Sawdust flew around members of Bethel Church on Thursday as they gathered in an empty horse barn in Kennewick.
They lugged and lifted sheets of plywood and nailed them together in what in about six months will become modules for an exhibit on the human slave trade.
Members of the church are working to raise awareness about human trafficking and how it affects lives in the Tri-Cities and around the globe.
The exhibit, planned to be unveiled in May during a "Justice Weekend" at the Richland church, will tell the story of different facets of the human trafficking trade.
Each module will represent a different country and a different human trafficking issue facing that country's citizens -- sex trafficking in the United States, for example, or children being forced to serve as soldiers in war-torn African or Asian nations.
"The entire exhibit is designed so it can be pulled apart and stuck in a trailer (to travel)," said Jessica MacFarlan, one of the exhibit's organizers.
MacFarlan said it's inspired by the World Vision Experience: AIDS exhibit that came to Bethel Church in 2008.
That exhibit led visitors through a 2,400-square-foot replica of an African village where they learned the stories of three children -- Mathabo, Kombo and Babirye -- who had been affected by HIV in their homes in sub-Saharan Africa
Like the AIDS exhibit, visitors to Sold: The Human Trafficking Experience will be provided with audio that tell the stories of people affected by human trafficking around the world.
MacFarlan said the church will have listening devices ready but also will provide an MP3 to anyone with a smartphone that can play the files.
Krista Hanson, another church member, said the idea came from a few Bethel members whose hearts had been stricken by the stories they'd heard about human trafficking, including right in their own backyards.
Human trafficking is, in effect, modern-day slavery in which people -- including children -- are sold into forced labor, prostitution, debt bondage or forced marriages through fraud or coercion.
It's been a crime in Washington since 2003, and the Legislature gradually has added more teeth to the state's anti-trafficking laws.
Hanson said Bethel Church has a group that meets monthly and discusses ways the church can raise awareness about human trafficking and try to take some action to stop it.
The exhibit is just one of several events the group has planned.
Other upcoming events include documentary showings and a visit by a couple that runs a safehouse for trafficking victims in Cambodia. Dates for those events are to be determined.
Although they're not formally connected to the Tri-Cities Coalition To Stop Human Trafficking -- a group started by Soroptomist clubs a few months ago -- they hope to work with the coalition on some community education and training, MacFarlan said.
Tricia MacFarlan, leader of the church's anti-trafficking group, said that education starts with telling people how their lives are touched by human trafficking -- sometimes in ways they don't realize, such as the products they buy being made by people sold into forced labor.
"If we know it and see it, we can start making changes," she said.