These are the break-out sessions and speakers that will be at JM 11 this year.

A Journey of A Lifetime: Refugee Resettlement

Charlotte Paulsen, International Christian Adoptions
Refugees each have their own unique journey.  It is unimaginable how they have fought to survive, journeyed to find a place that is safe and home, and started their lives over again and again.  Learn about how we can support, encourage, and pray for the over 26 million people around the world seeking refuge due to war, violence, and oppression.
Charlotte Paulsen is the Executive Director of International Christian Adoptions and Institute for Children’s Aid.  She has her Master’s in Social Work. She has worked at ICA for over 16 years working with families in foster care and adoptions and has developed programs for Refugee youth and children.  She is passionate about seeking the lost and bringing hope to children and families around the world.

Reducing Vulnerability to Human Trafficking

Dr. Brenda Navarrete, Director of Mental Health Services and Crisis Intervention at Alabaster Jar Project
While anyone can become a victim of human trafficking, traffickers often target victims with certain vulnerabilities.  Trafficking is often the result of years, sometimes generations of vulnerabilities that have gone unnoticed and unaddressed.  Traffickers exploit these vulnerabilities by luring victims with false promises of a better life, a relationship, or a better job opportunity.  This workshop will discuss some of the individual, interpersonal, community, and societal vulnerabilities that make someone more susceptible to human trafficking.  We will identify things we can all do to reduce vulnerability in our loved ones and in our communities in order to help prevent this problem before it begins.  

Dr. Brenda Navarrete serves as the Director of Mental Health Services and Crisis Intervention at Alabaster Jar Project, a drop-in resource center and long-term residential program for women who have survived human trafficking in San Diego County.  She is a faculty member at the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University and teaches in their Anti-Human Trafficking Certificate program.  She has promoted mental health awareness and facilitated program development in her local community and internationally in Rwanda and Honduras.  She is currently working with a team to open Esther’s House, a home for trafficked women and children in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and serves as the organization’s Director of Care and Wellness.  She served as the former president of the Inland Psychological Association and has taught graduate psychology at various universities in Southern California.  In addition to her professional career, she is a dedicated wife and mother of two children ages six and eight.

Success and Transformation Stories: Ending Trafficking One Life at a Time

Matt Robertson, Director of Relational Advancement for Agape International Missions
Girls are sold for sex every night, and this is completely unacceptable. Following God’s heart for justice, AIM is doing whatever it takes to relentlessly rescue, heal, and empower survivors of sex trafficking. When survivors are rescued and provided a safe place to heal and experience the powerful love of Christ, their lives are transformed. Not only do these girls survive,  they become abolitionists, joining us in the fight, as teachers, artisans in our employment centers, and social workers, ministering to girls just like them.

In my family, we have a saying that “hurt people hurt people,” BUT …  “Healed people help heal people” as well. This is only possible through the love of Christ! Come here stories of transformation that will inspire and encourage you as we continue to fight sex trafficking, one life at a time.

Matt a seasoned mentor, business developer, and catalyst for change has helped global organizations grow, adapt and expand. His broad career includes, Lean Process Improvement in the Software Industry, Organizational Change, Leadership Development and new partnership development for Habitat for Humanity in Uganda and World Vision US, serving as a Pastor at NorthWood Church in Texas, and later at Bayside Church in California and a Director of Business Development for a start-up company in the Construction Industry. He now serves as the Director of Relational Advancement for Agape International Missions. A Christ-centered ministry focused on fighting sex-trafficking in Cambodia, Belize and the US. He oversees a distributed global team that works with individuals, families, churches and companies to advance AIM’s mission.

He and his wife Shela, married 26 years, have two children. Matt loves surfing in the summer and snowboarding in the winter.

Becoming a Light in the Life of a Foster or Vulnerable Child

Mary Jo RamirezExecutive Director of California Family Life Center (CFLC)
Paula Thompson, California Family Life Center (CFLC)
California is home to the largest foster care population in the nation, with approximately 60,000 children and youth in foster care on any given day. There are approximately 4,000 children in Foster Care in Riverside County. The statistics surrounding youth in foster care are bleak. Only 50 percent of children in foster care graduate from high school, with less than 3 percent graduating from college. In this workshop, you will learn ways foster youth can be supported and loved by the faith-based community while in the foster care system.  The second part of the workshop includes involving volunteers to step in when crisis strikes families in the community. For many of us, we can rely on relatives and friends for support when crisis strikes. But for some parents, this is not an option, which leaves them vulnerable. Safe Families for Children® (SFFC) mobilizes a network of compassionate volunteers to circle around families in need. Host Family volunteers provide a safe, temporary home for children. This allows parents to focus on crisis situations, like homelessness, without worrying about losing parental custody.

