Time To Celebrate

By Greg Colbeck

This is a year of celebration and a year of joy for RAHAB Ministries. 

2022 is RAHAB’s 20-year anniversary … 20 years of sharing the hope of Jesus Christ with broken and undervalued women, including survivors of human trafficking! 

The celebration will be led by our new Joy Jar Moments campaign, because at RAHAB we’ve learned the giant triumphs we experience are actually the result of countless, smaller victories. 

This revelation has caused our staff and volunteers to notice and record the daily, incremental stories of success on small pieces of colorful paper and put them in “Joy Jars” at various outreach or program sites. 

I now invite you to join in the celebration as we share these stories of joy, hope, and success all year long. Thank you!

New Year —
Thankful Hearts

From the bottom of our hearts, the staff and volunteers at RAHAB are grateful for the compassionate and generous support we received last year … THANK YOU!

So many of our friends gave to help us meet our goal to close 2021 strong and launch a new year even stronger!

Because of your generous partnership with RAHAB, we will be able to:

  • Start an outreach in Youngstown
  • Increase the impact of The Oaks Transitional Housing as we begin to serve 18- to 24-year-olds
  • Expand outward so more women and children can experience their own journey to freedom, offering hope and healing to the vulnerable
  • And more!

We are deeply thankful.

Let’s keep striving together to eradicate sex trafficking … and continue the crucial work to which God has called us in this new year.

Rejoicing Over
Joy Jar Moments

If you take a look around any one of RAHAB’s outreach locations, you’ll likely find a “Joy Jar.”

These jars have been used over our 20 years of ministry to celebrate moments of victory, hope, and growth — big and small.

Staff members, volunteers, and the women and children we serve are invited to write down such moments on a piece of paper and place them in the jars as a means of celebration. Each jar serves as a beautiful collection of testimonies showcasing God’s faithfulness in all things.

Joy Jars encompass our culture of celebration and hope in Jesus — which is the very sentiment captured in our key verse for this year, Zephaniah 3:17: 

“The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.”

 

Jesus doesn’t wait until the finish line to celebrate us — so neither do we. Following His example, we rejoice in the here and now.

In a recent moment of reflection, we pulled a slip of paper from one Joy Jar and read the testimony of a young woman, “Miriah,” who hasn’t used drugs since she turned 16 a few months ago … certainly something worth rejoicing over!

Stepping stones like this one represent small forward movements in a journey toward healing. Thousands of Joy Jar Moments, one after another, adding up until true restoration comes — physically, emotionally, spiritually.

As we learn to live in the truth of our key verse this year, we join the Lord in rejoicing over our women and children’s successes. 

We are so proud of accomplishments like Miriah’s, and hope that you’ll continue supporting RAHAB’s efforts as we walk with survivors on their pursuit of hope and

Staff Highlight:
Jordan Raffin

As a fellow member of our RAHAB family and in honor of our 20th Anniversary, we want to introduce you throughout the year to our amazing team, volunteers, and those who generously partner with us. This month, we are excited to introduce Jordan Raffin — a member of our staff for four years, and someone who has firsthand experience serving in the many facets of this ministry!

***

I first got involved with RAHAB when I was interning here for my senior practicum in the spring of 2018. I worked in every area of the ministry — the safe housing, mentoring, strip club ministry, Drop-In Center, and even office work! After college, I volunteered with RAHAB until I was employed in 2019 at Rebecca’s Place. I now work in the Minor Community Based Program as the Case Manager.

One of my favorite memories of my time on staff so far has been the big group sleepover we held at the minor safe house before it closed. The staff members and resident girls all celebrated with an impressive dance party, karaoke, games, and a movie. The girls then performed special staff and house appreciation speeches for all of us — It was a beautiful night!

Spending time with the youth — laughing with them, building personal relationships, and meeting them where they’re at — are the aspects of my current role at RAHAB I enjoy most!

I’ve learned so many important lessons through my time here — lessons about resiliency, patience, and learning to lean on others for help. I’ve also had to learn the difficult lesson that I can’t fix everything or everyone … but God will equip me for His work and use me as a vessel in the lives of these women and children.

As I look to the future of RAHAB, I am excited for the expansion of the Minor Community Based Program into more counties in Ohio and beyond. This development brings the promise of added case managers to reach more youth, as well as the possibility of expanding into foster care programs!

***

We look forward to sharing more highlights with you this year, because we recognize the work we do here is only possible through God’s faithfulness and your prayers, involvement, and generosity! Thank you for helping people like Jordan do this important and impactful work — sharing the hope of Christ with the vulnerable.

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day was recognized on January 11. In its honor, we want to share with you our intentions for those we serve:

We promise to …

  • walk alongside you through this journey,
  • advocate for you,
  • meet you where you are,
  • protect you,
  • authentically see and hear you,
  • cherish and respect the stories you share with us.

RAHAB Ministries can make these promises because we make them in the name of the ultimate Promise-Keeper. It is an honor to be entrusted by God to do the work of reaching His hurting people … to be in His army, tearing down walls of fear and rebuilding lives with a new foundation of hope.

Human trafficking does not only exist on this day of national awareness — it is a full-time reality for so many people across our world and right here in Ohio … 

So we don’t just make these promises today, but day in and day out as He sends us to the streets, to the dark places, calling us to invite people into His warmth, love, and hope. 

Join the fight against human trafficking today by partnering with RAHAB. Visit our website for more information on volunteering, giving, being educated on the issues, and more. Thank you!

Painting and Prayer:
Strip Club Story

RAHAB believes in meeting people in the darkest places, right where they are, and shining Light into their lives. 

We model this after Jesus, who doesn’t wait until we’re dusted off and healed of our bruises before loving and accepting us. He comes to us when we are broken and makes us whole again — loving us perfectly along the way.

One of our outreach teams got to live out this kind of far-reaching love to its fullest a few weeks ago …

We were given permission by the management of a local strip club to remodel the dressing room. Our team went in wielding the Word of God and trusting Him to tear down the strongholds and bondage of that place.

When our team members arrived, they were alone in the club, so they took the opportunity to pray over every table and chair … every place at the bar and stage … and as they worked in the dressing room.  

Before painting the dressing room walls, they decided first to cover them with Bible verses.

So, with a light-colored pen, they marked the territory of a strip club dressing room with God’s Word:

  • Romans 10:9: “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
  • Acts 4:12: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

After these verses were up, they began painting the walls … 

  • They painted once over the verses, but the handwriting could clearly be seen… 
  • A second coat of paint was applied, and still, the writing showed… 
  • A third and fourth pass couldn’t cover up the scripture… 
  • It was like God wanted the team’s focus to remain on His Word — continually praying these passages as they worked! 
  • With the fifth coat, the words were covered — but God’s promises had been declared loud and clear to anything that stood in opposition to the hope of Jesus in that place!

Would you pray with us, friend, that by bringing beauty and the Word to this place of darkness, the women there will begin to see the light and hope waiting for them in the arms of Jesus?

Matthew 24:35 says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” 

… Not even when plastered with paint! Hallelujah!