Why is Rockford Ranked #2 In Illinois for Trafficking?

A recent news report claimed Rockford Ranks 2 in State in Human Trafficking.  Most of us are familiar with Chicago being known for trafficking, but why Rockford?

Traffickers will often move the women to different cities.  Sometimes they are transporting them to large events such as the Super Bowl.  Sometimes they may be on the move to avoid being noticed by law enforcement.  They may travel to another city in an effort to isolate their victims from friends and family so they are unable to reach out for help. They may even go to a different city attract new clients or recruit new women.  

Because traffickers often move their women around, the I-90 corridor is convenient to help them travel.  I-90 is known as the “Midwest Pipeline” and is used to transport victims of human trafficking across the country. With Rockford having easy access to this major interstate, it makes them a prime stop for traffickers who will move their victims from Chicago to Schaumburg to Rockford and then back to Chicago. Rockford may also provide a prime location for traffickers who are moving victims to North and South Dakota which has seen an increase in trafficking. 

Lori Johnson, Vice President of RAASE also attributes this statistic to budget cuts and the decrease in available law enforcement.  She states, "Because of the budget cuts with law enforcement, we have seen the numbers increase because they know that there is no one looking for them right now."

According to Polaris Project, trafficking happens in towns, suburbs and big cities. No demographic is immune and they have seen trafficking reported in all 50 states.

September Devotional

Jesus rose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!”

Then the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

Mark 4:39

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Jesus spoke these words, “Peace, be still!” to the raging storm that was swamping the boat He and His disciples were in.  Even the seasoned fishermen were terrified that they would perish but Jesus, was asleep in the stern of the boat.  After calming the raging storm, Jesus said to His disciples, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”  Much of life finds us in the midst of raging storms where we believe our boats will be swamped for they are already filling with water, and we are full of fear.  But as Christians, we know that Jesus is in the boat with us, and blessing of blessings, He is never sleeping! 

These raging storms of life are not unusual nor should we be surprised by their constant raging appearances.  Jesus told His disciples (and us) on the night of His betrayal, “in this world you will have trouble but take heart (have courage, exercise your faith in Me), I have overcome the world”.  

Christ is in the boat!

Jesus can calm the storms around us or calm the storms within us, and will do what is best depending on His good and perfect will.  Our part is to remember (exercise faith) that Jesus is in the boat and cry out to Him.  And we are then to take heart, exercise our faith - He sees the storm, He hears our fears, He knows how BIG the storm is for us, He is tender with our weaknesses while the storm rages, He is glad to be with us and He can do something about it.  So, in this world we surely will suffer but Jesus will be by our side.  Let us always look to our Savior, the God of love and hope who gave His life for us and not look away.  He is with us in the boat and He has power to rebuke the wind and waves, commanding them - “peace, be still”.


Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus to take away our guilt of sin and save us by grace when we put our trust in Him as Savior. Thank you that He is transcendent and at the same time intimately imminent.  Immanuel, God with us.  Please help our Refuge residents, by faith, to each put their trust in Jesus and to know the closeness of Jesus in the midst of their life storms and healing journey.  We cry out on their behalf Lord.  Please, speak peace, be still over their hearts and minds. In Jesus precious, powerful name we pray.

Taken from our September Prayer Newsletter.  If you would like to receive our monthly prayer needs please sign up here: Refuge for Women - Chicago Prayer Requests

Seeing Art in Unexpected Ways

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In one of their classes our residents are learning that even though they may not see themselves as an artist, that they can create art in so many unexpected ways.  As people made in the image of a creative God, we all have something unique to offer the world. They were asked to write a response to one of the following prompts:

  1. What would it look like for you to know you are loved and live like it is true?
  2. How looking deep into the eyes of God is art all by itself?

We thought their responses were so inspiring and wanted to share one of each with you.

What would it look like for me to know I am loved and live like it is true?

If I lived like this was true I would be able to live without limiting my abilities.  I would be able to face anything because no one would have the power to make me feel inadequate or rejected because of my relationship with Christ. He completes me.  He lets me know just how special that I am because of Him and no one can make me feel that I’m not. I would walk in light and love and live by His truth. Not the worldly view of truth.

How looking deep into the eyes of God is art all by itself?

I think that looking into the eyes of God would be so awesome that it would change me forever.  I believe that His eyes would reflect all this is, all that will be, an all yet to come.  I truly believe that looking into God’s eyes will show my soul; what God sees in me and not my outward appearance.