Brenda Myers-Powell was just a young teenager in Chicago when, pressed by poverty, she sold sex for the first time to make money for her grandmother and her young kids. It didn't take long for pimps to find her and violently seize control of her life. From there, she spent 25 years as a prostitute.
In this recently published article, she chronicles her incredibly difficult decades as a prostitute--the lies, the fear, the violence, the stigma, and the lack of "a way out" that kept her there. She also shares about the series of events that got her into a safe house--the beginning of a new life that started with a place where she could rest and learn to trust others.
Read her story to hear her resounding message:
"I am here to tell you - there is life after so much damage, there is life after so much trauma. There is life after people have told you that you are nothing, that you are worthless and that you will never amount to anything. There is life - and I'm not just talking about a little bit of life. There is a lot of life."
Brenda founded and runs The Dreamcatcher Foundation, an anti-sex trafficking organization in Chicago.
"No man can do me a truer kindness in this world than to pray for me." -- Charles Spurgeon.
There's a lot happening at Hope Ranch Ministries, and we'd love to share it with you. If you'd like to join us in prayer, feel free to get in touch by phone or e-mail so we can add you to our mailing list for prayer updates.
Also, don't forget about the September Awareness Training this weekend. It's a great way to find out more about Hope Ranch and meet others who are passionate about abolishing modern-day human trafficking and slavery.
During the third week of June, FBI agencies and partners across the country conducted a sting that resulted in the arrest of 281 pimps and the rescue of 168 juveniles who had been victims of trafficking. There's still a long way to go to eradicate trafficking, but as awareness increases, more funding and hours are allocated to fighting it.
Several years ago, Sierra Dawn McClain (then a high school student) wrote this insightful piece after attending a Hope Ranch event. She graciously let us post it on this website:
Oregonian woman escapes human trafficking, becomes abolitionist against modern-day slavery
“I have been a slave. But today…today I’m free.”
Jessica Richardson, formerly a teen prostitute and victim of human trafficking, paused as the audience erupted into applause.
“So many times we think of trafficking as something that only happens overseas. We think of Thailand or Cambodia. We think it can’t happen here, because this is America,” Richardson explained.
Christine Holub, board member, shares the story of how she became involved with Hope Ranch.
My name is Christine, and I became a member of the board early last summer after working with some of the women, going through Mending the Soul and joining the Task Force. I’d like to take this opportunity to share a little bit about what has brought me to working with Hope Ranch Ministries and the impact it has had on my life.