Restoration: It’s Possible
One of the purposes of Human Trafficking Awareness month is to draw our attention to the exploitation of women, men, girls, and boys. While a month of awareness is certainly beneficial, the crime of human trafficking occurs year-round. Many of us are horrified by the atrocities occurring on an international, national, and local scale. It can be difficult to hear stories of unspeakable pain. While it is true there is trauma and heartache, restoration also resides within the shards of loss. Have you ever wondered what restoration looks like? Maybe you have questioned if healing is even possible.
There are certainly days when darkness seems so pervasive that hope is shrouded in a relapse, a return to an abusive partner, or a disappearance into the shadowy online world of the adult entertainment industry. On those days, it can become easy to ask, “Is wholeness an elusive dream? Does serving local women who experience commercial sexual exploitation make a difference?” The purpose of this post is to offer encouragement with a glimpse into one woman’s journey to wholeness. Her life continually demonstrates that restoration is possible.
An unlikely group of congregants – pastors, former prostitutes and strippers, a computer programmer, a medical insurance billing representative, a writer, a bilingual insurance claim representative, a worship leader, an executive director of a nonprofit organization – gathered to celebrate a young woman’s formalized healing journey. Together, they consumed fried chicken, and took turns submerging a stainless steel ladle into a crockpot’s warm comfort of macaroni and cheese. They laughed, exchanged exaggerated stories, tossed decorative glitter into empty water glasses, and passed pink plates of cake.
As the group celebrated, the story of the woman’s exploitation ran parallel in stark comparison. In a far more somber encounter, two Peace Promise volunteers stood shivering in less-than 30 degree temperatures and gusty winds. They were waiting for a woman to emerge from a commercial line bus. Once her feet graced the pavement, she was embraced, and nestled under a volunteer’s chin. She arrived with a single backpack and a plaid wool blanket. Her tour through hell abruptly ended when she narrowly escaped from a violent trafficker.
Now, on a Sunday afternoon, the group applauded and watched with wet and wide eyes the miraculous hand of the Holy One upon a beloved daughter. She received affirmations from the restoration program’s founder and a certificate documenting her well-earned accomplishments. The gold foil embossed paper could never adequately communicate the rigorous work she completed to attend classes, acquire a new job, and begin healing from a lifetime of pain. She radiated under affirming words and tenderly softened while placing a shimmering “She Believed She Could, So She Did” bracelet on her wrist. A community of women and men surrounded her in a group photo. Each face testified to the collective strength of Christ’s body working together on one another’s behalf. Each arm woven over and through the other reflected the ebb and flow of mutuality – strength intermingled with weakness. Each life saturated with stories of astounding restoration marked by the Holy One’s inexhaustible grace. Worship and tears overflowed as a daughter stood before her community beaming with dignity and a vision for her future.
Human trafficking can seem so ubiquitous that abolition efforts appear pointless. Exploitation occurs far more frequently than even the staggering statistics convey. Yet, we are not without hope and will persist through difficulty and celebration.
Wondering how you can help recover hope and strengthen lives in the Central Pennsylvania Region?
Peace Promise is an organization founded on prayer. We invite you to remember the people who serve and are served by Peace Promise. If you would like to pray with others, you are warmly welcomed to attend First Friday Prayer held each month at Mechanicsburg Brethren in Christ Church at 7 pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Attend the Annual For Love & Freedom Benefit Dinner | March 6th @ 6 – 9 pm
Join the Peace Promise team on Friday, March 6th at Mechanicsburg Brethren in Christ Church for this annual event. The evening will feature a delicious dinner and dessert, a keynote address by Kelly Master, author of Shine – Uplifting Words for Girls in Stilettos, and a personal message from a local survivor. Change Purse and Soaps by Survivors will have items available for purchase in the lobby before and after the dinner. Tickets are $30 per person. A table sponsorship includes eight tickets and is $250. Tickets and table sponsorships are available online at the link below:
For Love & Freedom Tickets
Donate and Become a Hope Giver
Each person has unique needs and circumstances and we have the opportunity to share not only the unending love of Jesus with them, but the promise, the HOPE of new life that comes from knowing Him and being equipped through the Body of Christ. A Hope Giver is an individual who helps support this mission by committing to a monthly financial donation. We invite you to prayerfully consider which monthly level of giving is right for you:
Healing level is a monthly commitment of $25. Your gift can help women begin to heal from the physical, emotional, and spiritual pain caused by involvement in the commercial sex industry.
Opportunity makers give $50 each month. Your gift provides access to life skills, employment training, and support services. Women gain confidence and the skills needed to transition into a life free from exploitation.
Peace givers donate $100 per month and offer women access to the services and support during times of crisis. Examples include: temporary safe housing, emergency car repairs, an unexpected high utility bill, or child custody legal fees. Your gift creates a safety net so women do not have to return to the commercial sex industry.
Empowerment supporters donate $250 per month to offset costs associated with long-term support. Examples include: education, transportation, child care costs, transitional housing, and legal counsel. Your gift empowers women to walk into their God-ordained futures with confidence and freedom.
Donate one-time or become a Hope Giver with a recurring monthly gift online at www.peacepromise.org or mail a check to:
P.O. Box 1502
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
As Human Trafficking Awareness Month concludes, we want to express our deep appreciation to everyone who makes this work possible. Thank you, volunteers, donors, sponsoring businesses, and the many, many faith communities who understand the value of working together on behalf of love and freedom. We are humbled by your ongoing faithful and generous gifts of time, resources, and dedicated prayer. With gratitude…thank you.
Written by a dedicated Peace Promise Volunteer