BTD: A New Chapter
Since this is my first blog post let me first introduce myself and explain how and why I came to work with Rescue Houston. I was born and grew up in The Netherlands. I am passionate about God, people, music, worship and the nations. Oh yes, and I love coffee. 😉
In Amsterdam, I studied Pedagogy and had a lot of different jobs as a teacher, social worker, and case manager in safe homes and facilities where I served all ages of people with addiction, behavioral problems, mental of psychiatric issues, dual diagnoses, unintended pregnancy and displacement or refugee status. My heart has always been to see the person and not the diagnoses, to empower them in their strengths and gifts and support where needed. I have also been a part of Youth With A Mission where I led mission trips, and discipled teenagers and students.
My heart was to disciple women who were struggling with life controlling issues, so after college, I desired to join different ministries and learn from them. However, it wasn’t until 2014 when I came to Texas to volunteer at a safe home for minors that I was introduced to the issue of sex trafficking. Prostitution is legal in The Netherlands, but I always stayed far from this because it seemed so scary and dark to me. Yet, the Lord led me to work with this anti-sex trafficking ministry in Texas. During that 1,5 year period, my eyes and heart were opened to this injustice and I couldn’t walk away or ignore it anymore.
Back in the Netherlands, as I worked with refugees, I started reaching out to women who work in prostitution in my city and began visiting this one house with a long hallway and many different rooms where the girls would stand in the doorway to solicit sex. I was so nervous every time before I’d walk in, but as soon as I started talking to these precious ladies from all over Europe, I felt such freedom and love. It was amazing to experience what a small act of love could do.
As my job with the refugees came to a close, I prayed for guidance from the Lord—whether to commit to ministry in The Netherlands or somewhere else. I felt God wanted me to come back to Texas and intern with Rescue Houston. I had done outreach and aftercare, but had no experience with this middle assessment stage with this population.
I am so thankful that I get to work alongside this incredible team and learn from them. As Client Advocacy Intern, I’m working as the emergency responder and provide client management services while helping with social media. Look forward to sharing with you all that I am learning during my time with Rescue Houston!