Often on my children’s birthdays, I remind them of the day they were born. We talk about what it was like when they were little tiny humans. Sometimes I’ll pull out favorite pictures of memories as they were growing up. I couldn’t help but look back on old posts, writings, and pictures, remembering what it was like when God birthed this ministry as I thought about what to write for Wings of Refuge five-year celebration. So many “growing up” memories have occurred. Here is one of them.
Journal entry November 2013- “I am exhausted. It’s been another crazy day. The event is tomorrow night. I begin to question everything. Will anyone show up? Will everyone show up? Will I convey the message well? Is this too much? Is it not enough? To what end will this all bring? As I sit here exhausted with adrenaline still pulsating through my body from the Divine Appointment with the FBI agent, the possibility of statewide coverage, and an anxiousness of rethinking through every detail of our first Wings of Refuge events it becomes so clear… why I am here and why all of this is necessary, a must do; without option.
We have heard your cry. Tonight, as I sit here safe, I wish you were here instead of where you are. I wish you were nestled safely under crisply washed sheets and generously donated-with-love covers. I wish I could come and scoop you up from the madness you are living in now that may at this point seem all too familiar. I wish I could come and take your hand as you walk right out of the darkness you are living in. Because I would and so would so many others who have heard your cry.
We have heard and we are relentlessly pursuing you, looking for you, praying for you; hoping for you. We are giving you a voice. We are bringing you out of the shadows and the hidden corners of the virtual streets of darkness where men lust after you on their screens. We have heard your cry and we are contending with the darkness we are up against on your behalf. We have heard your cry. We want you to know we hear you. We are coming. This is all going to end. No more will abuse be your norm; you will learn to trust again; or for the first time. We will help you find your dream- the one buried under piles of greed, selfishness, and violence that have been heaped on you. Even when you cannot yet dream for yourself, we will dream for you, until it is unlocked in your soul. We have heard your cry. We will not stop, back down or give up, no matter how long it takes. You need to know you are worth it Dear One. You are precious to us already, even though we have yet to hear the tone of your voice and look you in the eyes. We have been given a task to devise a plan, and have many come along, to bring a sparkle to your eyes. You are loved even though we have yet to see you face to face. We will work tirelessly until we meet you and until the real you is able to live again free, unashamed, and only left with a scar as a reminder of the pain that consumes you now. We have heard your cry Dear One. We are telling your desperate cry we have heard to anyone who will listen, to anyone who will stop and consider. Consider you. And ask the hard questions.
What if the tables were turned? What if I were you and you were me? What if I was trapped, hidden, owned, sold, and purchased multiple times a day by sheer evil. What would I want to be done if it were me where you are?
I would want you to run with all your energy, with every ounce of ambition you have to get me out of this hell.
And so we run, ask, knock, and tell your story. We pray, go, connect, educate, and research until you are here with us. Safe. Loved. Free.
We are coming Dear One. We are passionate for you to be free. Free to cry and be heard. It will be heard by an overflow of determined people to validate and love you until you are the overcomer we see you as already. Until you are strong, capable, whole, healed and new. We will believe for you until you can take hold of it yourself. Dear One, you matter greatly. You always have.
The lie that you have been shortchanged on that you’re a whore, a throw-away, a nobody, a slut, property, a disposable commodity will be over. Dear One, hold on tonight. You are nearing the end of this real-life nightmare. It’s almost over don’t give up….not tonight.
Five years later… Sixteen Dear Ones have cried, laughed, celebrated, grieved, and lived life at Wings. We have learned so much from the Lord, the brave women we serve, the citizens in our state, each other, and ourselves. A foundation is built. Daily, we walk steadily in the collision of exploitation meeting restoration. We have years under our belt, yet the mission is as fresh as the beginning. Since November 2017, we have turned away 18 Dear Ones due to our home being at capacity. Many are praying, planning, and partnering like crazy to follow the Lord’s lead in opening a transitional living center. Because tonight, the Dear Ones are still out there not knowing a life of hope and possibility. Happy Birthday Wings of Refuge! Five years is a great run, Lord willing you will have a sister home soon!