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Howdy from Texas.


Hi Everyone,

Thank you for all of the prayers last month as I made my transition from Miami, Florida to Austin, Texas.  God provided every step of the way with a car, a place to live, new friends, and finances to pay for my next grad school class!  I am currently staying in a garage flat that belongs to a sweet family just outside the Austin area.  I have completed my two full weeks of training, and I've officially started my position as a Therapeutic Child Care Staff (TCCS) worker at the restoration/safehouse property for domestic minor sex trafficking survivors.

Currently we are taking care of nine girls on the property between the ages of 14 and 19.  Each day they attend school, participate in wellness activities (holy yoga, art, game nights, cooking classes, kickboxing, music classes, and more), engage with our horses for equine therapy, and receive counseling from trained staff. 

As a new employee, I am tasked with working most of the night shifts during the week which take place from 10pm-8am.  Night shifts require the overnight staff to help complete any unfinished chores from earlier in the day and to perform fifteen minute bed checks to determine whether the girls are asleep and safe in their rooms throughout the night.  It’s been a rough adjustment for me physically and mentally - I never know what day it is and sometimes I forget my own name, but besides that - the quiet time spent checking on the girls, reading, praying, studying, and writing has been sweet.

Please keep the directors, the staff, the residents, and me in prayer.

Working on a day-to-day basis with survivors of intense trauma is exceptionally difficult.  Each day comes with it's own challenges, tests, and sometimes tears.  But overall, these teenage girls are fun, sassy, and passionate - and they are working so hard every single day to heal and grow and prepare for adulthood.  In a similar way, the staff come from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences as well, so we are all learning how to come together as a team to support and care for these girls to the best of our ability.  Some days are definitely easier than others.  

Some specific prayer requests are…
  • for more staff members to join our team
  • for the staff to keep healing from their own traumas and hurts, so they can help the girls heal through theirs
  • for health and safety during night shifts, especially on the drives home at 8am at the end of a long sleepless shift
  • for the new residents living on the property and for the girls who have been living their since the property opened, that they will grow, heal, and find safety in this season of their journey
  • for wisdom and insight during the day-to-day, as lots of decisions are made “on the spot” and we are constantly needing to be flexible
  • for a church family here in Austin, so I can have support, fun, and fellowship with like-minded friends when I am not working
  • for time management skills and discipline to study as I start my next grad school class on June 24th
One last announcement…  

My Shepherds Staff Missionary Fund will be closing tomorrow on May 31st.  Tomorrow is the last day to make donations through that account, after tomorrow the account will close.  To make a tax deductible donation via Shepherds Staff, click HERE.  If you would like to continue to support the work I am doing in Texas with survivors of sex trafficking, along with my goal of completing my master's degree to become a licensed professional counselor after tomorrow, then you can send donations/funds through my PayPal account by clicking the link below or by clicking HERE.  Those donations will NOT be tax deductible, but they are greatly appreciated!  

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support.  It’s been a sweet month in Texas so far, and I look forward to updating you all again in June!  

Samantha
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