Robin is our new Las Vegas Program Director. Hear about her story, dreams, and what’s on her heart.
What was your journey to Refuge for Women like?
I started working for Spring Arbor University in Michigan back in 2002. Part of my role was to lead spring break missions trips. My trip was to bring student leaders to Las Vegas. On one of those trips, I met someone from Destiny’s house, which was my first exposure to anything directly involving sex trafficking and helping victims. I was challenged to take this ministry back to Michigan. After several years of coming to Vegas, God showed me it was time to do something local. So, through the encouragement of my pastor and the support of my small group friends, I began a strip club ministry called Hearts for Jackson. For the next 3 years, we went to the strip clubs each month bringing gifts for the girls. We sat with them, listened to their stories, and loved on them. Our goal was to show the love of Jesus in a practical way. Through time, God laid it on my heart to do more than just visit. We recognized the need for aftercare, a place for these gals to go if they truly wanted to change their lifestyle and get out of the industry. This led me to seek out organizations that were in the aftercare business and I was led to Refuge for Women. Shortly after this my husband and I relocated to Las Vegas. Right after moving to Vegas I met Karen Diers, Refuge for Women Las Vegas City Director at a house party for Refuge. I started volunteering in the home teaching a class on boundaries and healthy relationships. One thing led to another and here I am, the Program Director of the Vegas house. God has paved the way, shaped my heart and opened the door for me to be involved in this incredible ministry.
What is your dream for our residents?
My dream for our residents is that they would find their healing and recovery, become whole and healthy women, be equipped to be independent and know who they are in Christ. I pray our girls feel like Refuge is home for them. I want them to know they’re safe and be comfortable being themselves. My goal is to create that kind of environment in the Las Vegas house. We recognize the girls have hard work to do and we want our home to be a safe place for them to do this hard work. We are a home, their home. I love the days when our home is filled with the girls’ laughter. I also love the days when our home is filled with their tears, because they are growing, changing, healing, and opening their hearts to the amazing love of Jesus.
What is God doing that you want to be part of?
There is an increasing awareness of trafficking in Las Vegas. More so, there is a desire in the people to make a difference, they actually want to make a difference. The police and nonprofits are rallying together and are committed to do something about the problem of trafficking in Vegas. The more we, as Refuge for Women, get out in our community, the more we have an ability to make a difference. We want and need to have a voice at that table of community leaders. God is on the move in Las Vegas and my desire is for myself and all of us at Refuge to be a part of that movement.
What’s on your heart?
I want the average person, the ordinary person to know that anybody can make a difference in the world of human trafficking. You don’t have to be a person who came out of the industry, you don’t have to have a special degree, you just have to be willing to allow God to use you. Anyone can make a difference right where they are at. YOU can make a difference with your own set of skills, right where you are. Just do something. God will honor that obedience.