Making Sense of Grace

Victims of sex trafficking often feel undeserving of love, compassion, and grace. Please read the attached to see how vital showing God’s love in this way is to these victims.

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Born and raised in a Christian family, I have always been familiar with the idea of Grace. It is constantly preached and discussed. However, these past four years, this word has held a different meaning for me.

Sex Trafficking Helping Victims

What is Grace House?

Grace House is the name of a Compassion First aftercare shelter. Compassion First is an anti-trafficking organization that has served in Indonesia since 2009. I work in their aftercare homes, which provide long-term rehabilitation for girl survivors of sex trafficking.

How has working in Grace House challenged me to help victims of sex trafficking?

Working in a house called Grace and seeing what the girls who come to us deal with makes me ponder Grace more deeply. Every girl has gone through some of the most unimaginable hardships. They were displaced from their families, stigmatized by communities, and for years were robbed of their lives – years they were supposed to be carefree children. When we meet for the first time, they often act much older than their age. Yet, Grace rejoices over her. Grace welcomes each one as her own.

The amazing thing about Grace is it does not stop at rescuing. It is the gift that keeps on giving. We give the girls time to adjust until they are comfortable with us and ready to begin the program. Our team walks with them daily, helping them attain the goals they set for themselves, tackle challenges like building trust with our staff, overcoming feelings of boredom and isolation (especially during Covid-19), managing emotions and mending broken relationships.

What does Grace House offer these girls who suffered sex trafficking?

Grace House welcomes girls of all personalities wrestling with reclaiming their freedom from depression, trauma, and a sense of little or no self-worth. Grace enables us to show up every day for each girl and love them unconditionally. We do not let them fight their battles alone. We learn to celebrate each win, no matter how big or small. Even if they stumble, we continue cheering them on, helping them process their feelings, and establish their next steps.

What challenges does Grace House face?

As with other similar ministries, our first season at Grace House has come with its challenges. We continue to learn many lessons. Practically speaking, for the way we do care, the home’s location, size, and space continue to be essential;  also vital is a strong focus on strengthening the girls’ families and communities so they can receive their daughters well once they graduate. Additionally, government, non-government, church partnerships, and like-minded friends are invaluable for making a difference and getting things done – Grace working through each one.

How have these challenges been a blessing in disguise?

Challenges remind me that Grace is available for all of us. In this line of work, I have learned that discouragement is inevitable; it will try to have its way. Yet, Grace is available not only for those we serve but for every one of us. Grace is what will sustain us going forward, just as it has carried us through.

About the author: Patricia is the Case Manager at Grace House. Her full name and location of the home are excluded for the protection of girls in these homes. The CF residential care program is a holistic care program with a strengths-based/resilience-building focus.

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