By Sonja White

In this season of hope, we are celebrating hope in Christ — a hope rooted in His promise of restoration.

RAHAB is able to offer this hope of restoration to the women and children we serve because you have chosen to link arms with our work.

As we reflect on the past 12 months, we are grateful for each accomplishment, every success, and every single life renewed …

And at the top of the list is an abiding gratitude for you … for those who have believed in us, in our work, and in our vision to eradicate sex trafficking.

Amidst the holiday bustle, please take a minute to reflect on the stories of hope and restoration you’ve helped make possible.

Warmest wishes to you this Christmas. 

God has an eternal way of making the impossible possible. After all, He’s in the business of miracles.

So even in the face of uncertainty and challenges — brought on by a nationwide and global pandemic — RAHAB Ministries has continued to plow forward when many others cannot.

It’s true — we have accomplished much by God’s grace:

  1. Presenting a special workshop during the inaugural Human Trafficking Summit in January.
  2. Offering hope for vulnerable women and children in the 2020 pandemic (which included delivering over 11,000 meals during the months of March-July).
  3. Celebrating the one-year-anniversary of Rebecca’s Place (where 11 desperate children were provided safety, strength and hope this year).
  4. Opening two new Drop-In Centers strategically located in Stark County (where 35 individual women were served in the first month).
  5. Becoming the lead agency in the first-ever Summit County Human Trafficking Task Force.

But right now, at the close of a unique year, we welcome your year-end support to help us finish 2020 fiscally strong — to continue turning obstacles into opportunities as we work to eradicate sex trafficking.

Thank you for standing with RAHAB in this crucial moment for our ministry!

Thinking back through 2020, RAHAB Ministries has had so many “God moments.”

In fact, it was hard for Debbie, RAHAB’s Director of Outreach, to narrow her journal of the past year’s God moments down to the top 10 events.

But we’re pleased to present this list to you today — with gratitude for your part in each one!

10. Bringing the need for milk before the Lord and moments after saying “Amen” receiving a phone call from a local dairy company informing us that they had a refrigerated semi-truck full of milk and cheese and asking if we could we use it to help people. 

 

9. Handing food to one woman on the street. When she was given the bag of food, she gave us the biggest, toothless smile and yelled, “Jesus is real!”

 

8. To help young kids cope with the lockdown, we gave out some toys and homemade cookies. One favorite reaction was from a little girl about four years old who held her new baby doll above her head in one hand, and a new book in the other. She exclaimed, “Mommy! They gave me a book!” 

 

7. When the clerk rang up the cost of the formula, it came to $59.97 — coming in exactly three pennies under the “random” $60 that was given to us as a donation earlier that day!

 

6. When $100 of chicken we were unable to purchase turned into $3,000 worth of groceries delivered to our door to give away. 

 

5. Delivering 80 small bags of chips to a young boy who, very simply, requested chips for his brother’s birthday party. Our office was notified of the huge donation of the snacks the day before the request was made!

 

4. Stopping for a sweet lady along the road and her telling Angel: “I love you sweetie!” We were able to give her some food and before Angel knew it, the woman reached in and gave her a big kiss on the cheek, saying, “Thank you honey, I love you!”

 

3. Handing out bubbles on the streets of Canton to kids and struggling adults alike. Watching them smile as they chose if only for a moment, to find joy in the small things in the middle of a pandemic. 

 

2. Celebrating the life of a new friend by dropping off a birthday cake and hearing later how God used such a simple gesture to profoundly minister to her heart. Through tear-soaked eyes and lots of expletives, she told us, “God sent me some real friends, and I am so grateful for you.” 

 

1.Assuring one of our friends on the street as she shared, “The darkness is trembling! I can feel it — it’s struggling to be in control — and it’s coming at us with all it’s got right now. The darkness is trembling because Jesus is here, and the darkness knows that its time is short. Standing next to Jesus, trusting Him, is the only way to be protected from the darkness.”  

God blesses women, children, and families in need through your faithful prayers and generosity. Thank you for helping make 2020 a year to remember!

