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Wyoming Woman Rides to End Human Trafficking »
Riding sometimes a mule, sometimes a donkey from the border of Montana across Wyoming to the border of Colorado, Karen Fettig's goal was to raise awareness about human trafficking. As founder of the non-profit, Beneath Our Wings, an organization dedicated to ending human trafficking in Wyoming and elsewhere, Fettig began her journey of more than 1,000 miles, no small venture, on June 30.
The challenges she faced added to the once-in-a-lifetime adventure. She was rewarded by many divine appointments and the promise of a morning radio program to highlight the plight of trafficked people.
"It was unnerving to be riding a donkey on the side of the road with hundreds of vehicles going by at 70 miles per hour," said Fettig, and the donkeys and mules presented their own obstacles during the ride. like when they had to stop and ponder things or just decided they were done for the day. She faced severe weather, illness, wind, and injury, but Fettig and her team persevered.
Feeling called to Medicine Bow, but not knowing why, Fettig discovered there that a plan is in place for more than1,000 workers to descend on the town to build a wind generator field next year. These little communities, Medicine Bow and Hanna, will be overwhelmed, sadly providing opportunity for human trafficking. Now, following Fettig's visit, there is a community of people who know how to identify human trafficking and what to do when they see it.
Other opportunities arose to educate the people of Wyoming on human trafficking. She participated in the Ten Sleep Fourth of July parade, distributing information wherever she could. In one town, she gave brochures to the medical clinics, libraries, law enforcement, and recreation center.
On the last day of the ride, Fettig describes a beautiful Friday morning with flowers in full bloom on the mountain south of Laramie, glowing in colors of blue and purple. The air was crisp and clean. Horns honked in recognition or appreciation and Sheyenne, an older molly mule, led April, who was bearing a banner draped over a pack saddle that stated, "Stop Human Trafficking!"
Sheyenne covered ground in a fast stride reaching the Colorado/Wyoming border and the waiting horse trailer bearing four flags. Waving proudly in the breeze was the flag of the United States, the Wyoming state flag, and the Wyoming Against Human Trafficking and Beneath Our Wings ministry flags.
Praying about the next step, Fettig is currently training motel, hotel, and convenience store clerks to recognize signs of human trafficking.
If you would like to help, you can contribute to Beneath Our Wings, a nonprofit organization dependent on your support toward raising awareness of and fighting to end human trafficking in Wyoming and elsewhere. To donate, go to http://beneathourwings.com/donate/.
RMCNews with Karen Fettig and Samantha Nelson; photos supplied