Human trafficking is a vague term people can be afraid to touch. It’s an intimidating, unclean, and dangerous problem that can easily scare away the kindest of hearts. They look at it and say there are too many women affected by this heinous crime to even begin to help even one of them. Creator of Toms Shoes© Blake Mycoskie could have said the same thing. He could have done the math, figured out it wasn’t feasible to give every single child in the world a new pair of shoes, and not even tried. If that was the case, over 1,000,000 children would not have shoes on their feet today.
So we look at the issue, grim and hopeless as it seems, and do something about it because this is what we are called to do. We are people of action; people who not only claim truth, but live it.
Deuteronomy 31:6 states: “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”
We can be assured that God will go before us, no matter what job, mission, or scary issue we are called to advocate for or fight against.
Wellspring Living is located in Atlanta, Georgia and helps survivors of childhood sexual abuse overcome their broken pasts and move toward hopeful futures. Their mission is to confront the issue of childhood sexual abuse and exploitation through advocacy, education, and treatment programs for girls and women. Wellspring Living is a refuge for women and girls who need a chance to start over. Through therapy, education, life skills and spiritual renewal, the Wellspring programs gives participants recovery tools for the body, soul and spirit.
In this post I’d share about my tour of all Wellspring Living’s facilities and how we are fighting for the individual in this vast problem of sexual exploitation. The tour started with me driving down a congested highway heading to North Atlanta. As I reached my first destination, Wellspring’s residential home for women, I automatically felt a wave of peace wash over me. I stepped out of my car into the steamy Georgia heat and looked at the serene home.
I tapped on the door of their administrative offices. The cheery face of Laurie Sussman greeted me and ushered me into her air-conditioned office. I started to jot down notes as she told me about the Wellspring for Women program. This program is for women ages 18-35 who are actively seeking a way out of their current lifestyle. Some of these women have been exploited for most of their lives. Some have been involved in substance abuse, self-mutilation or eating disorders, and all have decided they want help. Wellspring Living is a program offering tangible ways to escape these lifestyles. They do this by offering an individualized recovery plan through counseling, life skills education, family therapy and spiritual encouragement. Laurie has watched women who have been sexually abused since the age of five come through the program and leave with a completely new hope for the future. I was able to meet some of the women in the program, and each introduction was different. Some of the women I met were timid, not meeting my eye contact or barely grasping my hand. Others were kind and welcoming, offering insightful questions and friendly additions to our conversations. All of them had one similar quality: hope.
Next I drove to the Wellspring for Girls program, which provides residential recovery, counseling, group therapy, education and vocational training for girls ages 12-17. While visiting these girls, I met questioning stares and untrusting comments. These girls harbored anger and rebellious attitudes because of what they were forced to experience at a very young age. The shells surrounding these girls are much harder to crack because they haven’t come to the realization that their past can gravely affect their future unless they seek help. Wellspring Living is working to show these girls their worth and point them toward a greater hope for a new life.
Wellspring has a counseling center for outpatient counseling and an assessment center to provide crisis stabilization for women seeking help. The Lynn Sweet Counseling Center is committed to helping women in a confidential and non-threatening environment. Wellspring Redeemed Assessment Center seeks to identify long-term placement to meet each woman’s specific needs and serve as a point of entry into the Wellspring for Women residential program. Combined, all four centers are working to eradicate the problem of human trafficking in Georgia.
If you would like to learn more about WellSpring Living visit their website, blog, and follow on Twitter and Facebook. If you would like a Wellspring Living representative to come and speak at your church, Sunday School class, civic group or company, fill out the form on this link: http://www.wellspringliving.org/request-a-speaker.php.
Join Wellspring Living’s fight against human trafficking!
My name is Jessica Smith and I am a typical Southern girl from Marietta, GA. Over the past 25 years, I have been able to travel to more than 20 countries working with orphanages, college ministries, and organizations aiding the hurting and loving the unlovable. I landed back on American soil on June 1st of this year and just starting working for Wellspring in mid-July. Glory to God for all that He has done!