Uniting a Community
“One of the first things the Lord said to me was, ‘Unite a community.'” shares Becky. “At the time I had no idea what that meant, but as this has evolved, I realized people in the community did not have tangible ways to get involved. When they hear about trafficking, most people want to be part of the solution but do not know how to do that. We come up with unique and creative ideas for people to leverage their gifts and passions to serve this mission.”
In 2015, Becky felt a push to get involved with the anti-human trafficking movement. A Google search led her to Call to Freedom, a program in South Dakota that works with victims of human trafficking. At the time, Call to Freedom was under the umbrella of Tapestry International, formerly Be Free Ministries.
Later that year, Becky visited Sturgis, SD on an outreach where she had an encounter with a young girl that forever changed her life. Marissa had gone missing, was found, and went missing again. When Becky met her, Marissa had realized she was potentially a trafficking victim who was re-recruited. The interaction with Marissa launched a deep desire for Becky to become even more involved with anti-human trafficking work.
“I didn’t realize what God was doing in that moment,” says Becky. “After my encounter with Marissa, I had a discussion with the woman who was running Call to Freedom at the time. She told me, “I feel like God is calling me to transition Call to Freedom to you.”
So Becky prayed and God began downloading a vision of what Call to Freedom is today. Becky filed for a 501c3 to make Call to Freedom its own organization in November 2015, received approval in January 2016 and opened its doors in March of that year with no money. Stepping out in faith, Call to Freedom hired a grant writer in 2017. Now, 6 years later, by God’s grace we have 2 offices, a residential facility, and 29 staff members.
“We do a lot of advocacy,” explains Becky. “We work to streamline the services to support victims of human trafficking and work with multiple entities to train them to respond to the needs of trafficking victims and bring the community together in support.”
“Trafficking is hidden within our communities but it is happening right here. Trafficking victims rarely come out. Just 3% of trafficking victims ever leave trafficking situations. Not having a way out of these situations is not an answer. We have to do a better job as a community. When our systems do not have good responses, traffickers know how to go undetected.”
“For the community, believing this is happening, giving it a voice, and being behind the cause really gives momentum and enables change. It also gives encouragement to the survivor that people do believe them and what has happened to them. It creates a safe environment for them to come forward. If they do not feel believed, they will not be able to move into the next steps of getting the services they need.”
“I was not expecting this in 2015. I knew I was being called to serve here but I didn’t know what that looked like. God has been so faithful. The doors that open and the people that come into our life…we cannot take credit for where we are today. It is all to the glory of God. There has been a lot of hard work involved in this but the things that God has allowed us to do, to be a part of and develop, His favor has always been upon. God continues to keep me focused on setting the captives free.”