Saskatoon Group Fights Human Trafficking
exposed and their power diminished….we
need to address the log in our own eye.”
Saskatoon ACTS is divided into three teams
– prayer, awareness and action.
“Sitting around and talking is good,” says Ben Bernard,
duty staff co-ordinator at Teen Challenge in Saskatoon (www.
teenchallenge.ca) and co-ordinator of the action team. “But at
some point you have to act.”
Part of ACTS’ action plan includes awareness events like
a Polar Bear Dip fundraiser that saw eight people taking the
plunge into the frigid waters of an outdoor pool, raising aware-
ness and over $2000 for International Justice Mission Canada
( www.ijm.ca), an organization that fights human trafficking.
ACTS recently held a letter-writing to Members of Parliament campaign, encouraging them to crack down on human
trafficking by creating provincial and federal laws protecting
those at risk.
“We’re letting people know we care about these issues,”
Bernard says. “That’s powerful.” FT –Steve Sukkau
Ben Bernard of Saskatoon acTS
recently organized a Polar dip to raise
awareness and funding to fight human
anew multi-denominational organization in Saska- toon is helping the Church understand the local and worldwide epidemic of human trafficking – and offering Christians an opportunity to take action.
Saskatoon AC TS is a group of Christian activists gathered
together to fight sex trafficking by fostering communication
and co-operation among the Christian community
in their prairie city. Some of the churches involved
include Cornerstone Church, Lawson Heights Alliance, Holy Covenant and City Centre Church.
Gil Klassen, AC TS founder and director of Saskatoon Youth for Christ, says he’s seen God stirring
many hearts for the victims of prostitution and human trafficking.
“We are living in a modern-day Good Samaritan
scenario,” Klassen says. He wonders if religious people
will sidestep around the victims of prostitution, or help
make a difference?
ACTS’ first goal is education and awareness, and
properly equipping Christians to act on this issue,
Klassen explained. He believes better communication with
the public and increased collaboration with the Church and
government is key.
“We have to be educated and aware of all the issues before
we act,” he says.
The group meets on a monthly basis, listening to the stories of police, former prostitutes and others to get the facts
straight, and relaying that information to their own church
Klassen says a disturbing element to this story is the number of Christian men who are picking up girls on the streets.
“I really believe that to make a big impact on modern-day
slavery and sex trafficking, we need the hearts of men to
change, beginning in the Church,” Klassen says. “We need
more pastors to address both these issues openly and honestly. And we believe as we bring them into the light they will be
PHOTO: JOHN TELGMANN