My name is Kyla Kennedy and I had the honor of speaking at the services at Mountainview church last weekend (Feb. 7-8). I spoke about a fundraiser that I have started to raise funds and awareness to end sex trafficking. I planned on accomplishing this dream by having a goal to raise $7,000 for an organization called Rapha House. Rapha House works to rehabilitate young girls saved from sex trafficking. They do this by mending their broken minds and bodies, as well as share the truth about Jesus’ love to them.

I was asked to recap this past weekend on everything that happened. First of all, I would just like to thank this congregation. I knew before going onto that stage that Mountainview had a warm, friendly heart. Although I didn’t fully understand how warm and friendly before I looked out into the sea of faces. You see, I am not the best public speaker. I usually stutter, ramble or have a hard time catching my breath. Now don’t get me wrong, it is not like any of these things happened this past weekend because I can guarantee you, they did. Because of the tender smiles of this congregation and with God’s help, the frequency of these halts in my speech was greatly declined. When I was up on that stage, Jesus held my hand and helped me get my words out, while everyone listening seemed to care what I was talking about. It is a lot easier to tell about something that is very dear to one’s heart when he or she can tell that the viewers have an open mind to the topic, and want to learn. In fact, they cared so much that I reached my goal of $7,000 this past weekend!

Not only that though, but I more than doubled it! Just from offerings, Mountainview church was able to raise $12,350.57! Additionally, about $1,500 was given after the services on my online fundraiser site, and one of the attendees at our church was also able to raise an extra $1,100 after she heard me talk about this amazing cause! God is so great, it is still hard for me to believe that we raised about $15,000 total within one weekend. Our church can accomplish so much because we care, and we want to make a change in this heartbroken world.

Even though this congregation was able to exceed my goal of $7,000 through God’s grace and their giving hearts, I am not going to just wrap up the fundraiser there. In fact, I am planning on meeting with my youth pastor, Chris Phelps, in about a week to discuss ways to further this fundraiser. This fundraiser I have started is yearlong.

Consequently, I am not going to stop raising funds and awareness until the last day. Since these girls currently do not have a voice, I want to continue to be one of their advocates.

Once again, I would like to share my gratitude I have towards Mountainview. Thank you senior pastor Ken Hensley for giving me the opportunity to speak; and thank you to all of the members of our church who have given, spread the word, or prayed. You are the reasons that these young girls get a second chance on a happy life.

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