From Pastor’s Desk

Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk

We had an important coffee hour on World communion Sunday: Andrea Reynolds talked to us about human trafficking, and how it affects places in New Jersey where many of us would not have suspected it: Rural communities, large sports events and even military bases.For many of us, Andrea’s PowerPoint presentation presented a new reality, one that makes the familiar places of our world shine in a different light. Here are some of the grim data she shared:

  • Human trafficking appears in two forms, sex trafficking and labor trafficking.
    Common to both is that they are forms of modern slavery.
  • In 2014, slave traders earned $32 billion worldwide.
  • Today, approximately 30 million people live in slavery across the world.
  • A study from a non-profit agency (A Heart for Justice) shows that a human trafficker can earn annually up to $200,000 per victim.
  • Frequent places of human trafficking include international airports, major highways, and professional sports teams.
  • The FBI estimates that currently 100,000 youth are being trafficked in the U.S.; the average age of entry is 12-14.
  • Super Bowl is the most important trafficking event in the U.S.

Andrea came to us as representative of “RESTORE ONE”, a non-profit group with the mission to help boys – the male victims of human trafficking. The agency is building a Christ-centered safe-home for boys, the first of its kind in the United States.

Andrea suggested several ways by which we can become involved: Spread the word, become a partner, consider an internship, buy fair-trade, host an event, and reach the youth were a few of them. Important is also to have the following phone numbers:
911 Local Law Enforcement
1.888.373.7888 Human Trafficking Hotline
1.855.363.6548 NJ Human Trafficking Coalition

If you missed Andrea’s presentation, there will be a second chance: Andrea will come back to First Reformed Church to teach the First Wednesday’s Adult Education Class in December. We hope to see you there.

When? December 2, 2015, 7:00-9:00PM
Where? Fellowship Hall on 9 Bayard Street

Hope to see you there!

With fond wishes, Pastor Hartmut

About Rev. Dr. Hartmut Kramer-Mills

Hartmut Kramer-Mills, a native of Jena, Germany, began his theological education at Heidelberg University. After the Middle Exam in 1986 he received a scholarship from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches for McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He graduated from McCormick with a Master of Divinity in 1988. He graduated from Marburg University in Germany with the Ecclesiastical Exam in 1990, and received a Dr. theol. from Greifswald University, Germany, in 1997. From 1990 to 1991 he was vicar at St. Wenzel in Naumburg, Germany. He was ordained minister of word and sacrament in 1993 through the Protestant Church of the Church Province of Saxony. From 1993 to 1998 he served as assistant pastor in Stoessen, Goerschen, and Rathewitz, Germany. At the same time he was lecturer for Church History at Erfurt College in Germany. From 1999 to 2000 he served the Spotswood Reformed Church in New Jersey as interim pastor. Since 2000 he and his wife serve the First Reformed Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey, as co-pastors.
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