Human trafficking didn’t shut down.
No surprise, perhaps, that those who prey upon the weak and marginalized don’t observe niceties like social distancing. Ruthless criminals exploit vulnerability wherever they find it.
No surprise, either, that those already rescued and living in shelters and safe houses are struggling during this crisis. As lock downs limit access by outside staff, residential personnel are stretched and forced into unfamiliar roles. Increased uncertainty surfaces memories of past trauma and presents symptoms of PTSD.
In such circumstances, it would be easy to imagine a bleak picture for the kids at the HOME OF HOPE. The folks who care for them are scrambling, to be sure. Lots of adjustments and adaptations as they figure out school, counseling, exercise, and play time.
We received a couple of short videos earlier this week. I wish I could share them, but safety of kids and staff make that impossible. I CAN tell you the actual picture is anything but bleak.
Imagine yourself locked in a house with a bunch of rambunctious kids. There’s a lot of energy and organized screen time. Behavior issues and smiles, kids working together (while wearing masks) to accomplish household chores. Pretty much what many families are experiencing, with lots more kids and past trauma issues tossed in.
Impossible not to smile, even as you realize how hard it must be at times. These kids who began life in such horrible circumstances are laughing and goofing and living in hope and freedom.
And you just know Jesus is right there with them. I think He’s laughing along, looking over shoulders during homework sessions, comforting and quieting the fears. He’s holding all of them safely in His hands. And He’s not worried.
I’m not worried, either. I know they’re counting on the FREEDOM TOUR community for support. I know our plans are up in the air and it’s hard to ask people for money right now. It’s not so easy to see how it’s all going to work out.
This situation offers an opportunity to be who we always said we were.
I’ve said often that we’re asked to do our best and trust God for the outcome. Easy to proclaim, when everything’s going well. Tougher, when normal doesn’t exist and familiar terrain appears alien.
Jesus didn’t promise an easy path or one that could be plotted in advance. He said, “Follow me. Trust me.”
The FREEDOM TOUR cycles to bring hope and freedom to kids rescued from human trafficking. That’s who we were BV (before virus). It’s still who we are AV.
I believe FREEDOM TOUR 2020 will be amazing. Doesn’t mean we’ll have the most riders or raise the most money. Doesn’t mean tours and events will happen the way we planned. That’s not up to us.
We’ll ride bikes. We’ll carry our kids’ handprints and a message of hope. We’ll do our best to support those beautiful children. We’ll trust God for the outcome.
Because that’s who we are.