An Inside Look
By Becca Klein, Outreach Coordinator

Stop what you’re doing and close this article. 

No seriously, I mean it. If you want to learn the ins and outs of street ministry, let’s first begin by reading John chapter 4 together. It tells us the beautiful story of Jesus meeting a woman who was outcast by society and judged by those who called themselves “followers of God.” Rather than befriending this woman, listening to her story, and learning about her trauma, the disciples chose to avoid Samaria and this woman entirely, and stuck with people who believed and behaved “the right” way instead. 

While the rest of the world chose to avoid her, Jesus chose to intentionally go after her. RAHAB chooses to model street ministry after His exact approach in this story. We set up camp in the areas that most people avoid, and we befriend the women most people write off. 

Personally, street ministry is my favorite part of this job. RAHAB sends teams out every week to various places (some during the day, some at night) to walk the streets and cultivate relationships with the women we see. 

We specifically target impoverished areas with high crime rates because that is where the need is great. Prior to going out, our teams spend time in prayer asking for both protection and direction, as we know we need the Lord’s leading to conquer such a task. After prayer, we head to the streets and believe that Jesus will use us as His hands and feet. 

Most of the time, our initial contact with the women starts with giving them a street bag. These bags (that have RAHAB’s logo and phone number on them) are filled with items to help someone survive on the streets, which is where a lot of our women call home. We fill these bags with name brand toiletry products, crisis cards that offer information on local resources, feminine products, snacks that don’t require cooking, wash cloths, scripture cards, notebooks/pens, invitations to our Drop-In houses and more. 

These bags help establish an initial connection with the women and disarms them from thinking we are dangerous. 

After giving our friends these street bags, we try to create casual conversations and spend time getting to know them. Typically, our women are used to strangers only talking to them when they want something, so they really seem to enjoy conversation with someone who doesn’t want anything in return. 

In an ideal situation, the women open up to us and we get to pray with them, followed by us inviting them to come to our Drop-In home. The number of women we’ve initially met on the streets who are now regularly attending Bible study and eating family-style meals at our Drop-In homes is a miracle. We get to extend a home to those who have none on their own … and, as a result, we get to witness reconciliation firsthand

We have had such powerful encounters on the street because of Jesus that both men and women were brought to tears because of His overwhelming presence.

  • We’ve had the privilege to pray with women moments after they were trafficked and remind them they are loved and are worth so much more. 
  • We’ve spoken God’s Word over the most dangerous streets in our cities and have watched the miraculous follow. 

However, that is not always the case. Many times, these women are being watched by their traffickers and avoid us in fear of getting in trouble. We’ve been told off by many women who simply don’t trust us that we are just there to help … but we always remind ourselves that someone wanting to help you is a foreign concept to those who are constantly belittled and used. 

In situations like these, our team prays for the woman as she walks away, knowing the Lord still hears and values our prayers and believing for healing to come in the future. We firmly believe that even if we don’t come in contact with women that day/night, it was still successful because we are taking His Word to the streets. 

Street ministry is a beautiful and crazy roller coaster, and our best advice for those who join us is to cling tightly to Jesus and love the person in front of you. It is an enormous honor to be able to watch God move in such tangible ways … and I wouldn’t trade the relationships we’ve established with the women on the streets for anything in the world.

We are thankful to hear about stories of lives impacted because God is at work in and through your support for and partnership with RAHAB! Here is one of those stories, written by someone who attended a RAHAB Essentials training event…

Human Trafficking Happens Right Here.

RAHAB’s home page states, “Human Trafficking Happens Right Here.”

I’m asking you — have you seen human trafficking here? It’s not a matter of “if” you do see it … but “when” you see it, what will you do?

Friends, let me just tell you that you will see it, and your response is so important. Your response should be one that exudes love. Ignoring and turning the other way just won’t cut it. Someday it will be in your face, so be prepared for WHEN it [is].

It’s hard to believe that I was in the middle of that kind of story just this week … I mean year … I mean … let me explain. But, I’m in awe of the way that God worked this story for the good of the trafficked victim.

Where to start?

I became familiar with RAHAB in Summer 2019. Suzanne Lewis-Johnson was new to RAHAB from the FBI where she saw trafficking right here. Suzanne inspired me in a way to see what I did not see regarding human trafficking. So, I went to RAHAB Essentials training. I didn’t uproot my life to become a part of the outreach team (perhaps for me later in life) but I did something small. I took the training.

