Run for Freedom holds special meaning for Lantana resident
Written by Barbara Sisk
Sunday, 08 July 2012 22:00
Bringing beauty out of ashes is the underlying theme of an international movement based in southern Denton County that rescues women out of forced prostitution by providing them homes, rehabilitation and care.
Sujo John, a Lantana resident and founder of YouCanFree.US, knows firsthand what the scripturally based verse means. As a survivor of 9/11 in New York, John has made it his life’s mission to put his faith into practice after experiencing and— literally emerging out of ashes from the most horrific experience of his life.
The nonprofit was organized by John three years ago as an extension of his Sujo John Ministries to address the social issue of human trafficking. After drug dealing, human trafficking (both sex trafficking and trafficking for forced labor) is the second largest criminal industry in the world today. It is also the fastest growing.
Proceeds from the 5K Run for Freedom, which will be held at Flower Mound High School on Saturday, Sept. 29, will benefit the Rahab Center for Hope in New Delhi, India which is owned and operated by YouCanFree.US.
The center, located in one of the biggest red light districts in the world on G. B. Road in New Delhi, strives to rescue women from the cycle of exploitation by providing them a safe place to recover where they receive legal, medical, spiritual and emotional support.
John said the center operates in conjunction with local authorities and has been successful in freeing many women victimized by sex trafficking.
John, who brings his Christian message of hope to audiences all over the world, said that he was shocked and appalled at what he witnessed when he visited the red light district in New Delhi this past year with eight other mission members.
“It was just a picture of hell on planet earth,” John said. “It was hard to witness for me as a man and the others as well. Seeing the darkness and brokenness just messed us up.”
Kari Dingler who is the Ambassador for YouCanFree.US said it was very difficult to see the degradation that results from sex trafficking.
“It’s one of the worst things I have ever seen. When we came home we could not get it out of our minds. You can’t just do nothing. You can’t just go there and have girls saying ‘please take me out’ and you have nowhere to take them in India,” Dingler said.
John said that the problem of human trafficking is a global problem and that shortly after his trip to New Delhi he travelled to the Ukraine and witnessed the same problem.
If you would like to participate in the 5K Run or sponsor the Run for Freedom click on www.youcanfree.us. Registration forms can be located on the left hand banner under the “run” icon. Contributions can be made to:
P O Box 271596
Flower Mound, Texas 75027
Phone: (940) 725-3200