GOD'S PLANS DON'T ALWAYS MAKE SENSE.
She was fostering to adopt her third child, had a wonderful job at her local church and life was busy. It certainly didn’t look like the perfect time for God to call her to start a ministry.
God’s timing doesn’t always make sense.
However, Leslie clearly heard God’s call to begin a home for girls who had been trafficked. “It all started when two pieces of my life came together – fostering/adopting alongside of volunteering at Abundant Life Ministry Center. Those two were happening at the same time in my life, and they truly opened my eyes to human trafficking. It was clearly brought to my front door when we were asked to bring a young girl into our home in Pennsylvania who had been sold by her birth mom for drugs. So that’s when everything for me hit. That was the day that had the most impact.”
At the Abundant Life Ministry Center, her eyes were opened to how vast an issue human trafficking is and how many women and girls have gone through this in their past or are currently going through it. She saw the need for women who have experienced this to have support and encouragement. These women had people who walked through the struggle of the aftermath with them.
“I felt the Lord say the word HOME to me.”
She didn’t know at the time what that would look like or meant but when she spoke with other women who had ministries for helping these women, she began to get a vision for Hopewood Haven.
When she felt the call, she knew she was to do it. There was no question. “I knew.”
She has had moments along the way of questioning God. She didn’t know if she was equipped, but through that, she was clearly able to see God’s hand.
“We know that it was God who birthed this ministry and put everything together because of all of the true miracles that happened…and not of my doing. He is always faithful to bring someone alongside who has the gifts and talents, and He just moves. It’s amazing.”
Her life has dramatically changed since saying, “Yes” to God. Her family moved to South Carolina, where God was making it clear to her the ministry needed to be. Her faith has strengthened. “When there is no other way, God makes a way. He is faithful. Every time we think we won’t have the money for this or we need more volunteers or have this great need, God is always faithful. He brings you just what you need at the exact moment you need it every time.
She also has a new outlook and a new perspective on ministry and has felt the amazing support of those in a similar ministry. I have several women that have organizations like ours who I see as mentors and have mentored the process. As I have called them with something, they have heard it all before. They are the same things that they have gone through. It is encouraging. It is really tough, and there are so many naysayers and people who say ugly things. They stir up strife. It is truly a battle.
The enemy does not want these girls who come in to have freedom. He doesn’t want people to know that this atrocity is going on, so he is going to do everything in his power to get those who are in ministry to quit. The battle is real.”
“Prayer is truly what we covet the most. Prayer for the direction of our girls. Pray that they find the Lord through it all. Prayers for our volunteers and our board. All of it needs prayer.”
Written by Ginny.