The Love of a Father

Title: The Love of a Father: My Calling for a Higher Purpose
Date: June 2024
Author: Noah

This Father’s Day I can’t help but feel undeserving. I have a father who loves and cares for me unconditionally. No matter what I look like, no matter where I am, no matter how I act—he loves me. This love is the kind of expression that makes me feel as if it has not been earned. But the reality is, true love never has to be earned. True love always has to be shared. These are the conditions instilled in me by my father who I try to emulate with every breath I take. I interpret the love shown to me as a contractual obligation, as my father expects me to give what I get. On my own terms, I have opted in. Unconditional love is the condition of my perspective, and it leads me to care deeply about those who are robbed of the love they deserve.

I am a Christian. I am a man. My father is a man too. He is a righteous man. He is a just man. And he is a man, like me, who is the son of a woman. The heaviness felt in my heart understanding that one in six women in America alone have been victims of an attempted or completed sexual assault is indescribable. That is just what is reported. I have heard more women tell me stories of being sexually compromised to varying degrees of trauma than I have not. It is almost always a man who commits these heinous acts. Statistically, 99% of the time, it is a man. To undermine women on the basis of their biology is to undermine God on the basis of His humanity. To ignore the cries for help is to ignore His will. They are not crying wolf. The wolf is in the room with them. You just don’t want to see it. Facts don’t lie.

Underrepresented and historically ostracized communities face an insurmountable challenge worldwide, a challenge that remains undefeated in the face of masculine pride and societal ego. Our widely-taught world history of male dominance has constructed a culture that is afraid to trust the stories of those who disrupt the established narrative. People are given passes for humanitarian evils based on identity and accolades alone. The narrative that encourages patriarchal exploitation in our communities is the same narrative that breeds degenerate ideologies reducing women to nothing more than possession and object, product and property. This story needs to change.

This is why I chose to help Women at Risk, International (WAR, Int’l) in their mission to create circles of protection around those at risk. My perspective fosters a deeper understanding of the traditional masculine culture that directly and indirectly influences the diminishment of women’s voices every day. For me, the desire to support WAR, Int’l stems from a divine sense of responsibility—a responsibility not only to those directly affected by the injustices of this world but also to future generations bound to the trauma of those before them. Like a father to the fatherless, I am compelled to stand in the gap, to advocate for those who cannot safely advocate for themselves, and to ensure that every individual, regardless of circumstance, is afforded the opportunity to be loved.

My relationship with my father is a reflection of our shared humanity, our interconnectedness, and our inherent dignity as creations of a higher power. Though not always explicit, there is an undeniable spiritual component to our work—a recognition that we are called to be stewards of justice and compassion, and to embody the values of empathy and solidarity in all that we do.

Supporting WAR, Int’l is deeply intertwined with my walk in faith and my understanding of fatherhood—a concept that transcends mere biological relation and encompasses a broader, more encompassing sense of responsibility. Like the Father I put my faith in, I am compelled to stand as a pillar of strength, to provide guidance and support to those who have been left to navigate the complexities of life on their own.

This sense of paternal duty is not driven by obligation but by a deep-seated empathy that reveals the profound impact that a father figure can have on the life of a child, and the lasting scars that can result from its absence. It is a calling that beckons me to step forward, to fill the void left by abandonment and neglect, and to become a steadfast ally in the journey towards healing and restoration. My Father has shown me the power of grace, sacrifice, humility, and forgiveness. I intend to mirror these teachings in order to bring refuge to those who need it.

Moreover, my involvement with WAR, Int’l is not confined to geographical boundaries or cultural divides. It is a global movement, a chorus of voices united in pursuit of a common goal: a world where every individual is valued, respected, and empowered to reach their full potential. Knowing that my small contributions to WAR, Int’l have a global impact on those at risk gives me hope that others will walk with me on this journey to enlightenment.

In this sense, my support for WAR, Int’l is not merely an obligation—it is a blessing. It is a privilege to be part of something greater than myself and to contribute to a legacy of hope and resilience that transcends generations. It is a privilege to bear witness to the transformative power of compassion and solidarity and to see firsthand the profound impact that a single act of kindness can have on the trajectory of a life.

In supporting WAR, Int’l, I embrace the role of a father to the fatherless, recognizing that my actions have the power to shape the destinies of those in need. Whether I speak of my own relationships, advocate for economic empowerment initiatives, or simply offer a listening ear and a compassionate heart, every act of support is a testament to my commitment to nurturing and protecting the most vulnerable among us.

