We are praising God for all He did at Scarlet Hope’s 2nd annual HEELED Conference! It was an amazing time of fellowship, training, and encouragement.
The focus of Friday night was reigniting our passion for the Lord and being reminded of why we go into some of the darkest places in our cities to shine the light of Christ. We sang praises to the Lord with one another, led by Alea Petersen and her band, and then we heard an encouraging word from Pastor Kyle Idleman. We ended the night going through different prayer stations, praying for and with one another.
Saturday was jam-packed with sessions and trainings. The morning began with an incredible keynote presentation from Jeff Shaw, founder and director of the Atlanta-based sex trafficking ministry, Out of Darkness. Jeff’s authenticity and transparency about the good, the bad, and the ugly of ministry life was eye opening and encouraging to us all.
After we heard from Jeff, we were given the opportunity to attend breakouts that covered topics such as substance abuse and recovery, setting healthy boundaries, trauma-informed care, social enterprise, and transitional housing programs. It was extremely beneficial to hear from so many experts and experienced ministry leaders. The amount of useful information we received was overwhelming!
After lunch we got to hear from two women that Scarlet Hope has been working with for many years. Both women were kind enough to share the hardships of leaving the industry and the methods they found most helpful as they began their journey of healing and recovery. This was definitely one of the highlights of the weekend.
The conference ended with the final keynote speaker, Jeanne Allert. Jeanne is the director of The Samaritan Women, an organization based out of Baltimore that provides restorative care to survivors of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. Jeanne provided us with real and honest information about working with women in the sex industry and helped us narrow in on what our ministries should be focused on. It was a great way to end the conference.
We at Scarlet Hope are so thankful for everyone who was a part of the conference, from the speakers to the volunteers to the attendees. We hope and pray that God was glorified throughout the entire conference, and Lord willing, we’ll be doing it again next year!