Amid COVID-19 restrictions, I miss the days of miracles routinely walking in our office door. I miss overhearing joyous laughter from visitors. I miss speaking to a congregation and seeing God’s glory reflected in the faces of the people in the pews.
And still, we are seeing miracles …
- We’ve welcomed new residents to both safe houses in the past month. There was once a time where we didn’t have the capacity to do that.
- While the calls we receive from women are becoming more desperate and frequent, they also mean we have the opportunity to speak the Truth of their value and live Love to more who need to be set free from enslaving lies and history.
- And as we continue to move closer to opening two drop-in centers in Stark County, volunteers have been busy. I see God’s glory reflected not in faces of people seated, but in a Body, an Army rising, restoring and improving the spaces where we serve and will serve.
I see miracles in the provision of resources that enable us to continue to serve in ever more challenging times. In sacrificial giving by people who have lost incomes.
And I believe these miracles are only the beginning.
Please join me over the coming days and weeks in praying:
- For peace and joy in the midst of pain for our staff and volunteers whose hearts break at every loss. At every death, at every overdose, at every desperate call they receive.
- For superhuman strength and overshadowing by the Holy Spirit so that hope flows through them to those who need it.
- For the newest residents of Rebecca’s Place to acclimate quickly to the safe house, for their countenance to change once True Love rushes into their souls in a way they have never known. For all of those in all of our spaces and in the places where we go to find hope and healing.
- For residents of our safe houses to sleep soundly and not to have bad dreams. For all those we serve to dare to dream again, and to remember dreams long ago forgotten. For us to be vessels that God uses to spur them on to fulfill their destinies, transforming God-planted dreams into reality.
- For government leaders to see, hear, and recognize Truth, to lead in humility and to be brave, bold decision-makers who protect the rights of the most vulnerable and who protect our ability to be the unfettered hands and feet of Christ. That they would recognize and choose to do the objectively right thing, even if the world says it is wrong … and for us to do the same.
- For provision of the resources we need, in the midst of government grant cycles coming to a close, with uncertainty about renewal, church partners doing ministry differently, and RAHAB supporter incomes decreasing.
- For the vulnerable who have become more vulnerable during this time and who have become less visible as other things dominate the news cycle. For us to know when to speak and when to stay silent on this and all things. For the opportunity to be their voice, at the right time, to the right audiences, and to be His voice most clearly of all, to speak clearly and in purity.
- For those who were assaulted by someone wearing a mask and whose bodies now experience the same physiological response when they walk into a store and are surrounded by their worst nightmare — masked people everywhere. For them to find compassion, not judgment, if they must go mask-free to breathe.
- For abused and neglected children who haven’t received a sincere, life-giving smile since schools dismissed early. For teachers and school administrators, who provide so much more than academic instruction, to know how to reintroduce a lifeline to at-risk children who are starved for affection.
- For service providers, businesses, and houses of worship to know how to provide safe spaces for those whose bodies, when surrounded by people wearing masks, revert to the response that happened when they were raped.
- For every child depicted in the millions of images of child pornography that were part of my cases when I served as an FBI Agent. That masked perpetrators would be unmasked. That the masked children — and all children — would be rescued. That all would recognize where hope lies. That when those who are terrified by face coverings are confronted by masks, they would be comforted.
- For our partners who have had to adapt service in ways that create barriers, and for those who have had to stop serving and are afraid for their clients. For peace and confidence that they have done their part, for those they have served to find abundant life and not traffickers’ nets or others with nefarious intent.
- For wisdom, discernment, and a clearly lit path for our leadership team. For steadiness in a surrounding sea where so many are uncertain and worldly wisdom is ever changing.
- For all of us, for protection from every evil force that comes against, attempting to devour, divide, and destroy. For peace that passeth understanding, for authentic relationships centered on Truth and Love. That we would each embody Truth and Love to such a degree that it overflows onto each other and our neighbors.
THANK YOU for your prayers. May they reap more miracles than we ever asked for or imagined.
Your continued faithfulness in supporting and celebrating Rebecca’s Place — and its one-year anniversary — is making a difference in the lives of the girls to whom we’re ministering.
We are grateful for the outpouring of donations to honor the young survivors who come live in this safe home!
Thanks to you, we’re able to share this beautiful story, as told by our staff member, Emily Miller
When I remember the first day I met her, the memories that come to mind are her vibrant smile, July sunshine, the sound of her giggle, and yellow nail polish.
I was a volunteer at Selah’s Place, RAHAB’s Minor Mentoring program. I was new to Selah’s, and she was one of the first girls I’d hung out with. I was always simultaneously nervous and excited to meet new girls, but Leesha, the staff member I was with that day, assured me that this girl was so, so sweet. For her time there that afternoon, she wanted to paint nails, and, more specifically, she wanted to paint my nails.
I told her the color was her pick — she chose a bright shade of yellow. As she painted my nails, the three of us talked, laughed, and got to know each other. I remember feeling an instant connection, something just drawing us together. After we said good-bye, the staff member texted me to say how well she thought it went. I felt so fulfilled.
