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Texas Prays to End Human Trafficking

State

First Lady Cecilia Abbott speaks about GRACE in 2021 | Image by Gov. Greg Abbott/YouTube

The Week of Prayer to End Human Trafficking in Texas is being held for the third annual year by the Governor’s Response Against Child Exploitation (GRACE) initiative.

The week of prayer lasts from January 9 to January 15 and was announced on January 5 by First Lady Cecilia Abbott in a press release.

This week also coincides with Texas’ Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

The week of prayer will kick off on January 9 at 7 p.m. CT with a Facebook event. There will be remarks from the First Lady and Stephanie Muth, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Commissioner. The launch event will also feature a faith leader panel discussion and a prayer, according to the press release.

Faith leaders who will be part of the kickoff include Father James Misko, the vicar general of the Catholic Diocese of Austin; Rabbi Neil Blumofe, the senior rabbi at Congregation Agudas Achim in Austin; Pastor Jay Abernathy, the senior pastor at Faith Baptist Church Woodville; and Pastor Mosley Hobson, the senior pastor at Greater St. John’s and New Zion Church of God in Christ. Hobson will also represent the Texas Southwest Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, which is under the leadership of Bishop P.E. Bryant.

Each day for the Week of Prayer has a daily intention.

These days and their intentions, according to the press release, are:

  • “Monday, January 9 – Pray for all those currently being exploited to find safety and healing.
  • Tuesday, January 10 – Pray for all those who are vulnerable to receive the help, love, and support necessary to meet their needs and not fall victim to human trafficking.
  • Wednesday, January 11 – Pray for an end to demand and societal factors that normalize exploitation.
  • Thursday, January 12 – Pray for protection from online dangers and for caregivers to be equipped to keep their children safe.
  • Friday, January 13 – Pray for Texans to have the courage and skills to speak up and intervene when they see behavior that puts others at risk.
  • Saturday, January 14 – Pray for every child to have access to safe, supportive mentors and role models.
  • Sunday, January 15 – Pray for discernment on the actions you can personally take to prevent human trafficking.”

Texans are also encouraged to wear blue on January 11. This is to recognize the National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness; the press release shares. Support on social media can be shown through the #TXPraysToEndHT hashtag.

The GRACE initiative was first launched in 2019. It is a collaboration that includes the Governor’s Child Sex Trafficking Team, the Office of the Texas First Lady, and a group of faith leaders across the state.

“As an integral part of GRACE’s efforts, the Week of Prayer to End Human Trafficking brings hope and healing to survivors as we work to stop this horrific crime,” First Lady Abbott shared. “This week, and every week, I invite Texans of all faiths to join us in prayer and action to eradicate human trafficking.”

Other faith leaders who will be part of the kickoff event for the week include Imam Islam Mossaad, the imam for North Austin Muslim Community Center, and Dr. Mia K. Wright, the co-pastor and executive director of ministry at The Fountain of Praise in Houston.

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