A few years back, I was spending time with the participants at Rebirth Homes when one of the women walked through the door carrying a few full shopping bags. She sighed, set the bags down, and sat down heavily on the couch next to me. She had returned from her shopping trip to buy a gift for her daughter, whom she would be seeing that weekend. That simple trip to the store, however, had taken most of her day because she didn’t have access to a car. Years later, I can’t remember what it was she had bought for her little girl, but the sparkle of joy in her eye when she talked about how excited her daughter would be and the exhaustion in her body from the long trip is what I remember so clearly. It was all worth it for her to shower her child with love.
So what turns a 20-minute drive into a 3-hour labor of love? The short answer is that the public transportation system is simply not efficient. Walking to the bus stop, catching the bus at the right time, changing buses as needed, completing your task, and then following the same route home can make a trip take five or six times as long. This process is challenging enough with something that doesn’t have a set start time like shopping, but it becomes even more difficult when participants are trying to make it to an appointment on time or to be on time to work.
Recently, a family blessed Rebirth Homes by donating a vehicle for one of the participants in the second phase of the program, and we are so excited about the doors this is opening up for this participant. Donations like this can change a woman’s life by giving her further access to work and school opportunities.
When we think of fighting the evils and abuses of human trafficking, we can often feel a sense of our own smallness in the face of large, powerful networks of abuse and exploitation. It can be tough to know where we fit or to think of what we have to offer, but as we see in John’s account of Jesus feeding the five thousand in John 6, in God’s kingdom the key to making a difference is not to be as well-resourced or as powerful as we can be (though both can be helpful). Instead, the key is offering up to God what we have like the boy who had a lunch of five small barley loaves and two small fish that became enough food for an enormous crowd when he offered it up to Jesus. For many of us two of those important resources are time and transportation.
Each woman in our program needs to go to appointments, like doctor visits and counseling, to access the holistic care we provide at Rebirth Homes, and we have a need for more drivers right now. If you are interested in helping to close the transportation gap for survivors by being a Rebirth volunteer who drives participants to appointments or if you have a vehicle you would like to donate, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteer drivers will complete training that will prepare them with a strong understanding of human trafficking and a trauma-informed approach to healing.