We're going out for pizza tonight, and I can't wait.
We're celebrating, and it has nothing to do with a fall holiday.
We're eating pizza with about 15 women, lots of children and a few men. We'll have to order a lot of pizza.
It isn't about the pizza.
It's about lives saved, redeemed and restored. It's about *Tina and Amy and Essie and Nelly.
Four years ago today we opened the doors to the first woman of Freedom Home. A day later we took in two other women. We had three staff and no idea what to do other than to love these women. The first days were hard. Actually the first few years were hard...and it is still hard.
Six months into the doors being opened Amy and her daughter entered the home. She was tormented daily by all life previously brought her. Today Amy is filled with life and joy. Nica is a normal intelligent four year old, curious about life, full of promises for a bright future. Amy dreams of the future and being on her own next year. She knows that God has great plans for her.
Ten months into the doors being opened Tasha came into the home with her daughter. Lazy, angry, and abusive she seemed impossible. Yesterday she translated for me Romanian to Russian/ Russian to Romanian as I counseled a new woman in the home. The anger Tasha showed yesterday was over the lies Satan tells a woman that her abuser will no longer drink and abuse her. She knows Christ has changed her.
More than two years after the doors opened Tina came into Freedom Home. She covered pain with jokes and laughter. She hated her daughter, who, like all the other children in the home, resulted from trafficking. Today she worships Jesus freely from a place deep within. She thanks God that she did not abort little Lenuta as planned. She forgave the abusers from the years before she was trafficked. She prays openly in church service for those yet locked in prostitution.
One by one different staff joined our ministry. Women who love these broken souls immensely. Women who were often broken themselves. Women who are finding God's healing also. Women who give incredible love freely from their hearts to the women and children of Freedom Home.
We didn't know what to do. But God taught us. He showed us in His Word. He brought connections with people who taught us skills. He taught us how to lead. He taught us deep unconditional love--His love that changes lives.
Tonight we will eat pizza, and we will celebrate God's powerful work in the lives of women.
This will be the greatest pizza party ever.