Cool things have been happening.
Less than 2 weeks before our 3rd annual Walk/Run for SCTNow- Different people & different churches are showing support than last year ~ I got to share a presentation @ PCC last week where about 2k people got to hear & they sent in a $3,066 special offering to headquarters that week. 🙂 My church Horizon decided to be a $500 bronze sponsor again this year & let me speak there yesterday after playing a promo video. Later this week, I get to be the only NGO represented at a Trafficking Awareness seminar in Medford – my info table will have things on it to tell everyone there how they can get involved in stopping the demand for sex trafficking. And I’ll also tell them to pull out their cell phones and Text to Give $10. toward the cause since most wont make the drive up to Portland for the 5k event.
Sara & I are still friends – actually pretty close. She’d been feeling like a complete failure – useless as a mom & as a person in general last week when she called me late at night – hyperventilating & having real suicidal thoughts. I reassured her of her worth in Jesus & I feel so good that I can do that bc she’s a baby Christian – she just needs to trust in the Lord more than her fears. That night and the following days I reached out using Facebook, for other Christ followers in the anti-trafficking realm or those who have personally met her too, to pray on her behalf. Since then, She is doing much much better. She’s applying for a studio place of her own to get away from the dysfunctional enabling relationship she has with her former ‘client’, who is over twice her age, Leno. I pray that this does not affect her 4 yr old son very much, as Leno has really been the only father-type figure to him since he was born. I pray that God will help his little mind understand that it really is for the best.
Sara is getting connected now w/an outspoken sex traff.survivor named Jeri Williams & her sister as well…who from what I’m picking up in my own conversations with them – are strong believers in Jesus….and they’ve included her in their Survivor 2 Survivor group for Portland girls that have gone through this very traumatic experience. This is so exciting to me! And timely too, as Jeri just announced that she is running for congress in Portland & she also is one of our 3 main speakers at the Walk/Run!
Earlier this week, I told Sara (based on the seriousness of her issue & mental state and possibly the urgency) there is an opportunity for her to move to Medford w/her son & just be supported & love don & taken care of by Doug Fairrington’s mom, Janet @ the Gospel Mission ~ there was 1 private room available for her & her boy ~ but Sara was quite resistant at first. She is very independent – fearful of being alone in a strange new town & feels as if moving away give the “other guys” the upper hand. She was hard to talk to at that point. Doug actually gave it a go for over a half hour & God bless him – he told it to her STRAIGHT! Despite his brutal honesty & because of his loving tone I’m sure, later on, she told me she wanted to meet Doug face to face. That day, Jeri called me and told me that she was right next to her during that conversation & heard the whole thing – and to be encouraged – don’t give up ministering to her – and that her reactions right now – esp.the irrational, extreme ones relating to our offers to help – are a result of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder…and to not take anything personally.
Saturday, I got the chance to take Sara to Adorn Tattoo where Austin the tattoo artist is donating his time & talents to get another tattoo covered. This is a HUGE step symbolizing freedom for her. We talked about what she might want and she told me how she really likes Chinese Cherry blossom trees & the base of the tree could be dense enough to cover her old tattoo that her former pimp forced her to get so she’s be branded w/his name for life. Well, her she is 4 years later & that name is on its way to being completely covered up with a tree symbolizing growth…and probably (my idea she liked)… a white butterfly symbolizing her purity she has now in Christ.
I’m excited to see God do great things in her life and place courage & hope in her for the future.
He’s doing the same in me…for this community of Portland.
I can’t wait to see what happens as a result.
Psalm 10:17-8 (NLT)
17 Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.
Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.
18 You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed,
so mere people can no longer terrify them.