I first became aware of sex trafficking when my pastor, Don Brewster, was called to serve in Cambodia. But, like so many others, I assumed the problem was “over there.” Some time later, Jenny Williamson spoke to the church, and I became aware that the problem was local and I could not ignore it.
I am a single father of four daughters, a retired military pilot and was a teacher the time I heard Jenny speak. I assumed the girls would need some help with their education, and thought I might be of some use as a tutor. Plus, I had a bit of prior experience serving abuse victims, having volunteered at a safe house for women and children.
So with newly opened eyes, I began to volunteer and attend Courage Worldwide’s training courses in preparation for the opening of Courage House NorCal. There was so much work to do, and it was enjoyable to be at the house preparing it for the girls’ arrival. There was a need for speakers, so I volunteered for the speakers’ bureau; I have met some wonderful people who support our cause, and it’s an honor to take our message to the community.
A few years have passed, and I have retired from teaching. I now look forward to my three days a week of tutoring the girls. But getting to this point wasn’t easy. For others considering volunteering, a few words of advice: The hoops you must jump through are frustrating, but don’t let it deter you. The commitment is well worth the reward.
I flew as a Coast Guard pilot for fifteen years, and while we knew we couldn’t save everybody, the reality of it was always upsetting. It was the same at the women’s shelter; client returned to their abusers. And I do grieve now when girls leave the Courage House too soon. These set backs must not deter us. We must focus on the goal and our Lord — we are responsible for doing his work; we are not responsible for the outcome.
God bless each of you,