My role as a father to the fatherless extends beyond mere material assistance; it is a spiritual commitment to the well-being and flourishing of people struggling to use their voices. It is a commitment to instill a sense of belonging and worth, cultivate resilience and self-confidence, and empower those I serve to realize their full potential.

Join our mission:
1) Get invloved by taking action
2) Get trained by attending a CFR Training Conference
3) #ShopToResuce by hosting a Pop-Up Boutique

Invest In Women

March 8th | International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is a global celebration of women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. It is a day to recognize the progress we have made and also to acknowledge the work that still needs to be done to create a more equal and just world for all women. This day is not just about celebrating women, but also about coming together to support and empower one another.

As we continue to face challenges and obstacles, it is important to stand in solidarity and work towards a future where women are valued and respected in all aspects of life. Let us use this day to reflect on the progress we have made, and to inspire one another to continue making positive changes for women. The theme for 2024 is Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress.

Work of Women At Risk, International

At Women At Risk, International (WAR, Int’l), we are dedicated to supporting and empowering women on a daily basis. Through our collaborative efforts with safehouses both internationally and domestically, we strive to rescue, restore, and empower women who are wounded or at risk by providing them with a secure environment to heal and grow. Our approach is to offer culturally sensitive, value-added intervention projects as well as counseling, education, skills training, and more, to ensure their holistic well-being.

Furthermore, we have created and nurtured relationships with our global and local partners who offer vocational training centers and microenterprises to create opportunities for rescued and at-risk women to earn a living with dignity. By empowering them to support themselves safely and independently, we aim to prevent exploitation and promote self-sufficiency.

Encompassed Creations | Our U.S. Training Center

Precious wounded women and children have walked through the doors of our international headquarters—weary and in need of a safe haven. Our U.S. Training Center (USTC) provides them with a fresh beginning in a holistic program offering counseling, skills training, scholarships, employment, and much more. As women learn to design and create beautiful products within a nurturing community, they are also learning to redesign their lives and dream again. Working with dignity empowers them to provide for their children, learn skills, build a resume, and change their futures.

When you purchase jewelry, candles, spa products, and other items handcrafted by our artisans, you invest in our own communities, helping us rescue, restore, and empower in “the land of the free.”

Invest in the Lives of Women

As you consider how you can invest in the lives of women around the world, here are three ways to make a difference:

1. Link arms with your friends to co-host a WAR Chest Pop-Up Boutique!

Learn more here or simply email us today.

2. Volunteer at our headquarters or at events!

Sign up here or simply email us today.

3. Donate to our 911 Rescue Fund to help facilitate rescues here!

Read stories of rescue here.

We wish all women around the world a very happy International Women’s Day!

He Loves Her More

Author: Erin, a survivor

Erin is a survivor of human sex trafficking. She was groomed and trafficked by a fake boyfriend in her teens. Thankfully, she escaped and is now married to a wonderful man.

This poem is a tribute to her husband, and how he loves her.

To the girl who’s triggered to sleep in a bed, too tired and weary to hold up her head.

Her angel casts down from the couch to the floor, the fear drifts away and he comforts her more.

Sleep should be peaceful, quiet and calm but to her it is nightmares and an evil realm.

But the floor brings the rock, the grounding, makes her in control of her surroundings.

Horrible things were done on those beds. The memories sink deep into the threads.

The mattress springs. The sheets suffocating texture.

She lays on the carpet instead and he just lets her.

She was forced to stay in the bed with a revolving line of men,
so now when it’s her choice she will never sleep again.

More than the comfort of the mattress he’s known his whole life, he chose to lay on the floor in the darkness with his wife, because he loves her more.

He could have chosen the fanciest bed, but he chose the floor instead.

After 10 years he still doesn’t complain of his backaches and pain.

From the bed to the floor for he loves her more.

Stories of Healing

Whereas statistical information and reporting are helpful with understanding the issues as solutions are sought, focusing merely on the numbers can make the victims nameless, simply a number, as it were.

Each and every victim of human trafficking has a name, a voice that has been silenced, as well as a life worth saving, and a story worth telling. This fact makes highlighting stories of rescue and healing vital.

In honor of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, here are three such stories.

Erin: healing moment

At a recent Human Trafficking Awareness Conference, the Q&A panel included social workers, law enforcement officers, lawyers, and Erin, a survivor of human trafficking.

