In case you are curiously thinking, “What is Collyde Summit?” the answer is simple: A two-day event to equip people to live out the calling of God.
It was such a joy and privilege to be able to have Justice Network represented at Collyde Summit held in Wayne, NJ. I was completely blessed by the people I met, the speakers I heard speak, the music that was performed, and being able to learn about various organizations that were there.
As soon as one entered the church where the Summit was held this year, they felt very welcomed. I received a bag with a notebook that had a map of the location, the detailed schedule, photos of each speaker, and pages for you to write notes for what they were to speak on. The bag also included brochures and goodies of the organizations represented there. There was even a gift card of $20 to be used to donate to a specific organization, a free book, and a CD of worship music. I will say that I also loved the Panera food that was served there. You could drink free coffee from Land of a Thousand Hills as much as you wanted to as well. Collyde Summit was really well organized. I was highly impressed.
Going to each booth, there were loving people excited to tell you about their organization and what God was doing for others. It was really wonderful to hear how the gospel is being brought out and how people are being changed for good. I was incredibly touched by a young woman working with an organization which helps in prevention against sex trafficking in various countries in the world; sometimes helping those who were bound in sexual slavery. She let me know she was a victim of trafficking herself and that although she couldn’t work with others like herself because the emotions are too much for her, she is thankful she can help work in hopes that children will never end up abused as she was. She gave me a hug before I left and we were tearing up as we said our goodbyes.
I made an excited effort to hear Carl Ralston speak about his organization Remember Nhu. The organization began when a young Vietnamese girl was sold by her own family members and trafficked into the Cambodian sex trade. He was eventually able to find her, rescue her, and provide her with a job to run her own hair salon (in which other rescued girls eventually worked at too). He also shared a video about the work that is being done now that their organization is nearly eight years old. They have built schools and teach children about Jesus. Whenever they work with a village, they have seen sexual slavery decrease to nothing because they train and equip them not only physically or mentally, but spiritually. What a grand testimony!
IJM‘s Bethany Hoang spoke for only about five minutes, which bummed me out a bit, but her speech was incredible. She let us know how God wants us to help those who are impoverished and in need of the gospel. She spoke passionately about why International Justice Mission does what they do. She had a lot of heart as she spoke words of great encouragement so we no longer have to see slavery, refugees, hunger, thirst; but instead freedom for them all so they have hope out of their poverty.
The NJCityserve justice panel had our own Susan Panzica give a five minute speech. She gave us the Biblical definition of justice and gave hope to the younger generation. Rebecca from Love True spoke as well as Mandy from CAN (no website yet). I sadly was not able to stick around to hear them speak, but I spoke with each of them beforehand and am so glad they are passionate about God and helping the oppressed slaves. Love True is working to build the first safe house for underage trafficking victims in NJ. CAN helps empower churches and communities towards understanding how to detect slavery, finding ways to prevent it and stopping it from continuing, and to help with survivor care.
Justice Network wants to also help encourage you to serve God and serve others in all you do. Help put an end to human trafficking by using your voice and learning how you can be involved in our events and through the partnership we have established with other organizations. You can make a difference. Are you ready to take the step? You can help change the world starting with where you are NOW.