Friend#1: I’d think twice before getting involved.
Friend#1: The psychological issues with women rescued from trafficking are deep. The healing process is long term.
My friend seemed genuinely concerned. But what I heard was that I was not qualified to be involved. And, well, on some level I believed the words my heart had read between the lines. So when invitations came to be involved, I politely declined.
And to be honest, I had my own struggle with the recent attention given to trafficking. What about all the boys and girls trapped in homes with their abusive families. Where were the concerts to raise awareness and money? Where were the special task forces set up to rescue these children? (Where did my heart finally land? Here.)
Yet, in the back of my mind the men and women of trafficking would not leave my thoughts. Stories of lives trapped in this abuse continued to tug at my heart. And invitations to be involved continued to be offered.
In May I went to an informational meeting for Freedom Place – a safe haven from child sex trafficking in the Houston area. It is the first long-term, comprehensive care facility in Texas for underage victims of domestic child sex trafficking and is one of only five such facilities in the United States. Yes, you read that right…only five.
I left with lots of new language around trafficking, stats and a greater awareness of a victim’s life. Yet besides prayer and money, I lacked a real sense of how I could be involved. With better language around all my feelings, how my experience level and who I am might fit with this cause, I was rather intrigued.
Then life got busy. June rolled around with a ministry trip to Africa and its preparations. And all that intrigue took a back burner. Until a week after I returned and Operation Cross Country made the headlines rescuing 168 children. The FBI said two juveniles were recovered in Dallas, four were rescued in Houston and six were located in San Antonio. Ten suspects have been arrested as part of the Texas cases.
I felt concern rise for the care of these children. Even more, I realized this issue and these feelings were not going to leave my heart anytime soon. What would I do with all that?
So, this past week I went to the website for Freedom Place and clicked under current needs. And I’m pretty sure there is no experience required to provide paper products or many of the other items requested on their list. One does not have to be in the thick of the healing process to be involved in providing for the many needs of these children, men and women.
Stepping out, I contacted the volunteer coordinator of Freedom Place with a brief resume of my experience. I am awaiting her call. Looking forward to how I might uniquely fit.
In a call to one of my other friends, we talked about opportunities with Redeemed Ministries in my area. She has been one to kindly invite these past two years. And boy, did she ever pique my interest with possibilities!
If your heart is stirred, how will you join this fight for freedom and healing? There seems to be so many options to engage in this battle. What keeps you from stepping out?
Me: Ohhh…I might like to do that!
Friend#2: I think it’s a good fit for you. Of course there are lots of good things to do in this world. God will show you where you fit.
Me: Yes, yes He will…
I’ll keep you posted!
Robyn Whitaker lives in Texas with her beloved husband of 32 years. She has an adventurous heart that is learning to breathe. Lover of truth, seeker of story, aspiring author and newborn dreamer, this mother of three is in search of redemption and living her Kingdom purpose. Robyn writes here.
Thought about you Sharon and you heart of compassion and mercy. We look and notice others in need. Love you so so much!
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Thanks Robyn! You are a real encouragement to get involved. We’ll see what happens for you and for me next…