Happy 2022! We’ve launched into this new year with optimism and excitement. Despite the pandemic still very much affecting the daily lives of the women of Naomi’s House, we’re marching on. Our theme for 2022 is inspired by that very notion – despite the hardships all around us, we feel the calling to continue to “Do Good,” as we read in Hebrews 13:16: And not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. I read this verse late last year and immediately thought of the NH staff, a group of totally dedicated women. They really are unwavering. Then I realized that their strength often comes from the women we serve, Survivors who are full of resiliency and determination. They challenge each of us to push beyond what we think we’re capable of.
And then there’s you – the community. Believers from all over the country cheering on the healing journeys of the women we serve and supporting the good work that our staff demonstrates. “Do good,” the author of Hebrews encourages us. And not just any kind of “good,” but the good that thinks of others. This type of goodness is a sacrifice that pleases God! This is our focus this year … to keep doing good! We all can. Your good actions inspire my good actions, and I hope vice versa.
I have several updates that I’m delighted to share with you. First, thanks to the incredible community of NH do-gooders, we had a strong financial year-end. Thank you to the hundreds of you who support NH financially and believe in the healing work of our programs. We praise God that we enter into 2022 financially healthy and in a place to support our programs. What a blessing.
Also, we sense God is paving the way for NH to serve more women this year than ever! One way this is happening is through our partnership with correctional systems in the area. We’ve been leading groups within the DuPage County Jail for several months and have helped identify over a dozen women who’ve suffered from commercial sexual exploitation. Unfortunately, victims in the criminal justice system do not receive the resources they need to heal from their abuse. This is a cause-and-effect cycle—without professional intervention, the likelihood that a victim will reoffend is high.
We’re working strategically with DuPage County leadership to offer resources and opportunities for victims of commercial sex trafficking. We’re seeking to help them heal not only from the trauma that their trafficking caused, but from the many other vulnerabilities that led them to be trafficked. All the pieces that our programs provide—therapy, education, job opportunities, Bible studies, survivor groups, sobriety support, intensive case management—will be made available to women in the court system. The programs currently offered within the jail community are not designed to help a survivor of sex trafficking, and despite the victimization women experience when trafficked, there is a very high recidivism rate. We firmly believe that the best place for a Survivor to heal is in the context of Naomi’s House programs—in a gospel-centered, comprehensive, trauma-informed program. This is Naomi’s House.
One of the NH therapists received a handwritten note from a woman we’ve served in the jail. It reads, “I just want to take a moment to express my deep gratitude to you ladies! All of you have touched my heart in the most amazing way … I never would have imagined feeling so welcomed, accepted, and cared for while being incarcerated. Coming to your groups feels like a soothing, relieving, warm fuzzy hug. Thank you for brightening myself and other girls with hope, comfort, and more confidence than I thought possible.”
Let us not tire in doing good and in honoring our faithful God!
Let’s go, 2022!