The annual Rome Area Prayer Breakfast has been set for May 6, the National Day of Prayer, with 911 survivor Sujo John the keynote speaker.
The program will be held at the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds Community Building. John came to the US from India in 2001. Both he and his wife were in the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001.
John worked for a telecommunications firm on the 85th floor of the North tower while his wife was with a major financial firm on the 75th floor of the South tower. His wife, who was four months pregnant, was late for work that day and escaped the disaster.
The wing of the American Airlines flight literally pierced the building at his floor however he was able to make it down the stairwell. While he was looking for his wife on the concourse, the first tower collapsed, burying him under rubble.
He was pulled out by an FBI agent, who ran back into the second tower and died when it collapsed.
Since that time, John founded YouCanFreeUS, an organization that fights international human trafficking. The organization operates safe houses, training centers and strategic intervention hubs in the U.S., Canada, UK, Poland, India and Norway.
The majority of his presentation is expected to focus on the human trafficking issue.
John got involved with the fight against human trafficking during a trip home to India.
“I saw this Red Light District that was a mile and a half in length with 37,000 sex workers on that one street,” John said. “One of them grabbed my arm and said if you really want to help me, get me out of here.”
Atlanta is a hotbed for child trafficking, he said.
“Traffickers now realize that there is more money trafficking human beings than there is to sell drugs because a human can be sold and resold,” John said.
Nathan and Jane Phillips, founders of Battlefield Ministries will receive the Hugh Burnes Christian Service Award during the May 6 breakfast.
The purpose of the annual Prayer Breakfast is to bring people of all religious persuasion to pray for the nation, Rome and Floyd County and individual families. Speakers encourage ethics in the community, raise awareness of important issues, and challenge participants to make a difference through prayer.
Breakfast will be provided by Chick-fil-A and Lumina Coffee Co.
Complimentary tickets are also available until April 26th at the following locations: Bert Brooks Tire, Chicken Salad Chick, Duffy’s Deli, Haven Health Clinic, Lumina Coffee Co., River City Bank, Seven Hills Salon, SweetFrog premium frozen yogurt, Whistle Britches and Winslette Pharmacy.