Justice & Missions: Save Our Sisters
Justice & Missions is a monthly feature by our resident missionary, Amanda Goodroe, highlighting a variety of people, organizations, causes and stories to inspire you to give back and find the cause that sets your heart on fire.
By Kristie Watkins*
I received an email yesterday from one of my best friends with a picture of a home in Moldova getting closer to being completely built. My other best friend responds asking when we can book tickets to travel there next summer. In a few months, this house will be built and become a home for women in Moldova to to escape the world of human trafficking into safety.
It’s crazy. I sit on my college campus, twenty-one years old, thinking how did I get here?
How did I get to the point where my friends and I are emailing back and forth about traveling back to a country we all love to see a home finally finished that we put into motion?
Over six years ago, five friends and I started a journey, having no idea where we would end up and certainly unable to fathom being where we are now. I try to think of the steps we took to get here. I try to come up with a way to present a template to others, but I can’t. The only way I can even begin to explain the journey is, one step at a time, over and over saying yes to God.
The past six years have given me a perfect story of God’s faithfulness and His pursuit of His people and what can happen simply by saying “yes” to Him.
When I was fourteen years old, God placed a heavy burden on my heart and the heart of my five closet friends. We continually heard stories of women and girls, some younger than us, who were caught in the horrible industry of human trafficking. These girls had their purity, childhood, hopes and dreams, everything we hold so tightly to, stripped from them. Over and over, the statistics and never-ending stories broke our hearts.
In a single moment, three ambitious teenagers made a decision to act, not knowing that simple act would change our lives and the lives of people all over the world forever. We were excited about hosting a fundraiser to donate a little money to a valid organization. We felt good about making a difference and then walking away to start our high school careers.
A few months later, it was the night of the cookout fundraiser we planned. I stepped onto the soccer field of my home church where over five hundred people gathered to support this idea. In that moment, I looked around and saw people I didn’t know praying on their hands and knees for these girls all over the world. I knew this wasn’t something I would look back and forget... this wasn’t something we would walk away from. This was a step in a journey, a long long journey. This was the first time God was saying, “Follow me. Don’t look out, just look at me. Each step I will lead you.”
We came up with the name SOS, Save Our Sisters, for our ministry and jumped right in. The next year and a half we traveled to churches across the state doing speaking engagements, raising money and awareness.
The first time Moldova came on our radar was in 2011 when two of our team members traveled to Moldova with a church based out of Raleigh, NC, Christ Baptist Church. The little town of Khul and the people of this country captivated their hearts. While there, they learned of a plan between Christ Baptist and a church in Moldova to build a camp for local children to visit year round to hear the Gospel. Also on this land would be a home where women and children could be brought to safety and out of the bondage of human trafficking.
This was the plan we were waiting for. This was God placing another step in our path to follow. Once the two came back and shared the story with us, we were all on board and our ministry joined with Moldova Mission. The land for the camp was bought and work began.
In 2014, our entire team of six flew to Eastern Europe, most of us for the first time, to see this country we already loved. We spent a week meeting the people in Moldova who had just as much passion for this as we did.
One day, our team walked to the spot where the home we prayed for would soon be built. We stood there, overwhelmed with emotion, overwhelmed by our Father. Why did He choose me? Why did I get to be the one to see Him and be apart of this crazy plan He had prepared? I sat on the ground in Moldova on the exact spot this home would be built and remembered the moment we sat on my bed, not even in high school, and made a decision to do something.
I couldn’t have made this up. I couldn’t have planned this or gotten here on my own. God was in each step guiding our feet and our hearts.
Two and a half years later, remembering that moment still gives me chills. We so do not deserve to be used the way God chooses to use us. He doesn’t need us to accomplish anything. But, He loves us enough to take us on His journeys and let us see glimpses into His plan.
Now, here we are, talking about going back to Moldova to see this home finally finished.
Here’s the thing, I can’t give you a step-by-step plan to start a ministry or to change the world. But I don’t have to. The only thing there is to do is tell God, “yes.” Over and over, and never “no.”
It’s scary and we like to have control over our lives and decisions, but we don’t. But it’s better that way. God instilled in each of us a passion, a passion He fully equipped us to chase. We don’t have to know what the next steps hold. When God is calling us to something He has already paved the way. He has already figured out the logistics, the finances, and every detail.
So, whatever it is, whatever it is God is calling you to, do it! Don’t look back, don’t try to figure it all out, just keep letting God use you. Let my life and this ministry be an example that it is not about what you can do or what skills you have or don’t have, but about how great our God is and how blessed we are to be used for His purposes.
*Kristie is a 21-year-old adventure seeker. She is currently attending Western Carolina University in the mountains of North Carolina, and all things outdoors usually fill her time. Any opportunity to travel or try something new, she's on it. Kristie loves building life-giving friendships over coffee and ice cream. She strives to chase after the Lord, excited about what His next plan is for her life. To learn more about Save Our Sisters, visit saveoursisterstoday.com!