To My Donors, Prayer Warriors, Friends, and Family:
This past month has been a whirlwind of answered prayers, readjusting to American life, and seeking out the "what's next" in this great journey. I am excited to say that after lots of prayer, godly counsel, and a few successful job interviews - my next stop has been determined!
I'll be moving to Texas!
This new job is a huge answer to prayer, and I believe that it’s a wonderful next step in my journey to fight human trafficking in the United States. As of now, I am currently waiting to receive my official employment contract and my first day of training is scheduled to begin on April 29th, so things are moving fast! God has provided me with an opportunity to work with DMST (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking) survivors at a restoration/safehouse near Austin, Texas. The resident girls were born and raised in the United States, were trafficked and then rescued within the US, and are 19 years old and younger. My role will be to work as a house mother and caregiver for the girls living in the cottages on the property. To be clear, this property isn’t just a safehouse. It’s a 50-acre campus that has the capacity to provide a total of 48 girls with trauma-informed holistic care. This care includes onsite medical support, long-term community-style living, charter school education, counseling, chapel/prayer facilities, and other treatment modalities to support their recovery. The restoration program implemented by the staff aims to facilitate healing in every single area of the girls’ lives, while also providing the residents with a safe and loving environment to rediscover their worth and identities as they overcome challenges and learn to build healthy relationships.
During this next phase of my ministry journey, I will be exposed to new challenges, responsibilities, and difficulties that I’ve never faced before - and I can't wait. I will be working with these girls on a day-to-day basis alongside a team of trained staff members and caregivers. Our goal is to build lasting and healing relationships with our survivor sisters - specifically relationships that are long-term, grace-based, and deeply rooted in trust and unconditional love. My job will involve helping the girls as they execute daily tasks, teaching and leading various activities, life skills, and programs, and being available to assist during any crises, breakdowns, or emergencies that may arise. This can include (but is not limited to) tear wiping, hugging, cooking and preparing meals, praying through nightmares, assisting with homework, mentoring and discipling, breaking up fights, helping with medical issues, and so much more.
I will definitely be continuing to pursue my master's degree in counseling part-time as I work at this facility so that I can stay on track to reach my goal of becoming a licensed professional counselor within the next few years. So far I have completed 20% of my coursework! I hope to complete the rest of my degree requirements as soon as possible so that I can be better equipped to help my survivor sisters heal from their severe traumas and live free as beloved daughters of the King. By healing through their traumas and finding freedom in Christ, I believe that these girls can live abundant lives and rise up as survivor leaders, champions, and advocates in the fight to end human trafficking around the world.
There are very few professional counselors who are willing and able to effectively work with survivors of trafficking because, in all honesty, the work is difficult, taxing, heartbreaking, and intimidating. But as the number of human trafficking victims continues to increase within the United States, so does the need for dedicated helpers, advocates, and counselors. I hope and pray that working as a house mother and caregiver alongside my survivor sisters will give me the insights, compassion, and practical experience to make me an even better counselor for these girls in the future.
Although I am no longer a missionary overseas in Africa, I am still in need of your continued support and prayer. As I start working full-time at this ministry, your donations will help me to continue my counseling degree at the same time. It has been amazing to look back on these past four years in South Africa and reflect on how those years have prepared me for this crucial next step. The experiences that I had, the people I was able to meet, and the opportunities it provided me with have been invaluable in this journey - and I am so grateful to you all for making that possible through your continued giving and constant prayer. God has been so faithful to orchestrate every single step of the way, and it’s been such a sweet adventure so far! Now, I am so thrilled to finally have this opportunity to combat human trafficking in my own country, and I hope that as I transition into stateside ministry, you will choose to keep fighting alongside me. There is much work to be done within our own borders, and I strongly believe that when we make an effort to stand and partner together - our impact will be MUCH greater!