Fighting Human Trafficking

Poiema FoundationRebecca Jowers prayed, “I’m only one person; what can I do? There’s just so many hurting people! I don’t want to help just one! And God… I hope that is not selfish.” I wish you could hear the passion in her voice when she tells about how her heart has been drawn to combating the human trafficking world. Having four daughters has increased her desire to rescue as many women as possible from this terrible blight on our society.

Rebecca was in seminary and upon returning from a mission trip to China in 2012 with Lakepointe Church in Rockwall, Texas, her pastor asked, “What are your plans after seminary?” She responded without hesitation, “Well, my big, hairy, audacious goal is to open a safe house for victims of human trafficking.” Then immediately thought, “Did I really say that out loud!?”

November 2012 was the beginning of the journey as Rebecca came to realize that human trafficking was not just a problem in distant countries, but a very serious problem in our own backyard as well. Her extensive research and prayer during the next two years would drive her to, as she says, “A very heavy ministry because of the evil.” She would find that 100,000 to 300,000 children are trafficked in the United States each year, and that there are 50,000 international children brought into this country yearly.

thQK8AA1UJDuring her short career, she has seen pimps that brutalize and manipulate girls, runaways that have become prostitutes and drug addicts and many who threaten suicide. She sees the turnover in volunteer help high because many cannot handle being hands-on in this dark world of trafficking.

Rebecca has witnessed educated pimps that study the psychology of the adolescent mind and have even written books on how to control these girls. They prey on the vulnerable child, often 14 or 15 years old. She says there are different kinds of pimps. One kind will simply beat the girls into submission. Another may be a “Romeo” pimp that tells her he loves her, courts her for six months and promises her security. He then will force her into submission, threaten to gang rape her or mutilate a pet and declare the same will be done to her family. These are the evil, wretched people Rebecca reaches past to rescue these precious lives. She told me, “This is a very difficult ministry and I need many prayer warriors because Satan doesn’t like you shining light in his world.”

“A huge part of my heart is prevention education. Preventing it from happening is the best thing,” Rebecca says. Speaking at as many schools, churches, civic organizations and parent organizations, she speaks of the danger of predators coercing children and shows how social media is used as a major tool in this. She has been able to refer girls to other ministries that she partners with, and that has been good. But she knew there was more for her to do.

This courageous, focused lady began some serious prayers that have changed her life and ministry forever. She prayed, “Lord, I am just so tired of talking about the problem. I’ve been researching, speaking, training and teaching and I’ve started a non-profit…I need someone to donate a house I can use for a safe house.” She said there was so little faith behind that prayer, but it was her heart and she felt God would honor her heart’s desire. She said what followed “was the most humbling answer to prayer I’ve ever had!”

A friend invited her to teach her Sunday School class at Stonebriar Church and tell about her ministry. A friend of that friend brought her friend to Stonebriar that day and they all went to lunch. The subject of Rebecca’s ministry came up and she, in passing, said that she was trusting God for a safe house.

After lunch, that friend three removed told Rebecca, “I believe you are the answer to my prayer. I have been praying about someone who can use my house. I have two houses, one here and one in Florida, and I don’t need two. I have been praying again this morning about what I should do. Maybe you could use my house.” Hung up on the word “use”, Rebecca said, “That’s nice. Maybe we can get together and talk.” They parted company and she didn’t get her contact information because she just didn’t want the problems of “using” someone else’s house.

Three weeks later, Rebecca felt a “nudge” in her spirit to call this lady. Tracing back through the friends, she found her number and they met. Rebecca began talking about a leasing agreement and expectations of both parties, assuming she wanted a buyout. Lori said, “You can use my house for free.” Rebecca responded, “Ok, I’m sure you want me to pay the taxes and insurance.” At which, Lori said, “Well, yes. It’s going to be your house.” Rebecca – “What do you mean it’s going to be my house?” Lori – “I’m giving you the house.” Rebecca – “You mean you will give me the house? It will be Poiema’s house?” Lori says, “Yes!” Finally getting the implications, Rebecca said, “I was speechless.” (Probably a first in her life.)

This lady literally gathered her personal pictures out of the house, handed Rebecca the keys to the house that was paid in full and went to Florida. All furniture, appliances, food in the pantry and yard equipment was included. Not only that, but through another friend, an insurance agent paid all the insurance that would be required. Rebecca said, “I’ve been kind of numb for the past month.”

It’s been right there in the Scriptures all along: God is “able to provide abundantly above all that we ask or imagine.” Rebecca Jowers lives there and says, “It’s just been a sweet journey with the Lord, trying to know where he wants me to plug in. It’s fun to be in the zone of knowing His will.”

internet12The name “Poiema” is a Greek word found in Ephesians 2:10, which states, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” The word “poiema” is translated as “handiwork” or “workmanship.” God intimately and lovingly creates each person, and he cherishes every person as a precious work of art. Sadly, women and children in the sex industry believe they have no value or self-worth. But regardless of how they feel, the truth is they are God’s workmanship. They are custom-designed by the Master’s hand to do good works. The Poiema Foundation hopes to reach these victims and share the love of Christ and the good news that they have value and self-worth because they are intimately created by a loving Creator.

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