This Saturday afternoon was different out on the streets. Each Outreach is its own as we engage different people in different places on their journey to survive. We are so grateful that one of the girls has found a safe place to stay for a few weeks while she transfers her probation and we transition her to a residential recovery home in Nashville. It takes time to get those things in order. However, she is staying clean and ready to go so we are walking her through each step one day at a time. If we had Rahab's Rest operational, she would have come home to safety 2 weeks ago without navigating through this transitional red tape. Many in our culture think "displacing them" is the best option and for some it is. BUT, shouldn't they be able to find restoration in their a community of caring healthy human beings they already know and trust walking beside them in the process? These are beautiful human beings made in the image of God worthy of love, respect and care from within the walls of the Church, social service agencies and recovery and health providers in our own community.
Ninety eight percent of women in street prostitution say they want out but what keeps them out there is not knowing how they will have money or food to eat. They just keep jumping in and out of cars hoping the next trick will not beat, rape or kill them so they can pay for their next hit of whatever to make the shame and fear go away. Moreover, what about those tricks? Many are married, many are sex addicts, many are blue-collar workers, many violent criminals but many are in positions of leadership - teachers, doctors, lawyers, executives. SIN and addiction do not discriminate. Do we? When we think about prostitution, do we stop with the ones who are actually selling themselves or being sold forgetting about the ones who are paying for them? The women are NOT the problem, childhood abuse, neglect, abandonment, mental illness, addiction, diseases and their effects on human beings who have lived through them are. Where does a child go when their parents are junkies and one of their male friends traps her in a corner when she is seven then proceeds to molest her for the next year? She is displaced to her a family member who takes her up North. She proceeds to have what seems like "a normal childhood." One day they bring her back to her parents’ house and she is, once again, pawned off to whatever man walks in the door so they can pay for their addiction. Before long, she is lost in her own addiction hiding in a prison of shame. This is her story but she has found Hope in the people of Love's Arm and by golly, we are going to get her to a place where she can heal. It is just so unfortunate that it can't be in the Greatest Little City in America that she calls home.