RAHAB has been blessed to know Jim Harnett and his family for many years now, and we know his experience — and his words — will bless you as well.

Here’s some insight from him, about his involvement as a board member and a monthly giver — and how God has worked through his giving and support of our work:

I have always believed in Becky Moreland, the founder, and her vision for restoring women who have been victims of abuse and trafficking. As a member on RAHAB’s board for many years, I can still feel myself answering that question differently now than I would have 10 or 15 years ago and realize how even the board had to grow in our realization that these women were victims of trafficking, not just victims of bad decisions. 

Real religion is this: “to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27) … which means we need to look after the less fortunate and those unable to look after themselves. 

My family grew up giving to RAHAB, and my children always knew about the ministry and about our support — both through service and finances. Both of my kids are now out of college and married. I think seeing our relationship with RAHAB helped our children see what sacrificial giving and support looks like. 

We personally cared for one of the first women RAHAB served and took our children to help her move into a new apartment — about 15 years ago when our kids were maybe eight or nine years old. Our son and his wife led a Cru ministry at Ohio State, and now follow Jesus in Colorado. Our daughter and her husband served in H2O at Kent, and he is now in full-time ministry with her at his side. 

I think our act of serving at RAHAB provided a strong example to our children of what sacrificial giving and serving means — and that in the end you get back more than you gave.

If you’re interested in becoming a monthly supporter of RAHAB Ministries like the Harnetts, please click here to sign up! It’s easy, convenient, and makes an impact on vulnerable women and children year-round!

By Emily F. Miller

Volunteers play a crucial role in RAHAB Ministries. 

Throughout the whole of RAHAB, they serve wholeheartedly and help in tremendous ways. This month, however, some of our volunteers went above and beyond for the women we serve: they organized a morning tea for our adult safe house residents!

Most of our residents had never been to a tea, so this was a new and special experience for them.

The residents of the adult safe house arrived to find a fully decorated room, sparkling with lights, a Christmas tree, and a beautifully arranged table. On every woman’s seat was a wrapped gift containing cozy pajamas for them to wear on Christmas Eve. On top of piping hot tea, food and dessert were also ready and waiting for them.

The morning was spent enjoying each other’s company, singing Christmas carols around the piano, and listening to a devotional prepared by one of the volunteers. Its message? God’s mercies are new every morning. Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us: “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because his compassion fails not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” 

While trials are unavoidable, we live in the hope and freedom that our God has already conquered them all and is with us through it all. His promise is renewed each day and never fades or grows weak. He was faithful yesterday and will be faithful today and will be tomorrow as well.

The women of our adult safe house left that morning feeling full, warm, and loved thanks to volunteers who went out of their way to make them feel special this holiday season!

December 31st will be here soon … and with it comes your last opportunity to make a difference for the survivors RAHAB serves AND reap potential tax benefits the government affords charitable givers.

Three year-end strategies you may want to consider:

    1. A gift of appreciated securities — like stocks or mutual funds that have increased in value — is one way to avoid capital gains tax on the donated security as long as it has been held for more than one year. This strategy will also help reduce your taxable income because of the itemized charitable deduction.
    2. Giving from an established Donor Advised Fund (DAF) may be an advantageous option, as it allows you to claim a charitable deduction in the year you contribute to the DAF while making donations to a charity like RAHAB over time.
    3. If you are 70½ years of age or older, you can use Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) to make direct donations to a charity out of your IRA. This type of distribution can be counted toward satisfying the annual Required Minimum Distribution from an IRA … the amount donated via the QCD is excluded from your income (which helps lower taxes and provides other benefits) … and you do not have to itemize deductions to utilize this strategy.
    4. And cash gifts of up to $300 made in 2020 will be deductible for individuals when they file their taxes in 2021 even if they don’t itemize on their tax returns thanks to the CARES Act passed earlier this year.

If you’re considering your end-of-year giving options, please talk with your financial advisor about these and other strategies that will allow you to make the most impact. You can also contact Alan Montgomery, RAHAB Vice-President of Finance (330-858-1384), if you are interested in giving to RAHAB through one of these creative strategies.

Thank you!