New Year Resolutions:
Unity and Joy
A new year brings an opportunity to refocus our energies on the things that really matter. The distractions built up from the previous year can be pared down and reorganized into a vision for the new year…
Here at RAHAB, we are exacting our focus for 2023 around two values presented by our new CEO, Jaime Blair:
Jesus prays for us in John 17:20-23:
“I pray also for those who will believe in me through [the disciples’] message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You … so that they may be brought to complete unity.”
Jaime’s vision for the RAHAB staff and volunteers this year is that they would be the answer to Jesus’ prayer in John 17 — connected in complete unity of faith and heart.
The idea of unification in mission and focus is essential to our team and our efforts: “We’re here to love broken people,” Jaime says, “praying that God’s love through us will bring healing to them. That’s such an important privilege and mission.”
We spent 2022 celebrating our 20th anniversary with a focus on joy, so it is fitting that it is also part of Jaime’s vision for RAHAB in 2023.
“I’ve been around this work for enough years to recognize it is dark,” she says. “It is heavy. I have felt the overwhelming nature of it often. But I have also experienced the joy of this work!” Jaime’s hope for the body of Christ at RAHAB — the staff, volunteers, and YOU — is that we would actively engage together with the joy of this awesome work that God has given us the privilege to do.
Thank you for joining us in 2023 as we pray for God to grow unity and joy at RAHAB and in the communities we serve!
You Make Our Mission Possible
You made the beauty of transformation possible in 2022, our 20th anniversary year …
Thank you for the role you played in RAHAB’s work, especially at the end of the year.
We are thrilled at the things God accomplished in Northeast Ohio last year, and we’re grateful friends like you have invested prayer and finances to make room for His work to be done.
God continues to move through you in the lives of sex trafficking survivors — restoring women and children … giving beauty for ashes … pouring Truth and Love into empty hearts until they’re overflowing.
Thank you for making a difference — for making our efforts possible in 2023 and beyond. And thank you for allowing God to work through your support so the vulnerable and oppressed find the one stronghold who will never let them down!
National Human Trafficking Awareness Month
January is National Human Trafficking Awareness month!
An important part of our mission to serve the vulnerable is to spread truth about the realities of human trafficking — to shed light on a subject that is too often obscured by stereotypes and myths.
Take a moment to educate yourself about some of the common myths surrounding trafficking so you can confidently take action against the misconceptions:
Myth #1: Trafficking usually begins with a violent crime such as kidnapping.
Maybe you’ve seen the Facebook post “warnings” that go something like this: “New human trafficking tactic: Tying zip ties to your car! Traffickers will jump out and grab you when you go to investigate!!”
The truth is, the majority of survivors connected with RAHAB have not been kidnapped, and very few have been held captive in any physical sense. Most victims are trafficked by someone they know — including family members, peers, and significant others — not by strangers who kidnapped them in parking lots.
Myth #2: Prostitution is unrelated to trafficking … women choose to be in the sex industry and make a lot of money.
The women and children we serve make little to no money during their victimization. Many survivors do not self-identify as a victim of trafficking until later in their life and healing journey.
Myth #3: You can easily identify a victim, trafficker, or sex buyer.
There is no blueprint for what any of these people look like. They could be any gender, race, age, and socio-economic status, and can reside in any location.
Myth #4: There is nothing you personally can do about human trafficking.
You are an integral part of the mission to serve survivors of human trafficking! RAHAB could not exist without the generous supporters, volunteers, and advocates who fuel our mission.
There are so many ways to get involved. Some great places to start include getting educated about human trafficking, donating to our ministry, and becoming a volunteer!
We are so grateful you’ve joined us on this mission to serve women and children impacted by trafficking right here in our community! If you’d like to dive deeper with RAHAB, visit our website, subscribe to our blog, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@rahabministries).
The Power of an
“I Don’t Care Day”
Sometimes we have hard days, and we don’t want someone to cheer us up. Sometimes we simply need someone to say, “Feel how you need to feel!”
This was the case for one youth at Minor Mentoring recently…
She was having a horrible day when she came into Selah’s Place, and she told the staff, very frankly, “I really just don’t care today. Sometimes I do, but today I just really don’t care.”
Instead of being met with forced cheerfulness or pressed for conversation, our friend was told she could have an “I Don’t Care Day” — a day where she didn’t have to pretend to feel better or happy. Her mentor invited her to take off her shoes and watch a movie together while they ate their snacks.
The girl immediately lit up at the suggestion and welcomed the chance to relax with a smile. What the staff witnessed next is what they confidently describe as the most “silly and real” they have ever seen this young lady!
She started out quietly cozying up with blankets, but soon embraced the spirit of “I Don’t Care Day” with dancing, jumping, shouting, and joking. She just wanted to be funny and free — a privilege all young people should enjoy in a safe space.
Because of your commitment to the vulnerable, women and youth DO have safe spaces to authentically be themselves without judgment — space to let go for a moment knowing they are loved and secure.
Which is no small thing at all.
So thank you for praying for these individuals and being part of the mission to bring the security of real love to those who really need it!
Volunteer Highlight: Alicia Harrison
Strip Club Outreach and Minor Mentoring volunteer Alicia Harrison has always had a heart for survivors of human trafficking.
She not only dedicates her volunteer time to advocating for the vulnerable, but it is also the focus of her career as a lawyer.
Alicia learned about RAHAB while in law school at the University of Akron, and she describes it as “the Lord’s plan” for her to get involved:
“I began with Mentoring through the Summit County Restore Court Docket and continued throughout law school. Then, I learned RAHAB was expanding to Cleveland, which is where I’m from. I had been working in the human trafficking and child exploitation field in Cleveland and couldn’t wait for the Strip Club Outreach to get started.”
Now the lead of the Cleveland Strip Club team, Alicia spends her time bringing the girls at the clubs food and gifts — and spending time dedicated to building relationships and praying with them.
Alicia goes into strip clubs each month with the mission of showing the girls who work there what it means to be rooted in Jesus — to find their worth in the God who created them and not in their bodies or appearance. Alicia is a faithful presence in their lives … she calls them by name and reminds them they are loved.
Alicia says she’s never seen Jesus provide so vividly: “We walk into dark and dangerous places but receive hugs from the bouncers! The DJs announce to the club ‘the church ladies are in the building!!’”
A favorite recent memory was when her team took Bibles into the club, either to give to the girls or leave in the dressing room. They ended up needing to go back to the car to restock because so many women wanted them!
Outreach like this is important and impactful — and just like much of the work here at RAHAB, it would not be possible without volunteers. We are so grateful for the work Alicia is doing to serve the vulnerable, and we invite you to join the fight to end human trafficking by becoming a volunteer too!
You are the hands and feet of Jesus. Thank you for partnering with us — and with Him! — to provide hope and healing to vulnerable women and children right here in Ohio.
Thank you again for partnering with RAHAB Ministries.
Your caring, compassionate support makes a tangible and eternal difference in the lives we’re privileged to serve!