Austin’s 2018 Citywide Good Friday Service to Help The Refuge for DMST Complete Construction of The Refuge Ranch for Child Sex Trafficking Survivors

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Service Expected to be Austin’s Largest Faith-based Event

Construction at The Refuge Ranch

We are moving the needle on some incredible difficult issues that cause so much pain in our community.

An expected crowd of 15-thousand will gather at the University of Texas’ Frank Erwin Center March 30, 2018 at 6:00 pm CST to hear faith leaders from more than a dozen area churches, a 100-voice choir and the critically acclaimed Newsboys. Tickets are free, but funds raised at the historic event will help The Refuge for DMST™ (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking) (http://therefugeaustin.org) finish construction of The Refuge Ranch, a long-term, residential, therapeutic community for girls, minors through age 19, who have been rescued out of sex trafficking.

This is the ninth year the non-profit Serve Our city (https://serveourcity.com) will bring churches from all over the Austin area together for a citywide worship service and to give back to a community need. Child sex trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the United States, and a recent University of Texas study reveals that Texas today has almost 79,000 minors and youth victims of sex trafficking. While Texas is the second worst in the nation for reported number of victims, the state currently only has 24 beds available for their long-term recovery. Money raised at this year’s service will help The Refuge for DMST’s first facility open this summer with 48 beds. “We were blessed to experience Austin’s big-hearted response two years ago during the first Good Friday service at the Frank Erwin Center when so many heard about child sex trafficking for the first time,” said Brooke Crowder, Founder and CEO of The Refuge for DMST. “That outpouring of prayer and financial support from the faith community contributed directly to ground-breaking construction out at The Refuge Ranch that spring. It’s exciting that Austin’s big hearts helped pour the first slabs and now they will help us open the gates for the first group of survivors this summer.”

Through the annual citywide Good Friday service, Austin’s faith-based community has given more than $1-million to non-profits including AIDS Services of Austin, the Capital Area Food Bank and Mobile Loaves and Fishes. Faith leaders want this year’s event to bring even more hope and financial help to combat a growing community problem. “The people of Austin, Texas are incredibly generous,” said LifeAustin Church Pastor Randy Phillips. “When they see a need and they see a plan, they’ll respond. We are moving the needle on some incredible difficult issues that cause so much pain in our community.”

What: Citywide Good Friday Service
When: Friday, March 30, 2018 6:00 pm CST
Where: University of Texas’ Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River St., Austin, TX 78701

About Newsboys
Multiple Dove Award winners and GRAMMY nominated Newsboys have Helped define the sound of Christian music for more than two decades. Their high-energy live performances and string of mega-hit singles, including “God’s Not Dead,” “We Believe,” and “Born Again,” continue to make the band one of the genre’s most iconic artists Newsboys.(https://newsboys.com)

About The Refuge for DMST™
The Refuge for DMST™ (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking) is developing The Refuge Ranch, a long-term, residential, therapeutic community for 48 girls, minors through age 19, who have been rescued out of sex trafficking. Located on 50 acres in a beautiful and restorative setting outside of Austin, TX, The Refuge Ranch will provide trauma-informed, holistic care for the girls on-site, including: a University of Texas Charter School program, a community partner-staffed medical clinic and various therapeutic programs uniquely designed for the development of a child survivor. When open, The Refuge Ranch will be one of the only long-term, live-in rehabilitation facilities for child survivors of sex trafficking in the United States. For more information, go to http://www.therefugedmst.org.

Twitter: @goodfridayatx
FB: Serve Our City
Instagram: serveourcity

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Leslie Rhode

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