I am astounded at how fast time flies, but I am continuously amazed at what the Lord does to rebuild and restore the lives of many of these women day after day. For a little more than three months I have had the opportunity to work with the REST house. This house consists of women who are taking part in the transitional living program in which they maintain sobriety all while working on life skills they have set out to achieve by the end of their time in the program.
Our main goal in the house as a team is to build relationships with each woman and to love each woman like Christ loves the Church. In this, we make it necessary to remember that there is no way to love one another apart from the gospel. We remember the words in 1 John 4:9-10, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Building relationships with these women can look different every day. It can be problem-solving issues within the home or teaching life skills (i.e cooking, baking, car repairs, self-care, etc). Other times it looks like helping with tasks both inside and outside of the home or just watching a movie if they do not want to be alone. Sometimes we spend time researching legal issues that they are battling, or sit with them and have conversations about Jesus’ saving grace or past abuses. The list is endless of how I have learned to be in communion with these women.
This last month has been no easy road in the REST house. Lots of frustrations, tears, and brokenness. From hard legal battles to emotional conversations, these women are all fighting their own individual battles in the tension between brokenness and restoration. I have seen firsthand the wounds that the parts of this world that are not-yet-redeemed leave on the lives of those whom God loves. But I have also had a front-row seat to the process of restoration, and I have gotten to experience new life as it buds and blossoms within each woman and among our REST team.
At the house in the last month, there has been lots of talk about Easter and what it means to each woman. Although some have stepped away from Christ because of past abuse, some women have been vocal about Christ and His resurrection. We have had the opportunity to discuss Christ and the here-and-now truths that “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away,” (Revelation 21:4) and we will experience the fullness of resurrection with Jesus.
Also in the last week, we got to celebrate the U.S seizure of backpages, a classified advertising website that faced persistent allegations of profiting from illegal prostitution and human trafficking. This news came as a relief to every woman in the house because of how this website was used as the main tool from their past. One young lady I have been walking alongside said: “Things like backpages closing is a nice gentle reminder that the Lord, at the end of the day, has the final say.” It was amazing to rejoice with these women in the last week.
I look forward to the continued work being done here in Seattle and at the REST house. Your prayers and emails of encouragement have been amazing and so needed in dark times that come often. Thank you for everything you have done, and continue to do through prayer and encouragement.
1. Please pray for lives to continuously be transformed by the good news of the gospel.
2. Please pray the REST Team continues to be renewed as they do this work.
3. Please pray for the missionaries that will be coming after me as they begin training and prepare to step into this ministry.
May the Lord continue to give you peace beyond your own understanding.