By: Alex Verastegui, Texas Baptist Hunger Offering Intern
As Christians, we have a duty to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8). All throughout the Old and New Testaments, we see how God cares for the widow (1 Tim 5:8) and the orphaned (Ex 22:22), the poor (Prov 28:27), the vulnerable (Ps 82:3; Acts 20:35) and the foreigner (Lev 19:33-34).
In 2013, Rebecca Jowers was inspired to start the Poiema Foundation, a human trafficking ministry. While in seminary, she noticed how Jesus modeled being an advocate for the least and the lost. When her church asked her to start a human trafficking ministry it seemed providential, even more so when they realized this ministry was growing bigger than one church could handle.
The Poiema Foundation, a Texas Baptist Hunger Offering recipient, educates the public about the dangers of human trafficking, as well as how to prevent it. They also educate doctors, nurses, teachers, dentists, dental hygienists and counselors to identify victims of human trafficking. Despite the impact of COVID-19, church volunteers continue to take posters of missing children to over 700 businesses in the Dallas Metroplex. The posters have helped recover over 140 children thus far, in partnership with an organization called, For the One.
In addition to education, and raising awareness of missing children, Jowers saw that a domestic violence shelter did not meet the needs of victims of human trafficking. So, church partners began raising money to start a home that met the specific needs of these victims. Only two months after they began raising money, someone donated a home to the Poiema and to the women they serve.
It is evident throughout Poiema’s story, that God provides, and leads the work. It is through the work that Poeima and their church volunteers that they share God’s love and message of hope.
Mark your calendars for a future Poiema Fundraiser coming March 2021 with Guest Speaker: “Trick Baby” Bishop Ron Archer.
Please join us in praying for:
- Salvation for the women who do not know the Lord. That they would experience unconditional love and come to know God.
- Poiema staff working with emotionally unhealthy people is challenging, pray for wisdom and strength.
- Strengthen and protect staff and volunteer families.
- God would continue to provide and help Poiema allocate resources well
- Wisdom on how to be creative with the ministry in the midst of COVID, and do this ministry safely