One hundred women from across Kansas gathered in Hesston, Kans., in February for the Women’s Extravaganza to celebrate the redemptive work of God in women’s lives. Using an oak tree as a metaphor (Isaiah 61:3), we explored ideas that can assist women with reaching their relational networks for Christ. We are attempting to develop women through roots (developing deep relationships with each other), shoots (growing through an organic relationship with Christ), and fruits (influencing the world around us with the truth and grace of Jesus Christ).

A special emphasis was placed on bringing biblical justice to the problem of sex trafficking in the state of Kansas. I-35 and I-70 are main thoroughfares through which trafficking occurs. Wichita is the number one city in America where this takes place.

Deb Kluttz, executive pastor at Westview Community Church, in Manhattan, Kans., and director of The Homestead, a ministry extension of Westview and a safe and residential house for women, spoke about the trafficking issue. Rev. Kluttz told what the church is doing to help women gain the confidence and develop marketable skills that helps them leave an enslaved life. Two women who have been empowered to leave the sex industry told their stories of how God has transformed their lives and how they have been liberated from the chains of slavery.

As the day developed, women brainstormed on how each church’s women’s ministry could bring transforming hope to their communities and churches. In upcoming weeks, regional prevention awareness meetings will be scheduled in collaboration with city officials, teachers, law enforcement, and others to specifically develop understanding and strategies regarding girls and women who are trafficked.