Little did I know that six months later I would be employed by RAHAB’s Rebecca’s Place, the minor safe house, where the same girl I had met at Selah’s was a resident. She greeted me with a huge smile and an even bigger hug. Knowing one of the residents was actually a source of comfort for me. I already had a relationship with one of the girls and was confident there would be more to come.
It was truly a privilege to watch this individual — and all other residents — grow in the setting of the house. I was able to be a part of their best moments of laughter and fun, as well as their deepest moments of hurt and healing.
When the last day of this girl’s stay at Rebecca’s Place came, it was a bag of mixed emotions. I was sad to see her go, but also so happy to see her hard work get her to where she wanted to be: home with her family.
On her last day, she asked me to do something for her: paint her nails. I got out her gold glitter polish as well as a teal color. I started with her toes, and it was somewhat surreal. Almost a year later, I was applying a sparkling gold color to the toes of the girl who had once painted my fingernails yellow. It felt full circle. The act of painting this resident’s toenails felt like a washing of feet, a way to serve her in a way that made her feel beautiful and loved, a way to say good-bye.
When I finished up, I said, “You know, the first day I met you, you painted my nails.”
“I know,” she grinned. “Yellow.”
I told her how I almost painted them yellow before my shift but had forgotten, and she urged me to do it right then. Rebecca’s Place happened to have the same shade of yellow that she had used almost a year earlier at Selah’s Place, and we took a picture of our painted nails, a symbol that both opened and closed our physical time in each other’s stories.
After we had hugged, she put up her hand against mine, and laced our fingers together. I did all I could not to cry right there, looking at her grinning face for what might be the last time. It was hard to believe that the closeness I felt with this girl all started with painted nails on a hot summer day … and was ending with just the same thing.
Yellow nail polish used to mean nothing to me, and now it brings back so many memories. It is now a symbol of hope, love, and healing. It reminds me now of her shining smile, her contagious joy, and the gift of relationship with the girls we serve — the ones God has blessed us with — at RAHAB Ministries.
Jacque and Bob Stager discovered the work of RAHAB more than a decade ago.
At first their involvement was minimal — they attended a Scarlet Cord event. But after hearing firsthand the stories of women whose lives had been forever changed through the ministry, they knew there was more work to be done!
Since that time, Jacque shares:
I have coordinated the donations of casseroles, soups, and cookies from ladies at our church and delivered them to the drop-in house on Matthews Street every 4-6 weeks. Through the years we have attended the Scarlet Cord events and supported and advocated for RAHAB as different opportunities became available.
About three years ago, we became aware of the Christmas money jars that the women painted to be used as little banks to raise funds for RAHAB. I got really excited about helping with that because Christmas is truly my season — I knew that people often want to be generous over the holidays but don’t know what to do to make a difference.
Bob and I have collected clothing and toiletries, and we even helped put on a large yard sale one year to buy some items for the new safe house. But the Christmas jars campaign became something truly fun over the last few holidays that many of our friends could participate in without too much effort.
So we pass the jars out to friends sometime in November and collect them at the end of December.
I have fun counting the money in each jar before we get them all to RAHAB. It’s just a small thing really, but I know that in God’s economy little is much and He can use a little to make a big difference.
And it’s not just the money, it is also spreading awareness of the slavery of our day and the ministry of hope that RAHAB is. It is truly a joy to contribute in a small way.
RAHAB is humbled and grateful to have friends like Jacque and Bob always mindful, always helping, always willing to step up and make a difference.
It’s because of couples like this — and people like you — that we’re able to put Truth and Love into action!
The opportunity to open two drop-in centers in Stark County has us over-the-top excited.
- Each one means an escape from hopelessness for someone stuck in or vulnerable to the horror of sex trafficking.
- Each center means safety and hope for countless women!
We would love for you to join us in celebrating these openings by checking out our Amazon Wish Lists for each location and purchasing a “housewarming gift”!
You’ll bless broken and abused women with the tangible compassion of a Heavenly Father who loves them unconditionally. You’ll let them know they matter — that they’re seen and not forgotten.
And stay tuned: RAHAB will soon create an online calendar for friends like you to sign up to tour our two drop-in centers in September. There will be limited groups, so you’ll want to take advantage as soon as the sign-up is available … more info to come!
This month’s Staff Highlight is Rachel Sobitz — RAHAB’s Director of Community Engagement.
Rachel oversees volunteers, interns, and in-kind donations and has a passion for the women and children we help. She loves providing outlets for individuals, churches, and corporations to serve and to give, and it’s evident in her work ethic and attitude!
And we are excited to tell you that she just celebrated her three year anniversary with us at RAHAB.
She always says that there is something each person can contribute to RAHAB; no matter how big or how small, it makes a huge impact.
Rachel loves vacationing in Florida and spending time with her nieces and nephews.
If you’d like to get in touch with Rachel about ways to give or serve, feel free to send her an email!
Thank you again for partnering with RAHAB.
It’s the support of caring, compassionate people like you that allows us to make a difference!