Mary Jo Ramirez is the Executive Director of California Family Life Center (CFLC) and has worked for CFLC for 28 years. She is a graduate of La Sierra University and advocates concerning issues effecting at-risk children, youth, and families. Her experience includes being actively involved in creating opportunities for economic, social, and community development. As the Executive Director, she oversees CFLC’s Foster Family & Adoption, Short-Term Residential Treatment program, Kin Care, Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act Youth Programs, Riverside County Youth Build and the Safe Care program to assist vulnerable children, youth, and families. She is a Board Member for the Riverside County Workforce Development Board and serves on their Executive Board.   She is Collaborative Chair for the Riverside County Office of Education Perkins Career Technical Committee and is on the Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) Steering Committee for Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).

Human Trafficking 101

Debbie Martis, CEO and Founder of Rebirth Homes
Human Trafficking is a very complex issue in our day. In this workshop, we will be discussing some of the fundamental issues that surround it, defining terms, looking at root causes, and giving an overall picture of what is happening, not only around the world, but in our own backyard. We will talk about ways to combat human trafficking through education, awareness, and coming alongside survivors in their journey to help  them find complete healing and restoration.

Debbie Martis is CEO and Founder of Rebirth Homes, a non-profit that provides homes for survivors of human trafficking.  Rebirth Homes provides a long-term residential program that focuses on holistic healing – physical, mental, spiritual and emotional while providing job skills and employment for the participants.  In 2017, Rebirth Homes opened the first home in Riverside County, CA for survivors of human trafficking and since then opened a second home for transitional living in 2020.   Her journey in fighting human trafficking began in 2008 with prayer for the 27 million people being trafficked around the world.  In 2012, God gave Debbie the vision for Rebirth Homes and she has worked diligently since then to provide an opportunity for healing to survivors of human trafficking. Debbie Martis has worked in executive leadership roles in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors for the past 20+ years including 15 years of serving fulltime in ministry.  Debbie has her Master’s in Business Administration from University of Redlands, her Bachelor’s Degree in Business from California State University, San Bernardino and a Certificate in Nonprofit leadership from Azusa Pacific University.

Investigating Human Trafficking: Challenges in the Developing World

Chris Lick, Law Enforcement Advisor, Belize, Human Trafficking Institute
Investigating Human Trafficking in a third world country has its own specific challenges.  After working this year in Belize, Chris will share what trafficking looks like and the specific challenges they face as law enforcement, as well as providing services for victims.  He will also share what the Human Trafficking Institute is doing to combat human trafficking.

Chris serves in Belize as the Law Enforcement Advisor to the Belize Police Department’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit.  He assists the Unit with investigative strategies and training to enhance their capabilities to fight human trafficking within Belize.  Chris has 27 years of law enforcement experience with both local and federal agencies.  He spent most of his career conducting investigations into a variety of crimes including crimes against children, homicide, and human trafficking.  Chris has also volunteered overseas in Asia assisting other governments with human trafficking matters.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Riverside.

Fighting Human Trafficking By Shopping Fair Trade

Eva Zigre, Community Enrichment Coordinator/Resettlement Case Manager at ICA
Kelsey JohnsonICA (International Christian Adoptions)
Fair Trade helps fight against Human Trafficking by promoting family preservation and celebrating family core value legacy. Learn how fair trade and other organizations can literally help change lives. You can change lives by your daily purchases. We all shop daily, so let’s do it justly.

Eva Zigre joined ICA in November 2021. She spent the first two decades of her life in West Africa. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a Bachelor in Global Affairs. Eva is passionate about family preservation, refugee resettlement and fair trade, which will be reflected in her workshop.

Kelsey Johnson has been employed with International Christian Adoptions (ICA) since early 2018. She graduated from Calvary Chapel Bible College with an emphasis on missions and church planting. Before coming to ICA, she worked at a church planning and coordinating mission trips and later spent a year helping plant a church in NYC. Today you can find her at ICA greeting people at the front desk, scheduling clients in the counseling center, facilitating Info Meetings for new families, managing ICA's social media platforms, or managing Jubilee Exchange; ICA's fair trade store, where she researches and orders from various vendors and artisans. The goal is to confirm their fair-trade certification and verify that their mission matches that of ICA's. You can also find her at various events throughout the year selling and promoting fair-trade as a holistic way to keep families together globally.
Kelsey enjoys educating people about adoptions and fair-trade and will never turn down a good cup of coffee (fair-trade, of course).