Members of the same church, Nick and Chris began to meet regularly for Bible study and coffee back in 2009. Through that close relationship, Nick’s eyes were opened to the great need in our city. “I never really was aware of the legal inequities that our society heaps on the poor, and how difficult it is for many people to navigate a complex legal system that should be protecting them,” he says. “Through getting to know Chris, praying with him, and seeing his passion for serving this community, it began to resonate with me.”
On Wednesday mornings, clients at the Clinic can fill out a small form if they would like prayer. At times, the language barrier complicates things, but Christine trusts the Holy Spirit to guide her. For one woman in particular, Christine felt a powerful need for safety, and so she prayed for a hedge of protection. She then learned more of the woman’s story, which included sexual abuse, drug trafficking, and much danger. Christine says Kathleen told her, “This is not an atypical story.”
A pivotal element of HYJP is the Program Manager, Ben Hayes. Unlike the two attorneys who work cases for Outreach’s youth, Ben’s position is more nebulous. His job is to build relationships and to create a bridge between their kids and our attorneys. Most of the youth that go through Outreach know what it’s like to be burned by someone they were supposed to be able to trust—in fact, that is usually an inciting incident to them becoming homeless in the first place. “Every one of them is going to have a different story,” Ben says. The one thing they all have in common though? Trauma. According to a series of internal surveys conducted by Outreach in 2014, 71% of their young woman said they were sexually abused before the age of 18 and 88% of their young men saw their mother beaten before the age of 18.
And that is what forgiveness is. It is the “and yet” after the laundry list of horribles and rampant disregard of human dignity. Forgiveness is the “and yet” after the trauma of race, gender, or class-based violence is heard and seen for the monstrosity it is. Forgiveness is the cosmic “and yet” of a God shamelessly crucified by a world he came to redeem.
When it comes to the typical victim profile, Tracy says, “I think it’s important for people to know that trafficking doesn’t just happen in the urban city. It can happen in Carmel. It can happen in Fishers—that it can be a girl meets a boy at a party. It’s not ‘those’ kids. It can happen to anyone.”
This post is an excerpt of the full talk Brian gave last year at Taylor University for a chapel address, “Doing Biblical Justice as a Servant of Jesus”. To watch the chapel address click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IlRu1qquQg