It all started with a sleepover. Six years ago, three high school students stayed up late dreaming about what they could do to fight human trafficking. They planned a cookout to raise money to fight human trafficking.
Now, they lead Save Our Sisters, a non-profit dedicated to this cause. They’ve also written a book to share their passion with others in the church.
Brianna Copeland is one of the founders of Save Our Sisters. We had the pleasure of sitting down to talk about Save Our Sisters, human trafficking and their new book.
How did Save Our Sisters (the organization) begin, and why did you write Save Our Sisters (the book)?
Save Our Sisters began as a youth group cookout. We wanted to act, to do something, in response to learning about the atrocities of human trafficking. Our goal was to have an event that would raise a couple hundred dollars to send to an organization already at work fighting against human trafficking. We didn’t intend to begin our own ministry. However, the Lord had different plans. He took our one-time cookout across the state with speaking opportunities and across the ocean with our partner ministry, Moldova Mission.
About three years into the ministry, with the help of one of our ministry mentor Dr. Alvin Reid, we decided that putting our story in print would further our desire to equip students to walk in obedience and faith, to raise funds to fight trafficking, and to remember what the Lord has done in his faithfulness — much like how the Israelites named certain places or made alters to the Lord to mark his faithfulness to them.
What biblical principles guide you as you fight human trafficking?
Save Our Sisters is built on the call to seek justice we find in Scripture. Since the night we first dreamed about our cookout, the Lord has grounded our ministry in the promises found in Isaiah 61. There, we see the Lord revealing his heart as one who preaches good news to the poor, binds up the brokenhearted, proclaims liberty to captives and opens prisons to those who are bound. The Lord is the one who comforts those who mourn, makes beauty from ashes and makes praise from a place of despair — all so that those whom he loves will become oaks of righteousness, deeply rooted to magnify his glory and pleasure.
This picture of the Lord given by Isaiah and manifested in Christ (Luke 4) is where we find our desire for ministry. We know that these things are true of the Lord, and because we are in Christ, we can take part in these things by the work of the Holy Spirit in us. Our call to walk in justice comes straight from the heart of our God — justice is who he is, and if we are to be like Christ, we must walk in justice.
Human trafficking seems like such a daunting problem. What are some practical ways we can do something to help?
Human trafficking can be an overwhelming problem when you think of the sheer numbers involved. But the Lord doesn’t care about generic numbers; he cares about individual people. He wants to step into life right where they are and bring good news that transforms hearts and brings the dead to life. This is the work we are called to as well. We are not called to be greater than our Master, trying to eradicate a whole social justice crisis on our own. Rather, we are called to love those whom the Lord puts in front of us. We change lives one life at a time, with much prayer, time and investment. We are continually reminding ourselves of this truth: Ministry flourishes only when deeply rooted in patience and faithfulness.
Practically, prayer is the best tool we have in the fight against trafficking. We encourage those who desire to be involved to start by dedicating one day a week to pray for justice to come internationally, on earth as it is in heaven. Start with this act of investment and faithfulness and wait for the Lord to give you greater guidance in how he has prepared ways for you to walk in justice.
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