Iowa Trafficking Hotline: 800-770-1650 or text "iowahelp" to 20121
National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888 or text "Help" to BEFREE (233733)

Joy Says #MeToo

2017 went down as a hard year.  Weather-related catastrophes swept across our nation, racial riots took place, senseless shootings shattered communities, history-making political shifts turned the government as we knew it upside-down, and a grassroots movement went viral.

The #MeToo movement, founded by Tarana Burke, encourages survivors of sexual assault to find their voice on social media by posting #MeToo. In just days, 1.7 million women in over 85 countries retweeted #MeToo during October when it went viral.

#MeToo? What compels involvement? Does saying #MeToo change anything? I cannot speak for the masses. I can give voice to my own experience.  #MeToo is my story.  

——-

During my formative years, I was sexually abused. The secret was kept even though the clues existed; textbook identifiers of exploitation. If you knew me as a child, I was painfully shy and terrified of men. If you knew me as a teen, I was a world of hurt, extremely rebellious, sexually promiscuous, an exhausted perfectionist who could only control what went into her mouth and down her throat and the ability to purge it back up again.  I was the rebellious teen who became a teen mom, who grew into a boundaryless young woman. If you knew me as a young adult you wouldn’t have known.  I masked it; living behind the attempt at perfection and beating my own demon. If you knew me in my thirties you would have known a broken woman who failed at perfect. It is there where I found my voice.  The secret that had been stuffed for decades surfaced and my soul screamed #MeToo. Not to the world, or over a tweet, but to God and my husband.

I spent the coming years doing the grueling work of healing.  There was success and failure.  A root of confidence began to grow through miracles and the mundane work of telling my heart the truth until it stuck in my brain where the lies of being small, trapped, and helpless existed.

I did the hard work of walking in the trenches of my own abuse to find freedom.  The lie of small, trapped, and helpless was abolished.  I wept deeply for my little girl heart that lost so much.  I wept in a way I didn’t know humans could weep.  But it didn’t end there.  It didn’t end in suffering.  The beauty is that when you find your voice and say #MeToo with the Lord there is resurrection. I began to see how he makes all things new.  Not just the good stuff, but the horrible stuff too.  The Lord used my brokenness to become a catalyst for His glory — He gave me a voice and a passion for speaking and Wings of Refuge was birthed.

——–

To date, 16 women have made the decision to say “#MeToo” and come live at the Wings of Refuge safe home. Sixteen of the bravest women on the planet have had the opportunity to find their voice, shed tears, gain the truth about their dignity, value, and worth. Sixteen lives have been changed as hope and possibility became theirs.

The #MeToo movement numbers shouldn’t surprise us really. Sacred sex is culturally outdated. Media utilizes women’s skin and body parts to market products and entertain us. Soft pornography can be seen on any screen at any time. Statistically, a boy in America views his first pornographic image at age eight.  John Wesley quotes it this way, “What one generation accepts, the next generation embraces.” #MeToo is providing outcomes of lives affected by what we have chosen to accept and now what tragically is being embraced in the hideous acts of selfishness and abuse.

So what will we do?

The two responsive hashtags that formed after #MeToo are #HowIWillChange and #IWill.

The problem is big, dark, and overwhelming.  It is easy to choose apathy. I am asking you to not do that.  Instead, think about your gifts.  Your talents.  What makes you come alive? What gives you energy? What do you love? How can you use your craft and channel your passion into the responsive movement by doing what you love to fight what you hate?  Do you hate sex trafficking?  Do you hate that children in our country are lured into prostitution between the ages of 11-14?  Do you hate the fact that every day in America, 3.5 million people are willing to pay for sex, and that hundreds of thousands of victims are raped for someone else’s profit on our watch daily? Will you stop at knowing? Will you stay angry or apathetic OR will you act? Will you be part of the solution?

The 2018 theme for Wings of Refuge is: Do What You Love to Fight What You Hate.  

I love speaking and sharing the glory of Jesus.  I love the truth that when suffering collides with the message of the cross, restoration is the outcome. I love putting the evil in this world up against the incredible light of Christ. I hate sexual abuse, assault, exploitation, and sex trafficking.

Will you join me and Wings of Refuge in 2018 by doing what you love to fight what you hate?  How can you choose action to produce sustainability for Wings of Refuge?  How can you help Wings purchase a permanent home and open a transitional living center? How can you speak truth to yourself, your family, your church, your community and see restoration?  Do what you love to fight what you hate to bring glory to Jesus in 2018.

Throughout the year, you will see us post videos over social media of individuals who have joined us on mission by doing what they love to fight what they hate.  Watch the videos. May they inspire you! Please share, like, and comment on them and then make your own. Post it on social media. Tag Wings of Refuge in your video!  Let’s join the responsive movement that validates every woman who has had the courage to say #MeToo with answers of #HowIWillChange and then #DoWhatYouLove.

 

-Joy Fopma
Development Director/Founder

Do not be overcome by evil, overcome evil with good. -Romans 12:21

Jesus Wins

Kristie Hoelscher

I have never been more aware of the spiritual battle that wages on than now.

I see it in the way the women are fighting with their past, wanting to go back into the life. Fighting the addictions both physically and mentally. I feel it oh so strongly as I work the night shift, praying fervently for their thoughts and dreams.

And as I speak His name there is a sense of peace that comes and reminds me:

He wins.

He has won.

And we get to walk in His victory.

I have the wonderful privilege of leading our participants in worship every week. Picture this if you will. All of us sitting casually in the living room, watching Youtube videos of worship songs, singing to our King. Not much time has passed and already the atmosphere in the room has changed. I can see them breathe a little easier. There is a sense of relief, their walls and guards come down for a brief moment. I stop signing so I can hear them. I hear the sweet sound of their voice praising the name of Jesus!

No matter how dark of a storm they walked through – light is breaking.

We know how this all ends: Jesus wins. And someday we will all be face to face with Him, overwhelmed by His glory and we won’t be able to stop singing “Holy, Holy, Holy”!  But right now in the face of our past, our hurts, our pride, our own self, it takes faith to sing His praise. It takes us letting go of us and fixing our eyes on Him. Let us not forget that Jesus wins and is so worthy of our praise.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”
Eph. 6:12-13

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be on my lips. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”
Psalm 34:1-8

Kristie Hoelscher
Direct Care Coach

PO Box 562

Iowa Falls, IA

info@wingsofrefugeia.net