• Family Focus: Local Church Helping Young Victims Of Sex Trafficking

    None - A local church is working to help little girls who are the victims of sex trafficking.

    The church is in the process of buying a home to rescue the children.

    Pastor Jim White preaches to thousands of members at Mecklenburg Community Church. "We've looked at motivation -- a question that will bring clarity."

    A large part of the pastor's message: helping others.

    He plans mission trips, like the most recent one: helping children caught up in the sex trade, a world away.

    "We stepped in and realized this is something that a large church could do."

    Through work with International Justice Mission, Pastor White learned about the sex trafficking of girls in the Philippines.

    He traveled there last year and was horrified at what he found out.

    Taxi drivers take men right to the brothels.

    "This is what will pull into your heart, they'll pull into an alley and they'll just flash their lights and instantly, children will come running out and line up in front of the car lights and u just are in the back of your seat, your taxi and you pick which one you want. I mean it's that ridiculous."

    Pastor White wanted to build a place of refuge for the girls so he took the idea to his church.

    Church member Emily Towner knew the problem all too well.

    Towner's senior thesis at UNC Charlotte was on sex trafficking.

    "That research was one of the hardest things I've ever done. It was horrific to read things about it and to see pictures about it," Towner said.

    Towner is one of 6,000 church members who have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars so that a house like this one will be built in the Philippines to rehab the victims.

    The goal is to have the house purchased in the next two months and then they'll need volunteers.

    It looks like the church won't have a problem finding those.

    "Like send me. I wanna go. I wanna do this. I've been wanting to do this for years, so immediately I was like, whatever I can do," Towner said.

    The church plans to send the first group of volunteers over in the spring.

    If you would like more information on how you can help please visit mecklenburg.org/unhindered.

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