The Tears Once Flowed Easily, But Now I Hardly Cry
After speaking at a church just a week ago, the Pastor gave me a hug and said, “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9.
He must have seen in my eyes what I was trying to conceal…
Recently, I have found myself speaking to groups about sex trafficking of children and not really “feeling” the passion for helping these girls or the outrage about this horrific crime against our most vulnerable. I have been operating on automatic pilot, and I ask myself why. Am I desensitized to all the stories and statistics that surround this problem? I hope not, and I don’t think so. Am I feeling hopeless because we seem to be fighting so many battles on so many fronts? Yes…that is part of it. Am I exhausted…without a doubt!
I have found myself getting bogged down in the mundane day to day work of The Covering House and overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done by just a handful of people. Sometimes I feel the crushing weight of it all.
• Since January of this year we have had 25 referrals. 25! (we have never sought one referral).
• Police detectives call us and say, “You have to get more beds. We are seeing so many cases.” One officer had 3 cases in one night.
• Calls from other states asking for help with placement of girls or training their first responders.
• Submitting a grant and being turned down because “I regret to inform you that the Board of Directors did not approve funding. The decision was based upon other applications being viewed as a greater priority.”
So in the midst of the mundane, I dig deep and try to find ways to care for more girls. Where does this bit of energy and hope stem from? First, knowing that God is our provider. Second, I must refocus and remember that these girls are more than stories or statistics. They are people with pain, dreams and goals. I have looked into the eyes of the most vulnerable. I have wept with them…laughed with them…and even danced with them. I teach them disco and they teach me…well I can’t remember the names of the new dances.
I rarely reach out to ask for support for The Covering House. My approach has always been to share the impact that The Covering House is making on the lives of young girls and let that information inspire people to give.
However, I am about to step out of my comfort zone and ask if you would consider supporting us on a monthly basis. Like any household or other business, it is important for us to budget our finances so we can care for our girls, pay our staff and expand our services to provide aftercare to more girls who are victims of sex trafficking.
We recently launched a campaign. 1,500 Donors x $50.00 a Month = Covering the Cost of Caring.
I don’t have 1,500 friends. But I have a few…who have a few…who have a few. I am asking my few to give to us on a monthly basis and asking them to ask their few. You get the picture. Will you do the same? If we can get 1,500 people to donate at least $50.00 a month, we can cover the complete cost of caring. This meets all our monthly needs from rent, to education, to counseling, to field trips, to toilet paper.
But for those of you who are like me and get inspired to give by seeing great impact, I want to share with you some poetry from our girls. They just finished a poetry unit in English class and when our Administrator of Education, Andrea Ellis, asked the girls how they viewed poetry she expected to hear basic comments like “words that rhyme” “boring reading”. Instead the girls said, “Poetry is a way for people to express themselves.” Andrea shared with me how impactful this unit has been, “The girls have found their voice through poetry. I watched as they used it to tell their story and process their trauma.”
[Black-Out Poetry: The girls take a page from a book and bracket the words that create their poem.]
These poems remind me of why I must keep pushing forward. Please consider giving to us on a monthly basis. I promise you; your money will be well-invested.