News and Events

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Save the Date

You're invited to Rest Stop Ministries' 10th Annual Gala: Revival!

 

Join us on Saturday, September 10, 2022 at Springhouse Worship + Arts Center in Smyrna, Tennessee.

Through the evening, you will enjoy a variety of dinner and drink stations while browsing our signature ReStore and Silent Auction before moving into the theatre auditorium for this year's featured program. Many stories and performances will be shared, providing a deeper meaning behind this year's theme of "Revival Reprise Reunion". We are thrilled for you to join us as we celebrate all God's doing, including the future vision and exciting projects at Rest Stop Ministries!

 

Whether you've followed RSM from the beginning, or you've recently learned about the restorative work being done at Good Hope Farms, this is going to be an evening you won't want to miss!

Learn more and purchase your tickets here!

Become a Sponsorship Underwriter

Join our group of Sponsorship Underwriters for our 10th Annual Gala: Revival! By becoming a Sponsor Underwriter for our annual gala, our largest fundraising event each year, you enable us to cover the costs of the gala before the event so that every dollar raised that night goes directly to the provision of care for our survivors in the residential program.

The following Sponsor Underwriter levels are available:
Platinum - $10,000
Gold - $5,000
Silver - $2,500
Bronze - $1,000

For more information regarding Sponsor-level benefits, marketing exposure, and/or requesting an invoice, contact RSM Community Engagement Manager, Caitlin Strecker, at caitlinstrecker@reststopministries.org.

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The Big Payback 2022

Last week, Rest Stop Ministries participated in The Big Payback, a 24-hour online giving campaign to lift up nonprofits in Middle Tennessee. This was our 8th year participating in this fun and competitive event, and we continue to be astounded at God's abundant provision and the generosity of this community! 

After you helped us raise $32,217 last year, we set a goal of raising $35,000 - the cost for one woman to participate in our restorative residential program for one year. You rose to the challenge, followed along, and watched the leaderboards with us. Each gift given throughout the 24 hours contributed to our total amount raised and put us in the running for extra prizes, helping to make this another record-breaking year!!

We are so excited to share this year's Big Payback Final Report with you:

Total Amount Raised: $33,956

The Breakdown:

  • $31,706 from 219 Unique Donors 

  • $1000 - Matching funds from anonymous donors

  • $1000 - 3rd Place Grand Prize: Most Unique Donors for Medium-Size Organizations

  • $250 - 3rd Place Prize: Most Dollars Raised in Wilson County between 6pm May 4 - 12pm May 5

A few more facts we LOVE:

  • Out of the 236 participating organizations in our category, we placed 6th for Most Dollars Raised

  • Out of ALL 881 participating organizations, RSM placed:

    • 13th for Number of Unique Donors

    • 18th for Total Dollars Raised

 

Team Rest Stop, thank you for showing up, praying boldly, and giving generously. We are truly humbled and encouraged knowing that YOU are partnering with us to Restore Survivors and Stop Oppression!

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Mark Your Calendar!

The Big Payback, a 24-hour online giving campaign supporting nonprofits in Middle Tennessee, kicks off at 6PM Wednesday, May 4! The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee offers a variety of cash prizes throughout the event, which means your $10 donation will make a bigger impact during these 24 hours than any other day of the year!

We've participated in The Big Payback every year since it started eight years ago, and every year, we're astounded at the generosity of our supporters! We're so grateful for your passion in supporting survivors, and for your competitive spirit during this fun event!

We have some BIG GOALS this year, and we need YOUR HELP! Last year, you helped us raise over $32,000 through a combination of individual donations, cash prizes, and matching funds. This year, we're hoping to raise $35,000 - that's the cost for one woman to participate in our long-term residential program for one year! Just think, within 24 hours we can raise enough to give HOPE to ONE for a whole YEAR!

Will you join us at 6PM May 4?

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6-Year Impact Report + Vision Strategy

Rest Stop Ministries was called into being in June 2011, and we opened the doors of Tennessee's first long-term residential restoration program designed solely for adult female survivors of sex trafficking in November 2015. Since then, we have had the sacred privilege of serving 44 precious survivors at Good Hope Farms.