Fast forward a few months: I had a friend tell me about her daughter, and some things her daughter was mixed up in. Without the RAHAB training, I would have made some assumptions about the situation her daughter was in. But some key things my friend said combined with what I learned from the RAHAB training caused me to inquire with RAHAB to get her help — at least an invitation of help. I shared the information with my friend who offered it to her daughter, but her daughter [declined]. Things got dramatically worse for her daughter for the next year or so, in ways I wouldn’t be able to begin to imagine for my friend or her daughter. My friend had not heard from her daughter for 6 months until one day in April 2021. My friend received a phone call from her daughter and is now connected to RAHAB services.

My friend learned that her daughter had been trafficked, abused, raped, was fighting drug addiction, etc. After being referred to RAHAB from the rape crisis center, her daughter’s journey toward healing began. Her daughter is now surrounded by healthy relationships and support and is choosing to heal and find hope. The unimaginable has happened to her daughter. The unimaginable had been happening all along. My friend was helpless and could not help her daughter. It’s a place none of us can imagine.

Perhaps her daughter was at rock bottom. Now, perhaps she may be able to overcome all her trauma. Perhaps she will never turn to drugs again. Perhaps she can heal from being separated from her children. This is where God moves for victims of sex trafficking and where the staff and volunteers at RAHAB make a difference. It was God and nothing more that brought my friend’s daughter to RAHAB.

My friend called me to tell me I was not going to believe where her daughter was. I still can’t believe it. I’m just thankful she has support now, and all praise and glory and thanks be to God for connecting her with RAHAB again. My friend and I both agreed that perhaps we planted seeds for her daughter, but it was truly God, and the hope RAHAB provides so her daughter can now begin to heal.

Thank you for reading these words that I can’t even believe I’m trying to put together — and shaking as it brings tears to my eyes.

Praise be to God. 

“Many of the youth have been hurt through relationships … but we’ve seen, through the power of mentoring, that relationships have the ability to heal.”    —Halle Coblentz, Director of Minor Programming 

This short thank-you message gives you an inside look at RAHAB’s Minor Mentoring program and Selah’s Place … 

It also provides you opportunities to link arms with us in this important work!

As we expand into Cuyahoga County, RAHAB needs dedicated prayer and support. Your partnership ensures we’re able to feed the bodies of the girls we serve AND feed their souls.

As Halle explains, Selah’s Place is in desperate need of gift cards! Your generous donation today will help us purchase gift cards for the girls we’re mentoring. Simply click here to contribute! Thank you!

God is in this work. There’s no doubt.

Just ask Stephanie Johnson, our Director of Church Relations. She shares:

I have been asked twice recently what brought me to RAHAB. While I am willing to share all the cool details of how the    Lord reeled me into this ministry of hope, it boils down to: I knew I was called. That, and I believed in the work they were doing. 

I turned down what I thought was my dream job. I turned down a job that had a paycheck. In September of 2018, I dove into church relations, technically as a volunteer.

On October 11, 2018, I wrote, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you” (Exodus 16:4). Yesterday I highlighted this verse because I think God works in cool ways. I have many stories of God showing up, and today He did it again! I found out that someone anonymously donated a significant amount of money designated to start paying me for my work. Wow!

I’m not excited because it increases the number in my bank account but because it increases the number in my ‘this is how God has provided for me’ account that I get to use to testify to others.

Thank you, anonymous giver! You will never know just how much your faithfulness and generosity have blessed me. And thank you, Giver of all good things!

Today RAHAB needs manna from heaven in a big way. Due to cuts and delays of grant dollars, we have a significant gap in our budget. Two and a half years ago I was obedient to God’s call despite funding. The Lord used someone to support me because I was obedient to His call and believed in the work RAHAB is doing. God moves here. He is restoring women and children. He is saving lives. Do you believe in the work we are doing at RAHAB?

Would you please give? Not that our bank account would be filled, but that we might see more people impacted by Truth and Love. That we might continue to offer Hope to the broken. That we might continue to testify to how our mighty God works. God will provide. And when He does, we will say thank you. Thank you, Giver of all good things!

To donate, please click here. Thank you for your generosity!