A Jemison church is inviting the community to attend a weekend rodeo with a purpose.
Friday evening, there were bulls ready to be ridden, calves ready to be roped and cowgirls and boys ready to ride.
The Rescue 1 Rodeo, hosted by the Amazing Grace Worship Center, will benefit the Rescue 1 Mission. The non-profit works worldwide to bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking in the hopes of eradicating the problem.
"We have rescued children as early as four years old. They are abused in a way that is unimaginable, that is uncomprehensible," Lacy Tolar said.
Lacy Tolar and her husband formed Rescue 1, the Nashville, Tenn.-based faith based organization.
"Basically there are two categories. We say 20 percent is labor-based human trafficking and the other 80 percent has to do with sex trade or sex trafficking," Tolar said.
Rescue 1 has rescued 150 children and put them into safe houses in Laos and Tailand. Proceeds from the rodeo will go to create an educational center in southeast Asia and even purchase children to keep them out of the sex trade.
"I really feel like this is close to God's heart. It's really an injustice that He doesn't want to put up with any longer and neither do we," Genia Blankenship said.
"There are currently 32 million people in the world today [in human trafficking]. We know we can't reach all 32 million but that is how Rescue One got its name. One at a time we are helping," Tolar said.
The church hopes to raise $20,000 this weekend. The rodeo will be held today, Friday, August 24 and Saturday, August 25 at Ray's Arena off Chilton County Road 191 in Jemison. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the events will begin at 8 p.m. Children under 5 years get in free, tickets for children 6 -12 years are $10 and adult tickets are $15.
The family-friendly event will feature food, games and vendors in addition to the rodeo.
According to Rescue 1, America is the number one consumer of human trafficking, which is estimated to generate $42 billion in revenue each year. To learn more about Rescue 1, please visit rescue1mission.com.
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