We started this journey with a healthy heartbreak. That's what brought New Life Campaign into existence.
At the gates of a brothel, looking into the eyes of women with no hope...looking at their children and realizing that they thought this was as good as they were going to get...
That's when I started asking the Lord, "What do you want me to do with all of this? If you open the door I will say 'yes.'"
From classes outside the brothel, to the New Life Center, to residential housing, to the New Life Salon, to the newly created partnership with the United Nations to....The doors keep opening and our answers continue to be yes.
- "One in three Haitian women, ages 15 to 49, has experienced physical and/or sexual violence. Moreover, poor legal protection, fear of reprisals and the social stigma attached to being a victim of sexual violence contributes to under-reporting. "
- "Among girls, ages 13 to 17 who reported sexual abuse, school was the second most common place for unwanted touching. Of women ages 18 to 24 who received money for sex before turning 18 years old, 27 percent reported that schools were the most common location to meet people paying for sex."
- "Laws criminalizing rape and domestic violence were not enacted until 2005, the penal code has not been revised since 1835, and women and girls often face unequal legal protection. Sexual harassment often occurs without redress and victims frequently find themselves blamed for rape and abuse."
- Information from usaid.gov
Our "Yes" Answers
It starts with OUTREACH
A small task force reaches out to women through home and brothel visits. Women are invited to participate in classes. It is through these encounters that we build relationships and eventually give women the opportunity to meet Jesus and have a chance at a new life.
It continues with NEW LIFE CENTER and NEW LIFE SALON
These programs include sponsorship, discipleship, the study of scripture, counseling and life skills. As part of our education and career development, New Life Salon, a school and teaching salon, was created. In addition to the salon there is also a sewing program and micro loan opportunities. To assist women achieve increasing levels of independence, a transition program is available. It includes stipends that slowly decrease over the span of a year while each woman works to further her career and provide a sustainable income apart from businesses that exploit women.
And now a partnership with UN WOMEN
Our partnership focuses on reintegration of women into society after incarceration. Classes focus on communication, self-image, assertiveness, social network, emotional health, conflict resolution, anger and stress management and life skills. Art Therapy and individual consultations are also offered as part of the healing process.
God is using New Life Campaign to reach women who were never seen or heard before. They never knew their hearts were worth being fought for. They never knew that they could be turned into something beautiful and that their hearts could be healed. We are thankful to be part of this "Yes God" journey.