SAMARITAN'S TOUCH = A NEW FAMILY!A new family's love wrapped around a broken heart ...
Samaritan’s Touch is a part of a Survivor’s long-term future!
Samaritan’s Touch brings the healing power of committed compassionate love to victims from human trafficking and violence. By connecting victims to families who make a commitment to “sponsor”… to “adopt”… to love them as they go through recovery and into restoration of their lives, Samaritan’s Touch brings the healing power of God’s love as a light of hope into their darkness.
WHAT IS A SPONSOR FAMILY?
The Sponsor Family concept of Samaritan’s Touch is very simple, it involves a family:
- Investing some time: In the early days it may be a couple of times a week, as the survivor begins to heal and grow in restoration it will probably diminish to a few times a month.
- Committing to consistent compassionate Love: Survivors usually feel unloved and unlovable. Survivors of sex slavery are overwhelmed with shame. It is an immeasurable blessing to discover that someone really cares and doesn’t class them as damaged or useless. The Sponsor Family’s committed compassionate love encourages – builds courage in – a heavily wounded heart to face an uncertain and terrifying future. Just knowing that someone will be there to hold their hand for the long-term and walk through it together with them brings great healing.
- Building “family” relationships: Bringing the survivor into the home to spend time with the family and join in some normal family activities and celebrations, like going to church, picnics, birthday parties, and holidays. NOT having the survivor move in!
- Practical help: Learning specific needs and providing help – like practicing English, learning how to get around town on the bus, tutoring for classes – or finding help when necessary. NOT financially supporting the survivor!
- Exploring the world: Survivors have been trapped in tiny worlds. They have often been kept for years in one building – never seeing the outside. Sponsor families can widen the horizons and build confidence just by taking the survivor to discover the community they live in. Driving around town, visiting museums, parks, going to movies and community events help bring the survivor into the world.
- Teaching: Survivors have a lot to learn! Most have limited education and often don’t know English. They may not even really know where they are in the world. They often don’t understand local culture. Create opportunities to learn.
- Being available: Knowing there is someone to call in an emergency or when they are hurting. One of the biggest fears after being captive is the fear of getting lost in the “big world” that they were shut off from. It’s a big blessing to just know there is someone they can call, who loves them, and will come get them if they get lost or are really hurting over something.
WHY THE NEED FOR SPONSOR FAMILIES?
The SPONSOR FAMILY concept of Samaritan’s Touch addresses significant needs that are currently unmet in the After Care area:
- INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION! As good as most of the After Care programs are, they face the reality that the After Care staff must distribute attention among the many survivors under their care.
- Government programs of support continue for about 12-18 months. Then the survivor is really ALONE.
- Case load requires that After Care staff distribute their attention among all of the survivors under their care.
- When many rescues are taking place the increased load lowers the ability to give individual attention.
- Though private After Care and Safe Houses often give more intense attention while the survivor is in the facility there is still the challenge of successfully managing multiple relationships.
- SPONSOR FAMILIES are available to augment the support programs and give focused attention of the survivor that they are committed to. Load is taken off After Care staff and increased attention is given to each survivor.
- LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIPS!
- Graduation for After Care usually means entry into a world of “ALONE”.
- No survivor can stay in an After Care program forever. At some point all must graduate to the “real world” and build an independent life. Though great love and relationships may have been developed with After Care staff the survivor suddenly finds help, encouragement, and attentive support limited.
- SPONSOR FAMILIES make a commitment to “be there” for the long-term. By treating the survivor as part of their family the survivor knows they have somewhere to go when needs arise.
- A NEW FAMILY COMMUNITY! Shame and issues of safety often prevent the return of survivors to their own cultural group. Survivors are lost and alone in a strange world. There is no “community” for them!
- A SPONSOR FAMILY commits to bring the survivor into their family’s community, to not only stand with them as they go through the recovery process, but to give them a new sense of belonging that comes from spending regular time with the survivor and inviting the survivor to join in family times and special events. Birthdays and holidays become times of blessing to the survivor instead of painful times of being alone.
- A SPONSOR FAMILY not only brings the joy of family relationships to survivors, but also dramatically expands the network of people who can help. When a survivor needs to move into an apartment friends and acquaintances of the Sponsor Family now become part of the support community for finding furnishings for the apartment.
- COMMITTED LOVE! The essence of Samaritan’s Touch is the commitment that the Sponsor Family makes to LOVE the survivor. NOT having the survivor live with them – NOT paying the survivor’s bills, but to demonstrate sacrificial love by supporting in whatever practical “hands-on” way is necessary to help the survivor build a new life.
- Some victims of human trafficking, especially sex slavery, have had someone say “I love you!” What they have learned is that love means they are USED, not that they are truly loved and cared for.
- SPONSOR FAMILIES play a critical role of rebuilding a survivors understanding of what LOVE means. Now they hear the family say, “We love you!” and then see the Sponsor Family spend themselves in countless ways to care for, encourage, and help the survivor. The survivor’s heart begins to heal and feel value again.
Love is NOT known through the words “I Love You!”
True Love COSTS!
Love is discovered by seeing someone pay the cost of love by spending their own time, life, and resources to bless the one they love.Hank Tate
We too, then, ought to give our lives for others!
(1 John 3:16)