This summer was “the summer of consulting” for Naomi’s House! We had several organizations call us, meet with us, and email us asking questions about how we started Naomi’s House and what we’ve learned along the way. I love collaboration and believe in it deeply. Without so many others teaching and guiding us over the years, we wouldn’t be where we are today, helping women with our life-changing program. These meetings also serve as a time for me to educate others on the issue of commercial exploitation and human trafficking. Usually people are motivated to start something because the issue has wrecked them. God has gotten their attention and they want to “do something!” And this is great — there’s no question that passion and vision are needed in this field and in organization leaders!
But here is what I make sure to share with everyone who wants to know the story of Naomi’s House: helping victims of sexual exploitation who have suffered from trauma takes perseverance. It takes a lot of other things as well, like being trauma-informed, having an acute understanding of the issue, and of course having resources! But most are aware of that. What I’ve learned people don’t know (and don’t know how to prepare for) is the perseverance and patience it takes when walking through such in-depth life transformation with a person who is starting over. And not just starting over, but having to heal from her past. Having to relearn what it means to be human and valuable.
I’ve been reading through the book of Luke this summer and the one person who understood this best was Jesus. His emphasis on relationships and healing, particularly around women, is mind-blowing. In the opening paragraph of Luke 8, it says that three women were traveling with Jesus and His disciples. All three had been healed by Him from demon-possession and disease; now they were welcomed into His closest circle – to travel with Him, learn from Him, worship Him. What an honor. From diseased to delighted. I just like to think that Jesus knew they needed Him and this community for the long haul. Their life experiences had kept them from experiencing any sort of normal life and they were the outsiders of the community. Sounds all too familiar.
Longevity and authentic relationship with people is hard to measure. It’s hard to capture on paper. But it’s what we do best at Naomi’s House. Through the highs and lows and forward steps and the backward steps, we walk with our women. There is no other way to do it.
You are a part of this commitment as well and we are so grateful for you. Because of your prayers and financial partnership, we ended another fiscal year with what we needed to provide this long-term relationship care. Next year will look even deeper as we expand many of our services to go beyond what we offer right now. We can’t wait! Thank you for your heart and perseverance – all of us together are blessed to see the life-changing work of Jesus through the ministry of Naomi’s House.