Aug 17 2016

2016's Everyday Heroes

Posted in Clinics, Blog, Abolition Now

2016's Everyday Heroes

 

Compassion Clinics

A personal note we received from a guest at the Compassion Vancouver Heights Clinic on July 23:
 
"I'm not sure how to begin this message. I went to the VancouverCompassion Clinic today. I was having some foot issues, most important to me was an ingrown toenail. I was very nervous. The treatment I got there was awesome, and the bad toenail removed. 
 
But that was not the only thing that happened to me, or even the most important. You see, I have a huge rift with my son,and have been unable to forgive him for the pain he has caused in our family. The woman who was cleaning my foot, and of course I can't remember her name, asked if there was anything I wanted to pray about. I asked that we pray that my son finds the right path, and we did. 
 
"But in that moment what actually happened was that I forgave my son. Completely and with all my heart, something I had been unable to do on my own."
 
But in that moment what actually happened was that I forgave my son. Completely and with all my heart, something I had been unable to do on my own. I now pray that he will forgive me for my shortcomings, because, Lord, do I miss him! And I am asking anyone who reads this to pray that he can forgive me and we can come together again. 
 
My toe is throbbing and my tears are flowing but my heart is happy, my burden lighter. Thank you all!" 

Arizona Hub

Anna (name changed) and her three kids were homeless, staying with Anna's sister, when they came to the Compassion Care Center looking for housing. They had very little as they had just moved here. Initially the help Anna received was practical. We helped her get an appointment for House of Refuge, a transitional housing program. They received clothes and food and used the computer to get information about which schools served the neighborhood and how to get the kids enrolled. Our volunteers also walked her through how to find resources.
 
Then Anna and her sister started coming to us for reading programs and parenting groups. She and her kids started volunteering. Her oldest son began mentoring with one of our volunteers.  For about a month we saw them almost daily. Sometimes she would just stop in for prayer and a hug. 
 
The hard life Anna has lived left her with no teeth, but at HopeFest Anna was able to get a complete set of dentures. She cried and we cried too. They were able to move into their own completely furnished home the end of April and due to distance we don't get to see Anna very often, but she still calls to check in weekly. Whenever she hears of a great program or resource she can't wait share it with us. She has referred many of her friends and family. We feel so blessed to have met this special woman. 
 

Abolition Now

Student Awareness  We love speaking with students, and how open they are to conversation about the problem of trafficking and meaningful solutions. After speaking with a high school class from De La Salle, we received notes from the students about how much they appreciated what they learned. "I realized I need to treat women and girls with more respect," wrote one teenager. Many others commented on how their eyes had been opened to trafficking "in their backyard" for the first time.
 
""I realized I need to treat women and girls with more respect," wrote one teenager."
 
Driver Takes Initiative To Prevent Trafficking  We received an unexpected message through our website this year from the driver of a Trimet bus, who believes he may be seeing trafficking cases on his route regularly. Instead of simply turning the other way, this driver took initiative and sought out more information on how he should go about reporting these cases and getting victims help. We were able to connect him directly with our contacts at the Portland Police Sex Trafficking unit, who gave him training on how to safely report cases, and developed possible intervention scenarios together. Our vision is for this training to be mandatory for all Trimet Employees someday!
 

Adorned In Grace Bridal Shop

Chance Encounters  Recently a woman came into the Raleigh Hills shop looking for a gown for her friend in Montana. She bought a beautiful dress and when she got home told everyone she knew about the mission and vision of Adorned In Grace. One of her friends was so moved by what she heard that she sent a $50 check in the mail. We are blessed by the generosity of those who support us and are so impressed by the way God uses chance encounters to spread our message to all corners of the country! We often receive visitors from all over the country who have heard about us either through the Internet or word of mouth and are really curious about what we do. Recently we helped brides from both Alaska and Hawaii find their wedding dresses, all in the same day!
 
And The Bride Wore White  It is beautiful to see survivors of sexual exploitation transformed through a journey of healing, and we love to know that we're making a small difference in their lives as they make this journey. So when we have a chance to gift a survivor with a dress and accessories for their wedding day, we jump at the opportunity! 
Such was the case with a survivor who came in the shop recently; we were able to give her a $250 credit so she could purchase a gown, veil, and other accessories. She thanked us profusely by inviting all of us to her wedding!
 

Adorned In Grace Design Studio

Teaching True Grit  One of the volunteers on the Design Studio support team helps teach the older teens to drive. On one such freeway-driving escapade, they drove to Multnomah Falls and the volunteer encouraged the often screen-attached young girl to climb to the top of the falls. It was a grueling experience, filled with constant "don't give up" moments. 
 
Late that night, the girl texted the volunteer to say that she was so proud that she made it to the top and said, "Most people let me quit trying too soon and then make excuses for me. I love that you knew what I could do and you wouldn't let me settle for less."
 
"Most people let me quit trying too soon and then make excuses for me. I love that you knew what I could do and you wouldn't let me settle for less."  

Let Your Love Flow  Summer activities at the Design Studio have included a weeklong beach trip, hikes, movies, berry picking, pool party, picnics and volleyball. The majority of the girls, some of whom are from refugee families, have never done these things before and the excitement on their faces is priceless. 
 
One mentor commented, "I've been walking with these girls for a number of years now. God has blessed me this year by giving me a REAL love for them, the kind of love I'm used to feeling when I look at my own children. A number of times over this last year I have found myself feeling that "welling up" kind of love and pride for these girls. I have told them how proud of them I am and that I love them. It's genuine love. They have shared their hard lives with me and I am better for it. I have learned to love people better because of them. What a gift!"
 

Hands of Hope

A survivor from California joined us only a few weeks ago. "Melindaā€¯ was trafficked by her whole family as a child. She escaped for a while but was found by her family and ended up on the streets hiding out. God safely guided her to a wonderful church in California who took her in and showed her great love, mercy and compassion, but she was again in danger and needed to move for her safety.  Several people from a local church here in Portland offered to host her until we can find the right residential trauma-based facility for her. We are so grateful and excited to see the body of Christ respond to an urgent need. The church has been amazing by warmly welcoming Melinda. She feels so loved and cared for and the couple hosting her has offered to let her stay for a few months until long-term plans develop. She would like to go to Mercy Ministries, a free one-year residential program. She is a very courageous young lady who loves the Lord, but also has a long road of healing ahead of her.

  


 

We're inspired by these everyday heroes whose lives we see transformed before our very eyes because people from all different demographic and denominational backgrounds are stepping up together to say "We are the Church, and we love you." And when that happens, the Kingdom of Heaven gets a tiny bit closer to earth. 

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