We are delighted to share the story of Rest Stop Ministries and Good Hope Farms with you! We invite you to read through our first-ever Impact Report filled with significant outcomes data from 6 years of serving survivors, stories of precious women who have walked through our doors, our future vision for RSM, and so much more. We hope you will rejoice with us for all God has done, and are compelled to join us on our journey!

Click here to view the 6-Year Impact Report + Vision Strategy!

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Online Sexual Exploitation Report

One of the many casualties of the global pandemic has been increased online sexual exploitation. Children and teens have been spending more time online for virtual learning due to school closures, often with little parental supervision, creating more opportunities for traffickers to connect with, manipulate, and exploit children.

For one brave young adult woman we had the sacred privilege to serve, the COVID-19 “shelter-at-home shut-down” was actually the impetus for her finally reaching out for help to escape the 8-year online entrapment she had endured. 

To read Vee’s heart-wrenching and important story and learn some eye-opening statistics about online sexual exploitation, click here

 

Restore Survivors. Stop Oppression.

We continuously receive requests for education on these issues.  We need your support to grow our efforts in prevention & awareness training so that we can stop these cycles of childhood oppression and criminal exploitation.  And we need your support to continue providing escape for those enslaved like Vee, and to offer the wrap-around services they need for healing from their trauma.

As you consider your tax-deductible charitable year-end giving, please consider a gift to Rest Stop Ministries to sustain and grow this vital work. Click here to partner with us today.

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The Next Global Pandemic

What if the next global health crisis is a mental health pandemic? It is here now, and spiking. According to Gallup Inc., anger, stress, worry and sadness have been on the rise globally for the past decade -- long before the COVID-19 pandemic -- and all reached record highs in 2020.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 41.5% of U.S. adults exhibited symptoms of anxiety or depression in early 2021. Globally, seven in 10 people report that they are struggling or suffering, according to Gallup.  100% of our Rest Stop Ministries clients struggle and suffer with mental health distress. 

People die from COVID-19 -- they also die from depression and anxiety disorders. The U.S. has seen spikes in deaths from suicide and "deaths of despair."

The antidote to despair is HOPE.  That’s why our core competency at Good Hope Farms is growing, or cultivating, hope.  Our healing program is anchored in hope.  And hope does not disappoint.  Hope restores, revives, brings life from death.  Hope Heals. 

To demonstrate our confidence in the healing power of hope, we’re excited to share some significant data from 6 years of measuring mental health outcomes with the 43 women we’ve served in our long-term residential restoration program. 

We trust these important & impressive outcomes will compel you to continue supporting our work.  We need you to help us keep our doors open so that more exploited women can grow and rise in the power of hope. 

CLICK HERE to see the full report.

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Giving Tuesday: Sharing Stories of LIGHT

At Rest Stop Ministries, it is our sacred privilege to offer supportive services, resources, and a welcoming home for survivors so that they can step into healing and hope. ⁠There is so much darkness within the criminal oppression of sex trafficking, but as we walk alongside women on their healing journey, we see so many moments of LIGHT - celebrations, milestones, and successes. These are the moments that bring smiles to our faces, and we hope they do the same for you!

This month on our social media, we are sharing stories of LIGHT in preparation for Giving Tuesday on November 30. Be sure to follow along on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!

Your gift on Giving Tuesday helps us to keep our doors open so that the next woman is able to heal, grow, and experience GOOD HOPE. We hope you'll continue to follow along and join our amazing group of supporters by giving on November 30!

GIVE HERE!

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Revival Silent Auction: Now Open!

You have come to know and love the Silent Auction at our Annual Gala, but now you can check out ALL of the items and place your bid online! The best part? Bidding is open NOW, and will stay open until 7:30pm CST September 9 - Right when our Livestream begins! This gives you several days to bid on the items that have caught your eye. Be sure to keep checking back - There may be more items added throughout the week!

Click here to read more about the Virtual Silent Auction, and check out a few sneak peeks!

Click here to visit the Virtual Silent Auction!

Can't join the celebration at Loveless Barn on September 9? We'll be streaming LIVE on Facebook and YouTube, starting at 7:30pm CST. Tune in for inspiring stories of HOPE, live performances from the band CAIN, and powerful words from our special guest speaker, Rebekah Charleston. You won't want to miss it!