When asked how the police had treated her, Erin froze, not wanting to tip the apple cart. Seeing Erin’s hesitation, Becky McDonald, founder & president of WAR, Int’l, encouraged her to speak up and share her experience.

Erin shared how the police were not helpful regarding her situation, telling her there wasn’t anything they could do for her. One officer even asked for her number.

Upon hearing the apologies from the male law enforcement officers on the panel, Erin had an unexpected response. Those apologies, she realized, healed a place in her heart she didn’t know needed healing.

Trauma-informed interviewing is key when assisting survivors. During our February 2022 Light Up Your World Zoom, we learned about this interviewing technique from Amy Allen, a federal law enforcement officer. Click here to view it.

Reena: finding solutions

How many girls had now disappeared from Reena’s village? She had watched as foreigners came, promising education or stable jobs to girls of impoverished families. Out of desperation, they had been sent or sold to provide for the rest of the family. But Reena knew these promises were empty.

Reena knew traffickers targeted poor and vulnerable families.

Yet she had a plan. Reena began a small bakery where she could employ at-risk women in her village, giving them the fair payment they needed to provide for their families.

To Reena’s delight, the bakery thrived! Now she’s running four sustainable micro-enterprises to sponsor a safehouse, counseling services, vocational training, micro-loans, and different classes!

Reena’s work is helping attack trafficking at its root cause and freeing hundreds of lives from its threat. Support WAR’s micro-enterprise program to be a ‘Reena’ to others at risk.

Rhoda: story of resilience

Ever since she was a little girl, Rhoda wanted to sing. After much local success, Rhoda thought she caught her big break when a talent agent promised a vocal tour in Japan. Though her first visit proved successful, on her second trip, traffickers took her papers and forced her to serve drinks at a bar. One night a co-worker lured Rhoda to a “dance club” filled with the Japanese mafia. After drugging and abducting her, mafia members repeatedly brutalized and raped Rhoda for three days.

She eventually escaped, but the Japanese police blamed her, and a counselor even advised suicide as the only way to preserve her dignity. Even after returning home to America, help was nowhere to be found.

Finally, Rhoda discovered a community of healing and support at WAR, Int’l. Now she no longer numbs her pain with substance abuse and self-mutilation. Instead, she has transformed her suffering into a story of survival and hope. Rhoda uses her passionate voice to share this story, singing at benefit concerts, speaking out against human trafficking, and whispering words of hope and encouragement to vulnerable teens and wounded women.

A Song for the Silenced

Resources for your here.

Effect Change – Giving Tuesday 2023

EMAIL: October 17, 2023

Dear Devoted WARriors,

Giving Tuesday 2023 is around the corner, and Women At Risk, International (WAR, Int’l) is excited to join this global movement of generosity. This year, we invite you to be a part of something truly special and link arms with us to effect change in the lives of those in need.

For Giving Tuesday 2023, WAR, Int’l has set a goal of $40,000 for our 911 Rescue Fund. We are excited to have an anonymous matching gift, which means your contributions will have a greater impact to effect change.

At this very moment at our Headquarters, we are involved in four such rescue efforts. We receive emergency calls weekly from all over the country as well as from our global connections.

With your support, the contributions to the 911 Rescue Fund will allow us to provide emergency funding for housing, legal aid, medical assistance, food, transportation, and more in urgent situations, at a moment’s notice. This Fund allows WAR, Int’l and its partners to rush to the aid of those in imminent danger. We rely on this fund when we get an emergency call from a distressed woman trying to escape her trafficker, when a desperate partner calls about a crisis situation, and when life-saving intervention is crucially needed. When circumstances call for immediate action, there is no time to ask for donations.

Join us for #GivingTuesday2023 and be a part of something greater. Together, we can effect change as we make a difference in the lives of others, in their time of need. Over the next few weeks, leading up to November 28th, we will be sharing powerful and important stories of rescue to help you grasp the scope of your WAR Int’l Giving Tuesday 2023 donation and its impact to effect change.

Together, we can make this Giving Tuesday unforgettable.

Read Real Rescues here.

Want to start effecting change today?

Give online here.
Send a check to: Women At Risk, International, 2790 44th St. SW, Wyoming, MI 49519.

If you write a check, please be sure to note on the memo line that it is for our Giving Tuesday campaign so your contribution can be counted toward our goal!

Want other ways to effect change?

Share our posts on social media: Facebook & Instagram.
Talk about Giving Tuesday with friends and family.
Ask your company if they have a corporate donation policy.