A Day Out of the life. Looking back & Moving Forward - Lifting our Voices.

So much to be Thankful for!

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Every year we plan our Annual Bring a Item – Fill a Bag event for people in the community to come together and “do good” for vulnerable women by bringing basic toiletries and to stuff bags filled with HOPE!
We have smaller events throughout the year when groups invite us to come speak and fill 10-50 bags at a time. This helps sustain us through the seasons. Our goal this year was to stuff 300 bags, we did 270, but the best part was – so many new people came out to join us! We didn’t know most of them, so we made new friends! We needed to get more tables and chairs a couple of times because people just kept coming in 🙂
We are beyond GRATEFUL for the support and love people showed us! Also, to Trinity Evangelical Church in North Reading for hosting us.

Here are some of the highlights! 

#1. Was when our two newest team members, Jenn and Chelsey, shared their testimonies of surviving the commercial sex trade and how they themselves received a Bag of Hope as they trudged through early drug recovery. You could feel the presence of God in the room, tears were flowing and we were all so blessed by these brave women for sharing what they have been through and how far they have come in recovery. This is what makes my heart so full… To know that God has called me to speak for so many women, year after year, as I have shared my own story in so many places. Now I get to watch other survivors rise up, mature in their faith, share their stories, and find their voices. As Chelsey beautifully states, “Bags of Hope gave me the voice I didn’t know I had”.

#2. Shout out to our amazing coordinator, administrator, recovery coach extraoenaire… Anita for her organization of the event and brilliant idea of giving people at the event an opportunity to sign up and deliver the bags they made to one of the 30 programs we serve! So many people signed up that by the end of the night we had only ONE BAG left!! While this is fantastic, we are in need of smaller bag filling events and donation drives, so please spread the word! Pray that this ONE Bag will multiply into 100 MORE!

#3. When I speak at events, I usually have a table for my book, The Diary of Jasmine Grace. Trafficked. Recovered. Redeemed. I always offer people a chance to buy a book for themselves and then donate one to a woman in need. Because of people’s generosity, they have donated over 200 books and we have given out over 150 in the past year and a half since it’s been released. Well, one of the drug recovery programs we serve brought their women clients to the event and I was able to give 15 books to them. There had been only one book at the house and the ladies were fighting over it 🙂

I could go on about God’s faithfulness, goodness, love and mercy, but it’s too much to fit into a blog post!

With Thanksgiving being tomorrow, it is my hope that you will take a minute to think of all you have to be grateful for. And to remember the women, men, girls and boys that are out there, still caught in the trap of sexual exploitation, addiction and homelessness.

With that said, I am THANKFUL to Him for this season of bountiful harvest, to those for their support of the ministry, and to you for reading this!

“Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4 

Peace, Jasmine

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©Copyright 2018. JasmineGrace. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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TogetherRising #sHERo Award

If I want to see change in this world, then I must be the change myself. If I want to empower and inspire women then I must be transparent and authentic in my own life. – I need to walk my talk. Right?! The best part of working in the anti-trafficking movement is being a part of something bigger than myself. To realize that my pain is being used for someone else’s healing is pretty amazing to me. I love to see the transformation in women’s lives after I have worked with them or after they have read my blog. I love to bring hope and healing to women on the streets, in programs and in my own community. I have been sharing my story of survival for a few years now and most of the time after I share, women in the audience will come up to talk and they let me know the ways I have impacted them. A lot of them self-identify and say that they share very similar stories or can identify with most of it. Others are taken back by my bravery and courage to speak my truth. At first, It wasn’t easy to get up and share the details of my trauma in public. But with some encouragement, prayer and guts, I did it. I have never felt so free in all my life. To witness the instant impact on women’s lives was deeply moving for me. Early on in my speaking, I had some training on story telling and this helped me shape my story in a way that made sense for people. Because trafficking doesn’t happen in a vacuum and for me it wasn’t a one time event, I wanted to share it in a way that highlighted my vulnerabilities, the grooming process traffickers use and the reasons why women “stay so long”. I have never once just stood up on a stage and shared the horrific details of my life. Rather, I have raised awareness, educated and delivered hope and healing to many. Best of all, my story points to the One who has saved and redeemed me! Praise Jesus!
Because of all this, I was recently nominated by 4 amazing friends for an award through Together Rising which is a non-profit that was created through the blog, momastery.com. I knew about the nomination but had forgotten about it. My friends and I made plans to meet at a local restaurant on the last Tuesday in July because my outreach ministry, Bags of Hope, was the restaurant’s “Cause” for the month with 15% of each bill getting donated to the ministry. Whenever my friends walked up to me with a big sign that read, “Love wins!!” and big smiles, I knew something was up. They excitedly announced that I was the winner of the award and presented me with two checks! One check would go directly to the ministry and the other one could be used for whatever I wished. They said.. “Take your kids to Disney.. Put a down payment for a new car!! Whatever you’d like. It’s for YOU.” I was overcome with emotion, gave them huge hugs and yes, I cried! I am still basking in the blessing. I feel even more loved and supported on this journey. I’m still not sure what I will use the money for! In the past, I made many impulsive and unwise decisions. This time around I want to be deliberate and prayerful with such a big blessing. The real reward came while I was putting my 4 year old daughter to bed that night. We were saying our prayers and she said, “Mom, you are so strong and brave. Like a Superhero!!” I smiled and kissed her on the cheek and prayed that she would go out into the world and do the same –  Inspire, Encourage and Build up Others. ToGetHerRising!
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© Copyright 2015. JasmineGrace. All rights reserved.
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