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9th Annual Gala: Revival

We are thrilled to gather as a community to celebrate Rest Stop Ministries' 9th Annual Gala: Revival! We hope you'll join us Thursday, September 9, 2021 at Nashville's iconic Loveless Barn.

 

The evening will include dinner catered by Loveless Barn, moving musical performances by CAIN, an inspiring message from Survivor Guest Speaker, Rebekah Charleston, and many stories from Rest Stop Ministries' 6 years of serving survivors at Good Hope Farms.

 

We're bringing back our Silent Auction and beloved ReStore! Place your bid on Silent Auction items on our virtual platform (coming soon!), then purchase your favorite handcrafted items in person at the ReStore.

 

This is going to be an evening you won't want to miss! Tickets are limited this year, and can be purchased individually or as tables of 10. Save your seat today!

 

 

6:00PM - Doors Open, Silent Auction & ReStore Open

6:30PM - Buffet Opens

7:00PM - In-Person Program Begins

7:30PM - Livestream Program Begins, Silent Auction Bidding CLOSES

Click here to purchase your tickets!

Questions? Contact RSM Community Engagement Manager, Caitlin Strecker, at caitlinstrecker@reststopministries.org.

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The Big Payback 2021

In early May, Rest Stop Ministries participated in The Big Payback, a 24-hour online giving campaign to lift up nonprofits in Middle Tennessee. Our Founder + CEO, Rondy Smith, felt called to approach this year's Big Payback with even more intentionality. She started calling the 24 hours "The Big PRAYback", and invited you to join her in prayer - giving God ALL of the glory, and praising Him for the work He's doing at Good Hope Farms. 

This was the 7th year Rest Stop Ministries has participated, and for the 7th year, we are astounded at God's abundant provision, and the generosity and support of our community! You followed along, watched the leaderboards with us, and finished stronger than we could imagine, making this our most successful Big Payback ever! We're so excited to share this year's Big Payback Final Report with you.

Total Amount Raised: $32,217 

The Breakdown: 

  • $28,167 from 321 Unique Donors

  • $3,000 - Matching funds from Bobby Smith, Momentum Law, and an anonymous donor

  • $750 - Tie for Most Unique Donors for Medium-Size Organization between 6 -10pm May 5

  • $300 - 2nd Place for Most Dollars Raised in Wilson County between 6pm May 5 - 12pm May 6


A few more facts we LOVE:

  • In our category, we placed 7th for Number of Unique Donors AND Total Dollars Raised!

  • Out of ALL 917 participating organizations, RSM placed:

    • 13th for Number of Unique Donors

    • 24th for Total Dollars Raised

  • 100 first-time givers to Rest Stop Ministries - WELCOME! Together, you raised $3,227! 


Team Rest Stop, we are so grateful for you!! Thank you for showing up, praying boldly, and giving generously. You are making a BIG impact in the lives of the precious survivors at Good Hope Farms.

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The Big Payback 2021

Mark your calendar - The Big Payback is starting soon! This 24-hour online giving campaign for nonprofits in Middle Tennessee kicks off on May 5 at 6:00pm CST, where each gift of at least $10 puts RSM in the running to win BIG cash prizes!

Rest Stop Ministries has participated in The Big Payback the last SIX years, and we've been amazed at the generosity of our community each year! Your gifts allowed us to keep our doors open throughout 2020, and we need your help to continue the restorative work being done at Good Hope Farms in 2021.

Rest Stop Ministries was called into being 10 years ago. In these 10 years, we have seen beautiful transformation - women truly waking up to a new way of living. As she does the hard work of healing, she is provided with a warm, safe bed to sleep in at night, healthy meals, therapy, case management, medical care, spiritual direction, and so much more.

Your gift during The Big Payback provides that same hope-filled opportunity for more women. Celebrate this 10 year calling with a $10 gift in honor of a resident survivor, a current or former staff member, or a volunteer you know and love. 

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Gala 2021 : Revival

Rest Stop Ministries' 9th Annual Gala: Revival will be held Thursday, September 9, 2021 at the iconic Loveless Barn in Nashville. We are so excited to share this special evening with you! There are many exciting things in store - we hope you'll join us. Keep your eyes open for more details and ticket sales in the next few months!


