The Weakest Link in the Chain.
My name is Katina and I’m new to your congregation. I walked in to your church because I heard God is here. I was told I would feel safe and be welcomed. As I sit here, I feel invisible and I wonder if anyone notices me. I try to smile and say hi to those around me, but my heart is beating fast. The pastor is welcoming all the newcomers and telling us how to get connected. I’m signing up to attend a group with some ladies on how to heal from a broken heart. My heart is beating fast again because now I’m about to open up and tell someone about my abuse. I’m holding my breath but I tell them I’ve been sexually abused for many years. I’m being prayed over…and then I’m asked, “Do you feel like Jezebel?” I don’t know who Jezebel is. But once I did, I didn’t realize my heart could break anymore. What did I do wrong in being forced to have sex with someone? I came here because I was told God was here and I would be welcomed. I have managed to find yet another place where I don’t belong. I felt maybe everyone who said my only purpose in life was to give sex was right. I thought I was taking steps forward just to be pushed backwards. I wanted someone to put their arms around me and tell me I wasn’t invisible and God loves me. I thought someone would cry with me and help show me this better life that I kept hearing about. Maybe this God-thing is a lie also. I guess I do belong on the streets. That is all I know…
Katina is a member of our church and is currently the director of our Rescue House. She is a sex-traffic survivor who has miraculously been transformed and set free by the love of God. Her story above is how she felt when she began to attend churches after she escaped from slavery. I wanted to share it with you so that you will be aware that there are probably girls in your congregation that are victims as well.
The 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report by the US Department of State said that one of the main problems is a lack of SAFE PLACES for the victims to go that is tailor-made for trafficked victims. Victims assistance is the weakest link in the chain. They also said that being able to identify trafficking victims involves social workers, religious institutions, and other community leaders because of their ability to build trust within local communities. They need us! They are low on staff and money. We are an army of volunteers.
We didn’t know what we were doing when we developed our Rescue House, but we knew we couldn’t sit by and do nothing. We sought the Lord and we sought counsel. We took one piece of the puzzle, Rescue, and set out to establish an emergency shelter. We all have a part to play in order to reach the “Katinas” in our churches. What’s yours? Let’s End It, together.