COURTNEY'S JOURNEY

Five years ago I was exploring a church website when I stumbled across an organization who was fighting against human trafficking. As I read the stories of women who were enslaved in brothels in India, something was ignited in my heart. I can remember sitting at my desk for hours doing research in complete shock that something like this was still happening in our world today. Every website I visited and every article I read only added fuel to the fire. As I closed my laptop that afternoon I knew that I had just discovered my passion and pledged in that moment to dedicate my life to fighting against this injustice. I knew I couldn’t live in a world where this was happening and not do anything about it.

It wasn’t until my husband and I moved to New York City that I was able to actively get involved. I helped lead an anti-human trafficking campaign, which opened even more doors and connections for me to grow from. It’s truly been a journey that’s led me to this point and I’m so grateful for every place I’ve visited, every organization who has opened their doors, and every person who opened a window into their lives for me to peek through and learn from. I’ve seen red light districts all over the world, spent time in orphanages, and sat under incredible teachings from seasoned veterans in this fight. All of these things combined with my own personal development and healing journey, allowed me to understand why this injustice tugs at my heart the way it does. For me, the deeper rooted passion underneath the injustice has always been and will always be the way human trafficking and the orphan crisis affects, and often destroys, a person’s identity.

Throughout the last five years, I’ve come to understand how the seemingly unrelated things combine to make a pool of extremely vulnerable people. From the orphan crisis to lack of economic opportunity to homelessness to abuse, these create a vulnerability at the core of individuals. If it’s not addressed, they will continue to live out of the belief that they are not worthy, they are not enough, etc. When a person is robbed of their dignity and faces psychological, emotional, and physical abuse, the things they are told through action and word in those moments will prevail and become the space they live from.

As I began to hear stories of women willingly going back to situations of exploitation and young girls falling into the same traps over and over again, I knew that the level of care they were experiencing had to be taken deeper. I firmly believe that we must address the core - the true identity - of a person and work to restore them from the inside out. The wounds that are created through these injustices are detrimental and often require a lifetime of healing. Despite this reality, I am determined to see people’s identity and dignity restored to the point that they are capable and willing to rewrite their own stories.

The human spirit cannot be ignored. It must be activated to see lasting, long-term transformation happen. We will not stop until we fill the gap between providing care and providing healing. That’s why we’re focusing on empowering existing organizations to bring healing to the psychological and emotional wounds that too often hold people, and their identity, captive for a lifetime. Our resources, in-person trainings, and ongoing support of our partners will have one common goal: to set people free by helping them heal and bring them to the realization that they are valuable and worthy to receive the love and support that’s being offered.