages poured in from listeners (some in tears) who were positively impacted by the conversation. We could not have planned the perfect formation of elements that has begun the healing and restoration process for many since our discussion. God’s perfect timing unites situations, people and willing hearts to accomplish His purposes. Not a day sooner or later. Right on time.

Words cannot adequately convey what I feel in my spirit. In simplest words, I have a spirit of gratitude and humility that such a big God chooses to involve us in His greater plan. Thank you Lord. We love you.

Satan hoped that Ana would remain silent, ashamed and bound by her past. But God’s plan was already at work. In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.” As referenced in Jeremiah 29:11, which furthermore says, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,” “plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

As Ana says, “No matter your situation, your story, know that GOD can restore you. HE can heal you. HE is our Redeemer. He has a bigger plan for your life greater than you know. He will turn around the darkest things in your life and make them beautiful.”

Just like Ana, sharing your story, your healing will help somebody else.

Listen to the show here.