23 Let us hold on to the hope we say we have and not be changed. We can trust God that He will do what He promised. 24 Let us help each other to love others and to do good. Hebrews 10:23–24
The more time and connection I have had with those coming out of extreme and traumatic backgrounds the more I am convinced that healing of family, restoration of mothers and fathers, building bridges for attachment and walking beside people for the long haul is the best and right approach; AND it takes many hands and hearts to accomplish. I have shared the struggles that many of the women and teen moms we have walked with have experienced and have had to learn to parent through: domestic and intimate partner violence, sexual abuse, pornography as a viewer and as an unwilling participant, abortion, addiction, family abuse, homelessness, and the laundry list of mental health, post traumatic stress responses and unhealthy attachments.
As House of His Creation I stepped into the arena of housing, offering an opportunity to experience healthy family in a 24/7 experience, to walk through decision making and have a safe place to heal, to grow and to learn. We have kept the core of doing this through family living programs meaning houseparents and family serving as the on-site staff team. We have done so through years of open doors to teen girls and young adult women pregnant and parenting. This has been set up a whole lot like foster care.
Over the years we have walked with many others setting up homes and programs to serve in these arenas many with houseparents, some with single live-in house moms, some with shift staff. We have walked through women's decisions to place their children for adoption and the relationship with a new family, with those who have been in foster care and aged out, and those who are determined to do life differently so their children do not enter foster care through the state. We have walked with women choosing to parent their own child and opening their home to foster children from their community. This is all leading to one very important thought...
We are not the only ones working in these arenas and programs are not the whole answer. We need everyone who is moved by the needs of those around us to consider how to be part of offering help, hope and family. Addressing care and breaking cycles for a mother and child is imperative. Getting to the younger men and women sooner can take years off of their cycles of abuse, neglect and abandonment.
I had the privilege of being in a training with Rachel Lloyd, founder of GEMS, a housing, wrap-around and resource program for exploited youth in N.Y.C. What stuck with me the most was this statement:
Get people to care about trafficking, then care about the kids, then care about caring for other people’s kids.
It is our hope that knowing this and walking with us will “stir you up to love and good deeds” Hebrews 10:24
I have talked with many people who assume that entering the arena of helping youth and adults whose lives have been impacted by sex trafficking requires a phd in counseling, a black belt in a martial art and the abilities to withstand abuse like a marine. While there is a place for all these skills the every day needs of the MAJORITY of those affected globally by sex trafficking is someone to care. Someone to see them. Someone to know their name and listen to their story. See that though the reality of the abuse and experiences are almost unspeakable...as a child, youth or an adult they are a person that needs someone to do the mundane of life showing them how to shed their harmful protective behaviors, learn to trust and learn to care and be cared for.
If you want to learn more and hear how you can intersect in someone's story here is a link to "The Life Story".
If you want to learn more about vulnerable children all around us and how you can step in here are some resources:
To learn more about Rachel Lloyd and GEMS go here:
May you be moved to care about those around you! May you be stirred up to love and good deeds. May this encouragement hit the mark and open doors of opportunity you did not see before!