"Everything went black. The blinding flash of lightening and the ear-splitting crack of thunder were simultaneous - and followed by dark silence. Our world went primitive. No lights. No television. No computer. No internet, We were left fumbling in the dark for candles and matches. At last, flickering flames pushed back the darkness - at least a little.
Powerless. It's an unpleasant feeling. It reduces your world. Finding a little light becomes success. Conserving cold in the refrigerator or freezer to preserve food becomes an important priority. Maintenance of basic life needs becomes our focus. Grander goals are deferred. Aspirations become short-term and modest. Being powerless changes us.
Of course, being powerless isn't something that we only experience in the aftermath of severe weather. Life has a way of alerting us to our personal power failures. Our lives may be a living testimony to a power outage. We're here, but there isn't a lot of light or power. Are we destined to live a life of perpetual fumbling for "matches" and "candles"? Are we destined to dream only of survival? Aspire only to maintaining? We certainly hope and pray not! Yet, being powerless changes us. Somehow the power has to be turned on."
I read these words by Carl M. Leth on January 1, 2017. He was the lesson writer for the curriculum I teach every week in an adult Bible study at my church. Though the illustration was used in a different context, my mind went immediately to our residents at Rest Stop Ministries. Victims of the crime of human trafficking, they find themselves powerless. Their world is reduced to mere survival. All of life's grander goals and dreams are deferred. Aspirations become very short-term and modest...make it through another day, another hour, another trick, another john, another beating, another hit of that drug, another way to cope.
For most who come to Rest Stop it is the last stop...the last opportunity to turn around. Somehow the power has to be turned on. That's what we do. Offer power. Not just power to survive, but to thrive! Empowerment to find the life they've always imagined. And it's working! We are seeing those reclaimed, reimagined lives! Places like Rest Stop are where the proverbial rubber hits the hard, cold road of reality. Trauma-informed, holistic, comprehensive restoration in a residential community of loving support and accountability is very difficult work. And worth every ounce of effort.
If you really want to do something significant for the cause of Human Trafficking, support those of us on the frontlines of the daily battle to restore those beautiful human beings ravaged by this crime. Provide power to the powerless. Do it this month...January, 2017...Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Do it on January 11th, National Human Trafficking Day. Just Do It! Unleash the Power!