Rest Stop Ministries is inviting Sponsorship Underwriters for our 9th Annual Gala: Revival. By becoming a Sponsor Underwriter for our annual gala, our largest fundraising event each year, you enable us to cover the costs of the gala before the event so that every dollar raised that night goes directly to the provision of care for our survivors in the residential program.
Learn more about Sponsorship Levels here.

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The Celebration Continues!

An important piece of our mission is to empower and equip women to live healthy, financially-independent, and purpose-filled lives. Residents are offered the opportunity to seek educational advancement and are supported in preparing for job placement. We also walk alongside residents in obtaining driver's licenses, possibly for the first time in their lives, and vehicles to call their own. These are life-altering steps on the road to independence!

We're continuing to celebrate our 5th Anniversary of serving survivors at Good Hope Farms with a greeting from our sister organization, Free For Life International, and CEO Gabrielle Thompson.  We are privileged to work in such a wonderful collaborative network of anti-trafficking organizations in Middle TN. We appreciate this strong endorsement so much! Watch her greeting here.

Family Reunification

The oppression and trauma of sex trafficking doesn't stop with the survivor - it impacts her family, her children, and the people in her life. We know that reunification and making amends with loved ones is significant in the healing journey, and whenever possible, we love being able to help facilitate those meetings. In the 5 years at Good Hope Farms, we've seen:

  • Women reunite with siblings after years of disconnect

  • Women opening conversation with parents

  • Women reuniting with children

  • A woman able to attend her child's graduation

  • A woman moving in with parents after RSM

  • A woman able to visit a grandparent in a nursing home

  • A woman attending her first family vacation in years

  • A woman reuniting with her mother

The video here is from an RSM Resident's Graduation. The graduate had a broken relationship with her siblings, but while she participated in the program, she was able to reconnect and begin rebuilding those ties. Her sister, Lucy, asked to speak at the graduation, and we're so honored she gave us permission to share her heartfelt words. Please excuse the poor video quality, but we couldn't pass up sharing such a beautiful example of the Lord's heart for family! Click here to watch.

Finally, THANK YOU to our generous volunteers and supporters who helped make this Christmas season special for the residents at Good Hope Farms. 2020 has been an incredibly hard year - joy and fun were much needed! It's always a blessing to celebrate this special time of year with the residents, knowing that they are safe and surrounded with loving community. We pray that they are able to experience the Father's love during this holiday season and the years to come!

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Celebrating 5 Years of Impact

We’re taking time this December to reflect back, not just on this very difficult 2020, but on 5 Years of Impact.  We’re celebrating our 5th Anniversary of serving survivors at Good Hope Farms!  We hope you’ll enjoy the stories we’ve curated, the statistics we’ve collected, the exciting plans we’ll announce, and the celebratory greetings brought by others.  We hope your hearts will be moved and your souls stirred to see or remember all that God has done for us and through us.  Rest Stop Ministries has always been His, since He’s the one who called us into existence!

Derri Smith, Founder of End Slavery TN, was the local expert whose voice & challenge God used in 2011 to prod us into ACTION about our burden for the issue of Modern Day Slavery or Human Trafficking.  It was at her urging that our Founder, Rondy Smith, was challenged to mobilize a critical mass of supporters within her congregation, Hermitage Church of the Nazarene, to develop Tennessee’s first long-term residential restoration program.  Four years later, in November 2015, that goal was realized when we opened our doors at Good Hope Farms! Click Here to watch her celebratory greeting.

From Day 1, we knew the voice of Survivor Leaders would be important in the development and operation of our specialized program for sex trafficking survivors.  We were so blessed to work with some amazing Survivor Leaders from all over the country who consulted with us every step of the way.  Then, by Divine Appointment, God chose a very special Survivor Leader to join our inaugural Staff Team.  When she needed to move forward with her education, career and life after a year of dedicated service, we knew we needed to begin praying for the next Survivor Leader God would send our way.  Some things take time!  We waited before the Lord… like the Advent waiting re-teaches us each Christmas season!  Finally, the answer came!!  Let’s hear Cynthia and Rondy tell the story… Click Here to watch.

Follow along as we continue to share stories of hope + impact. We're honored to celebrate this special season with you!

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