We have had some amazing groups do things for the houses at Refuge and for the residents themselves. Easter weekend, our residents received baskets from a group of women that contained chocolates and special items for each of them. Just today, I learned about a company in Northern KY bringing some furniture to the house and meeting some needs at the back end of the program. A Sunday School class takes our residents to lunch after church on a regular basis. The list could go on and on.
We try to find the balance with residents of interacting with supporters of the ministry and giving them space and privacy. It is a fine balance and, at times, I'm sure we get out of balance one way or the other. Each group that we have in the ministry has their own personalities and desires while in the program. Trauma affects the residents with things like trust, feelings of safety, and feeling "on display" at times. We try to be sensitive to the feedback we are getting from them on the amount of interaction and make needed adjustments.
College students are frequently looking for serving opportunities. I love when we can have college students on property because they are so passionate. They want to make a difference and are willing to do radical things if they feel God is leading them to do so. I have known many students upon graduation that have moved overseas because they care about human trafficking and have heard of the atrocities in places like Cambodia and Thailand. Also, we have interns that come out of those groups when they visit. It is common that a few months later a student will email and tell us about learning about Refuge for Women and now they want to get internship hours with us.
Recently, I was reminded of the importance of visitors at the house as a key staff member said her first exposure to the ministry came on a visit. It put the program into perspective by meeting the residents and seeing the daily routine. Today, she is our Program Director and has continued growing in responsibility in the ministry from that visit.
You may have a group that is interested in a summer project or fall project. Here are three ways that we would ask for help right now:
- We are looking for more groups to view our high school student curriculum called Rewire. You can learn more about this material at www.rewiremylife.org
- We have sent a lot of makeup around the country to groups that are doing outreach in clubs and on the streets. If you are willing to do a make up drive and bring it to our offices, we will ship that to groups that will distribute it.
- Collecting bras and jeans is another way to meet a need for outreach groups. We will make sure the items are given to the appropriate groups.