There isn’t a week that goes by I don’t receive a phone call or an email asking if we can take a girl – a girl who has been rescued from the hideous world of sex trafficking. I pause as I type those words because they are just that. Words. They are so inadequate at describing what these children must endure night after night. Think about it. Imagine for just a moment it is you – your daughter, your sister or your niece who is being SOLD FOR SEX. Rape. Torture. Abuse. Exploitation. All just words on a piece of paper; unless it is happening to you or to someone you love. (Big sigh.)
About those phone calls and emails … for now, I must say “no – we aren’t open yet”. We have a home but we don’t have the operating monies to hire our staff and cover our monthly operating budget. We are asking you and our community to become monthly partners for the next 18 months so we can hire our staff and open our doors. Until we do, we’ll continue to say no to children who desperately need a home, a place to belong, a place for someone to believe in them. Would you prayerfully consider becoming a monthly donor so our no becomes a yes? Thank you.
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Here is one girl’s story …
Her name is Melanie – there are tens of thousands more just like her out on the streets in every city in this state, this country and this world. We must open Courage House! We must!
I was waiting for a taxi cab after being stranded by a winter snowstorm that paralyzed much of the Southern US in the late winter season. It was nearly 3am.
At the time, I was just concerned about how cold my feet were getting. I didn’t focus on her right away as she stood apart from the crowd gathered on the curb. I noticed the much older man attempt to have her come with him in his vehicle, and so did so many other respectable, ordinary travelers. She wasn’t willing to go with the man, but she was cold. Her physical and practical needs outweighed her gut instincts that probably said, “Run!” as loudly as mine did. He didn’t intimidate me though. What stopped me cold was the fact that no one else around cared that a young girl was being propositioned by a john. Why are manipulation and brutality ordinary?
As I walked over to interrupt their conversation, I prayed fiercely. He was bold; evil usually is. Glaring as he left, he stated that he would just go find some other girl who wouldn’t give him such a problem. A few people in the crowd watched our conversation with nothing more than polite curiosity. Others moved away and their eyes said, “Don’t bother me. I can’t see you. I’m annoyed.” What could I offer her beyond a bed in my hotel room and the promise of breakfast in the morning before I continued traveling? Hopefully, she could receive hope, dignity, and a conversation about Courage House; but mostly, I wanted her to be fed, warm, and loved. Will anyone embrace her, other than those with evil intentions?
She ate 13 pancakes at the restaurant nearby. Her name is Melanie. Most pretend she is invisible and wouldn’t dream of interrupting that earlier conversation. She constantly hears lies from the media and even from people who consider themselves educated. She believes the lie that she has chosen this “life”; a life dictated by men who offer a place to sleep or a meal to eat at a horrendous cost. She hasn’t heard that she is loved and wanted, that she has a purpose. Who will interrupt her life with love, dignity, and purpose and provide her with safety and shelter?