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Breaking Free...

Posted: August 11, 2014

Sometimes we get stuck in a rut and feel like we want to change things up! But, what if you were involved in an insurmountable situation not of your choosing? On August 2, I joined a friend from the Ingnatian Volunteer Corps and volunteered at a picnic for women and children trying to rebuild a life after sex trafficking. 

I heard amazing stories about being “lost and found.” One man shared his personal testimony about how God had restored the lives of his wife and himself through the Breaking Free organization. His wife escaped sex trafficking. Now they were working, staying sober and moving into a new apartment with their children. Another woman shared a miraculous story about being rescued by the brother of the founder of Breaking Free. She is now an aspiring writer trying to build a new life. She was filled with hope.

There was a blessing before the meal was served. They offered a prayer for all of the girls and women who have died in sex trafficking. It was a chilling moment. It was a reminder that there are many who have paid the ultimate price. As I looked at all of the people gathered in the room, it was hard to imagine all of the suffering of these girls and women on a beautiful sunny day in a neighborhood park.

I also met the woman who spoke at St. Patrick’s a couple of years ago about sex trafficking. She grew up in Edina. She had never spoken publicly about her experience. She wondered what people would think about her. And, yet she was at the picnic celebrating being a survivor and helping other women find a new path. She had meaningful work and a strong sense of community.

There is always the possibility of a new life with God. Even out of destruction and loss, there is a beautiful part of us that is untouched by cruelty and abuse. These women are a testament to the power of rebuilding after great loss and creating something new. We encourage you to pray for all of the girls and women who are victims or survivors of sex trafficking. 

--Maura