A message on Jesus’ Triumphal Entry.
Written by RAHAB’s Community and Engagement Coordinator, Hannah Howell

Growing up in Sunday School I often heard the story of Jesus’s Triumphal Entry. It was a story shared with excitement, a day when Jesus was praised and honored as the rightful King.  I was told of how the people in Jerusalem lined the roads with palm branches crying out “Hosanna, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”, as Jesus boldly rode in on a donkey. As I have grown older, I have often wondered what this moment must have really felt like for Jesus. Was it a moment where He truly felt celebrated?  Looking around at the people praising Him, he also knew that in only a few days they would shout “Crucify Him.” Perhaps His heart was actually hurt locking eyes with the very ones that would soon condemn Him to death.  

We call this moment the triumphal Entry, but to Jesus, I don’t think there was anything triumphant about it. No, I believe this moment also held heartache and trouble for Him. It was a celebration to those around Him, but Jesus was troubled with grief, as He knew what was to come. We see this in the following verses in John 12:27 when He expresses, “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour” He knew why He was on this earth, and what was required of Him, so He let them cry out despite knowing how shallow their praise was. This day was one of both joy and grief.  

Now you might be wondering what this story could possibly have to do with the work of RAHAB. The truth is, when I was first presented with this story concerning the work we do here at RAHAB, I thought it had absolutely nothing to do with it. It was not until I saw past the celebration, realizing the grief Jesus experienced, that my eyes were opened to the reality that this is an experience human trafficking survivors know all too well. 

 We often share with joy and excitement the thought of survivors finding freedom and leaving their traffickers, something we should be deeply celebrating. It’s important to understand though, that this moment feels very different for most survivors. Though so many want to be free, the thought of leaving is usually paired with feelings of uncertainty, fear, and grief. For so many this life is all they have known, and the thought of leaving means they must confront the traumas that are much easier to ignore and suppress. This moment for them is one of both joy and grief. Healing is not linear for survivors and is usually paired with many setbacks. Studies show that a trafficking victim will attempt to leave their trafficker 7 times before they successfully do so. Just as Jesus understood pain stood on the other side of this moment of celebration, so do trafficking survivors. They so badly want freedom, but usually struggle with the many feelings it brings.  

 The confidence we have is in knowing when they make it through those first steps toward freedom, there waits a life filled with healing and wholeness. Just as Jesus understood that on the other side of the pain of death was resurrection life, so is healing and wholeness for human trafficking survivors. This is the privilege we have here at RAHAB, to sit in the tension of both joy and grief with survivors, believing that they will see the life that Christ intended for them when He died for them. We get to cheer them on with every step they take toward freedom, and support them through every hardship along the way, knowing that Christ is the only one who can truly bring the healing we all wait with anticipation to see.  

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Human Trafficking 101

Duration: 1 Hour

What it is: HT 101 is an essential teaching on the realities of human trafficking. In this course, we will illuminate the issues of sex trafficking, explain a generalized process for how someone becomes involved in trafficking, and provide practical insight of how trafficking takes place. We will also highlight what we know about traffickers, how someone becomes vulnerable to trafficking, and how demand for commercial sex fuels sex trafficking. By the end of this course, you will be able to articulate the needs and vulnerabilities of trafficking survivors and have knowledge of practical solutions

Who it is for: This course is offered to all members of the community who would like to understand human trafficking and is required for all of RAHAB’s volunteers and staff 

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