(405) 425-5070

Reader feedback: Is your church involved in the fight against human trafficking?

Cosmetology instructor Prabina Shiwakoti gives Linda Egle a henna tattoo at a safe house in southern Nepal. (Photo by Erik Tryggestad)

Now online, “A mission of hands and feet,” a report from my recent trip to Nepal with four members of the Highland Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas. Two of them work for Eternal Threads, an Abilene-based nonprofit that sells fair-trade items crafted by women in a dozen countries.

Jonathan Storment gets a pedicure at a safe house in southern Nepal. (Photo by Erik Tryggestad)

In Nepal, Eternal Threads partners with a Nepali-operated nonprofit, Kingdom Investments Nepal, that fights the scourge of human trafficking — young girls lured from their villages, taken across the border into India, and sold into lives of slavery in brothels.
You’ll also find a gallery with photos not included in our print edition.
Though I’ve traveled internationally for The Christian Chronicle for a decade, the journey to Nepal was unique.
I’m used to covering gospel campaigns, medical mission trips and dedication ceremonies for new schools and clinics. I’ve shot photos in a mountain village in Ecuador, a crowded home Bible study in India and a thatch-roof church building in Sudan.
But this was my first beauty salon.
Our team took photos and videos of young women — rescued from human traffickers — as they practiced waxing each other’s arms. We also partook of the salon’s services. Linda Egle, Eternal Threads’ founder, got a henna tattoo while Jennifer Patterson, an Eternal Threads staffer, received an eyebrow plucking through a method called “threading.” It did not look fun. (The things women subject themselves to … amazing.)

Jonathan Storment inspects Erik Tryggestad’s haircut. (Photo by Linda Egle)

Jonathan Storment, the Highland church’s minister, boldly stepped forward to receive a pedicure. I made sure to get pictures. (A few weeks ago I posted on Facebook: “I’m processing close-up photos of Jonathan Storment’s feet … and wondering how my life came to this.”)
The girls asked if there was anything they could do for me. I actually had forgotten to get a haircut before I left the U.S., so they obliged, and did a great job.
If you’re interested in joining the fight against human trafficking, Eternal Threads is looking for volunteers to host “Gatherings” — retreats and get-togethers where people can share the nonprofit’s story and provide a marketplace for its products. Follow this link for more information on hosting a Gathering.
Is your congregation, ministry or school involved in the global fight against human trafficking? Please share the details.
Here’s a trailer for a film about Kingdom Investments Nepal, the Nepali nonprofit that partners with Eternal Threads. It will give you a feel for how workers with the nonprofit intercept potential human traffickers.

Border Girls – Trailer from Eternal Threads on Vimeo.
And here’s a video produced by Matt Pinson about Eternal Threads’ work in Nepal.

Eternal Threads from Highland Church on Vimeo.

  • Feedback
    How can the women at Gulf Coast Church of Christ in Ft. Myers, FL, get involved with this? I’ve bought several things from Eternal Threads when I see their booths at lectureships. Maybe the women from our congregation can help. They’re very active and very giving. Thanks, Anita
    Anita Romeo
    August, 16 2012

    Anita: You can call or e-mail Linda Egle or any of the folks at Eternal Threads to find out more about hosting a Gathering. I’m sure they’d love to get you on board. Here’s their contact info:
    PHONE: (325) 672-6000
    TOLL FREE: 1-888-487-4549
    E-MAIL:<a href=”mailto:[email protected]” rel=”nofollow”>[email protected]</a>
    Erik Tryggestad
    August, 16 2012

Filed under: News Extras Photos and Videos

Don’t miss out on more stories like this.

Subscribe today to receive more inspiring articles like this one delivered straight to your inbox twice a month.

Did you enjoy this article?

Your donation helps us not only keep our quality of journalism high, but helps us continue to reach more people in the Churches of Christ community.

Personal Info

Dedicate this Donation

In Honor/Memory of Details

Card Notification Details

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Billing Details

Donation Total: $3 One Time