Cultivating Hope, Healing, and Freedom

I badly want to be a gardener, or, I should say, to actually love gardening. I love the idea of a flourishing, messy garden, a sort of sanctuary from the craziness of a modern tech-ridden world, complete with flurries of color and texture and fragrance dancing together in perfect harmony. Arbors covered with cascading vines, blossoms of every shade quaking in soft breezes, birds chirping cheerfully as they settle on overhead perches.  I have pictures in my head of me wearing cute little pink leather gardening gloves, kneeling down under the shade of a wide-brimmed sun hat, happily humming and pulling dainty little weeds out of my garden one by one. Isn’t that a happy thought?

Cultivation Requires Consistent Effort

Emphasis on “thought.” The truth is, my garden used to look like this. It really did. Like, before I owned it. I have a rock that says “2001 Garden Walk” buried under some madly overgrown bush limbs, a gentle reminder that my garden has seen better days, under better care. But I have learned some things while pretending to nurture my garden:

  • Neglect does make plants heartier! Just not the ones you want.
  • Weeds are rarely dainty
  • Nurturing life requires consistent time, resources, intentionality, and a whole lot of work

I’m thankful for having learned these lessons on my garden because I find they apply rather well to other areas of life, like, for instance, running an organization. Believe it or not, it takes more than a great vision to form, and keep, a great organization. There are so many components. People ask me regularly what I do. I have yet to think of a great response to this, because the accurate one would be that I am the program director, lead community trainer/educator, HR director, financial manager, chief of operations, grant-writer, fundraiser and manager of donations, vision-caster, head of survivor support, volunteer coordinator, director of marketing, etc. etc. I have found that people get most excited about the program element of non-profits, yet this component is made possible by the other components functioning well. Otherwise it’s like wanting to buy pretty flowers for a garden, but forgetting that, without proper care and nurture, they will simply wither and die.

So although Trihope’s training and education events and survivor support are the most visible parts of the organization–and the reason we exist–there is a lot of background work that goes into making those elements flourish and flourish well into the future. And right now, if I may continue the analogy, Trihope has experienced so much growth that we have become too big for our pot. We have so many demands for survivor support and for doing community education and training events that we have to turn them down. Yes, this means survivors are coming to us looking for help and we can’t give it. Community groups are asking for education and training and we can’t provide it.  We have been invited to advise a public official on what needs to be done to effectively combat trafficking in America–what an opportunity!–but we need an increase in hours to put together a good strategy. We need a “bigger pot,” or more staff and an expanded office to serve the needs coming to us.

 

Trihope’s Year-End Expansion Campaign

Hence, Trihope’s Year-End Expansion Campaign. This fundraising campaign is all about providing Trihope the space (literally) that it needs for the mission to flourish. While I believe the issues of sexual assault and abuse will always linger in our world, I do believe making great gains in the battle against them and largely crumbling the industry of sex trafficking, are really more issues of man power than strategy. Truly, I think they can largely be solved, especially the trafficking bit.

So let me close not asking you to help Trihope. Even at Trihope, our vested interest is not in growing an organization; our vested interest is in bringing hope, freedom, and healing to survivors of sexual trauma. Our vested interest is in combating the industries and structures that destroy the innocence of children, that enslave men and women in hellish conditions and strategize how to break their souls and wills, that corrupts many a culture by feeding it the grotesque lie that sexuality is a sport and a commodity, robbing many a life of the intimate and beautiful act that God intended sex to be. Our vested interest is in seeing souls set free from the wounds of their pasts, in turning tales of darkness into stories of hope, in binding the wounds of the broken and teaching them to live fully in every way. Our vested interest is in seeing death and decay exchanged for ever increasing life.

 

Donate. Share. Blossom.

This is what we are asking you to help. We are asking you to join the team and expand the mission. There are so many ways to do that, but today we are asking you to donate a piece of a bigger pot for the team. Then share the vision with your friends and family. Help us expand our reach and watch as hope, healing, and freedom flourish in the coming months.

Our goal is $35,000. The official campaign kicks off on Giving Tuesday, November 28th and lasts until December 31st, but you don’t have to wait. You can donate or share our campaign by clicking here today. Please, join the team. Expand the mission. Help us help others.

#GivingTuesday // TrihopeMIchigan.com

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