In a cold sweat, I shrug off the images of a cruel nightmare: uncontrolled water rushing into my home and sweeping my entire family away. Though my family is safe and my home is dry, water inches its way toward my front door. Being swept away from comfort and safety terrifies me.
I never thought this was possible until Hurricane Harvey parked itself over my city. The devastation, loss, and suffering is unbearable. I begin to pray—for peace, for my family, for my community—and a gentle Voice interrupts my pleas: Please remember them.
Those of us affected by Hurricane Harvey will recover. Strong and determined, we will rise above this. We will not have nightmares forever. The sound of rain will once again bring peace instead of fear. We will rely on community, on friends and family; we will hold fast to our faith.
But what about them?
What about the women who contribute to the staggering statistics in Houston, Texas? We are a national hub for sex-trafficking. Hurricane Harvey hasn’t swept away this crisis; it’s only increased the desperate need for change.
I picture girls in the brothels of my city with nowhere to go. I think about those holed up in hotel rooms without any way to leave. Did pimps let the girls they “own” wash away in this flood? Did all those hidden and unseen make it to safety? Where are they now?
With so many women in this industry estranged from family, I wonder who took them in. I wonder if they wake at night with the same terrifying images that I do. This trauma has undeniably intensified the trauma that has become their normal.
Please remember them.
As you pray for Houston and the entire Gulf Coast region, please remember them. When you give to recovery efforts, please remember them. As we crawl back to some sort of new normal, remember them. Most of all, remember that we still have crucial work to do here in Houston.
Redeemed Ministries specializes in recovery. They do this work 365 days a year. The devastation here has beckoned a national spotlight, but Redeemed sees brokenness and suffering every single day. They know trauma. They meet hopelessness and despair with the love of Christ on a daily basis. And they need our prayer and support now more than ever.
The Sparrow House was affected by Hurricane Harvey. The needs are constantly changing, but you can find out how you can help here. Pray for the Sparrows, pray for the staff at Redeemed, pray for all the women who will enter their doors in the future. Finally, please pray for healing and comfort and strength for the long road ahead.
Author: Kelly Sobieski
Kelly is a story-teller and story-listener who believes that our stories ultimately tell God’s story. Kelly is passionate about shedding light on the crisis of human trafficking through the truth of God’s word. She longs to help ordinary women just like her find their place in this fight. You can connect with Kelly at carriedbylove.com.