The Jericho Project
A Local and Global Outreach
of Covenant Life Church
The Jericho Project is a multi-phase project created to join the fight against human sex trafficking. It is a global endeavor with strong local connections and applications.
The Problem - Human sex trafficking is part of a growing problem with modern slavery. It is the fast growing criminal enterprise in the world and because of technology, no community is immune to its reach. It is also an economic machine, generating more than $30 billion annually around the globe. One of the main hubs in the United States is Atlanta, GA - only 40 miles from Covenant Life.
The Plan - We want to attack this problem in three ways:
Educate - As we continue to learn about the problem ourselves, we are also committed to helping educate our community about the global, national, and local impact of this crisis. We will highlight the risk factors and the ways we can all be more aware of the signs.
Collaborate - While we are just getting in this fight, there are organizations that have been doing this for years. We want to establish partnerships with those organizations both to learn from them and help them do what they do.
Facilitate - We are committed to leveraging our property and facilities to help in this fight.
The Current Project - Open a satellite campus on our existing property to house a Phase 2 residential program in partnership with the House of Cherith. We have a 15,000 square foot office/education facility called the Coley Building. While we do use the building for offices and for Kids and Student Ministry, the reality is it is unoccupied most of the week. We believe that in order to show our commitment to fighting human sex trafficking, we had to be willing to leverage what we currently have. Pastor John lays out that plan in this message called What's That In Your Hand? These women are in danger right now and can't wait for help while we raise money.
In July 2020, we began the process with the City of Bremen to obtain the proper zoning and meet all codes and standards necessary to house and care for these women as they are rehabilitated and restored. The program would be staffed 24 hours a day and there would be armed security in the evenings and overnight hours. The initial program would accommodate about 6 women who volunteer for the program. For answer to common questions, please visit the FAQ page.
The Future Project -
In the Old Testament, God commanded the children of Israel to occupy the Promised Land. It was God’s vision to have a nation that would demonstrate to the world who He is. It was His Kingdom and for His glory. The account of the battle of Jericho is characterized by three memorable moments: 1. The children of Israel walking around the city. 2. The walls falling down flat to give Israel access to the promise. 3. The rescue of Rahab the prostitute and her family.
We believe that God has given us a vision that is strikingly similar to God’s battle plan for Jericho. His call for all of us is to help bring His Kingdom and His will to this land. He has given us this property (and everything else) for that purpose. Currently, we have 7.5 acres of land in the heart of Bremen. On this land is a 41,000 square foot building, some of which is almost 100 years old. It contains asbestos and lead-based paint that must be abated, and much of the structure must be demolished. The largest of the buildings is in the best condition and we want to use that building to continue the fight against human sex trafficking. If possible, we'd like to open a facility that will house rescued women with their children, as there are less than 100 beds in the nation that can accommodate those cases. We also want to use some of the property to be accessible to be enjoyed by our community.
Here is how this all fits together:
We want to create a walking track that circles the property for the community to enjoy. This reflects the way the children of Israel circled the city of Jericho.
We need to see the walls fall on many of the buildings currently occupying the land, mimicking the way the children of Israel witnessed God making the walls of Jericho fall.
We want to rescue women who have been slaves to prostitution, pornography, and other commercially-exploitive sex industries. Just like the children of Israel rescued Rahab and her family, we believe the best way to rehabilitate these women is in a facility with their children, many of whom have also been enslaved.
Future Phase 1 - Abatement (approximate cost $150,000)
The initial phase would consist of the containment and removal of asbestos and lead-based paint. We already had an environmental survey done, so we know exactly where and in what quantities those hazardous materials are. The outward appearance of the buildings would not change, but it is the lynchpin for the rest of the project. We cannot move forward on any other phase of the project until this is complete. As part of this phase, we would have to temporarily patch any holes in the roof of the building we plan to keep so as to prevent further deterioration and water damage.
Future Phase 2 - Demolition (approximate cost $130,000)
Because of the cost of rehabilitating and bringing “up to code” and old facility, it is more cost effective to remove most of the existing buildings now on the property. The exception would be a large two-story building at the south end of the property. It is fiscally more reasonable to keep that one.
Future Additional Phases
Once the first two phases are completed, we would have a clean property to plan the next phases. They would include, order of completion to be determined:
Facility dedicated to addressing sex trafficking
New children’s facility adjacent to our current sanctuary
New fellowship space (with commercial kitchen) large enough to accommodate the entire church. Could also be used in the ministry to the women and their children.
Paving the parking lot according to the new site map
Creating the walking track and enhancing current recreation facilities
Depending upon the growth of the church, it may be more feasible to construct a new worship center and repurpose existing buildings to meet other needs