By Carl Stagner
It’s been a long and challenging journey to reach this point, but by God’s grace, they have. Pink Door, a new ministry of the Three Worlds team of Global Strategy, is about to launch. The long-term recovery shelter will safely house women transitioning out of sexual exploitation and trafficking. But Pink Door is so much more than a temporary living arrangement. This international partner of CHOG TraffickLight is anticipating daily opportunities to minister to the whole person. In January, we’ll celebrate what can happen when the Church of God commits to change the world for Christ’s sake.
When Pink Door opens, it will house up to five women at a time, for six to nine months at a time. The goal is to come alongside these women and support their goal of more independent living. As residents transition out of the shelter, more women will be given the opportunity to receive the blessings of Pink Door. The ministry will continue to have direct involvement in the lives of women who transition out, making it possible for up to fifteen women to be cared for by the eighteenth month of ministry. Pink Door will offer a day school where women will learn the basics of the German language and culture, math skills, awareness about health and addictions, and more. “Many of these women have been exploited since childhood,” Rhonda Philips explains, “so the healing process does not happen overnight. It takes time. They are accompanied on their journey by a social worker, counselors, and caring volunteers.”
As a missionary to Germany for Global Strategy, Rhonda has been on the front lines of the fight against sexual exploitation for many years. Her work with Café Neustart has proved transformational as it has provided a drop-in center for women in a part of Berlin known for the highest concentration of prostitution. The vitality of Café Neustart continues, but three years ago, it became clear that something more was needed. “In our attempts to assist women to exit sexual exploitation,” Rhonda explains, “we saw the desperate need for a long-term recovery and transition program. Pink Door is our response to this great need.”
The past year has been especially busy as details are finalized. Filing of legal paperwork, networking with government and non-government agencies, researching, fundraising, and training have all been a part of the process. The SAFoundation of Vancouver, Canada, has partnered with Pink Door, offering their twenty-seven years of experience through training and mentorship. “We are committed to good practice and professionalism, and vowed to take the time needed so that the women we serve will receive the best care possible,” Rhonda reflects. “The tragedy of human sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of women is extremely complex and overwhelming; therefore, we need to support and network with one another to fight this battle. Coming together as a community to fight injustice is always the best way.”
You have been a part of the vital support that has made Pink Door possible. Yes, when you support CHOG TraffickLight, you join hands with Rhonda and so many others who are championing the cause of freedom for the enslaved. “TraffickLight has been a vital part of establishing Pink Door Berlin,” Rhonda reflects. “These funds are providing more than half of our startup capital and support for three years. We are grateful for the dedication of the Church of God to join us in the fight against this catastrophic injustice in our world.”
Freedom Sunday is February 14, 2016. Prepare with the help of CHOG TraffickLight at http://chogtrafficklight.org/freedom-sunday/.