The week before we left on this road trip Zak and I were crazy-busy getting everything together to leave, but we also ended up having several meetings that we each (or both) really needed to attend. It made for a full week of juggling schedules and kids, but also some amazing contacts that I haven't gotten to tell about until now. I thought I would give some of the highlights...
Zak and I both got to meet with Esther, a lady from the Sexual Assault Resource Center. We wanted to talk to her about resources and also to let her know about what we are doing at Agape in case she needed to use us as a resource. As it turns out, she told us that the "spiritual recovery" section in her resource book is completely empty and she was so happy we had come to offer support! She also gave us an incredibly complete listing of resources for us to use! It was a great meeting. I look forward to spending more time getting to know her and picking her brain for information.
Zak got to meet with Deputy Keith Bickford who had recently contacted Agape to ask if he could refer some people to us. When they arrest Johns for prostitution solicitation he needs a place to refer them for healing from their sexual addiction. He wanted to know if we would be able to help with that. How cool to know that the police department is reaching out to a local church for healing. Isn't that what we are supposed to be for our community--a place of healing?
The most amazing meeting I got to attend was a meeting held by the Council for Prostitution Alternatives, a meeting for recovering prostitutes. WOW!! I hardly know what else to say. Fortunately I have had a few weeks to process what I saw and heard, but I still have a lot of work to do to understand what all went on in that meeting. I went with Danna, our new fabulous intern who is leading our human trafficking ministry. The ladies were very welcoming to us and really seemed to appreciate our interest in being there. We have been encouraged to come back and also to give these ladies a call and befriend them during the rest of the week to help them reintigrate with society. Just like many other forms of abuse, they have been isolated from the rest of the world and this keeps them locked into their addictions and the slavery they have come to know as every-day-life. So, a date for coffee or a trip to the mall with a girlfriend is something quite foreign to them right now. I look forward to being able to do this when we get back to town.
The highlight of this meeting for me and what still brings me to tears when I think about it right now is that when I get back I get to start teaching a yoga class for these ladies. Their present yoga instructor has just recently moved and they were needing someone to fill that spot. I told them I am not certified, but would love to lead a yoga/stretching/pilates class if they were interested. Lila eagerly accepted my offer! This was just another moment of hearing God saying, "I have been training you for this ministry for a loooonnnng time! Trust me!" What an amazing opportunity! Now, I better brush up on my yoga. I hear they are a lively bunch! :)