As I sit in the back of the SUV with a new survivor and wipe her tears, I wrap her in a pink hand-knotted fleece blanket that she will take to rehab, put a salvation bracelet on her and give her a donated bible and a survivor back pack – I am humbled that the Lord has used an army to make this happen. We are not alone in this effort – the Lord has orchestrated these many parts just as His Word says – AWOL is such a great example of this…..
Often we are asked at AWOL what can I do to help? My response is always the same, “Pray, and see what God wants you to do….” Often, the person is taken aback by my response, but that’s just how we roll….you see, there are some really great true stories about donations to this ministry that I would like to share with you; and hopefully, they will inspire you to see what the Lord is saying to you personally…..
- A little girl that heard about us, prayed, and the Lord had her raise money for lunches through a lemonade stand.
- My high school friend, that I met again at a recent reunion, felt led to involve her knitting group to make beautiful scarves and hats for us
- A retired couple challenges themselves with our “supply list” to “get deals” and help with contributions of sandals, umbrellas, socks, etc. on their limited retirement income
- A retired Detroit fireman has $50 taken from his retirement check and sent to us electronically every month
- A lady gave us survivor back packs and jewelry she had made herself while her husband was undergoing cancer treatment.
- A young couple makes fashion scarfs and other crafts, and sells them at events so they can donate a percentage of their profits to AWOL – they actually provided over $200 in small rolled up fleece blankets last year
- A dental tech in Rochester Hills provides a case of toothbrushes and a case of toothpaste each and every month.
- A college prayer group sponsored a “sock drive”
- A small high school group wrote personal encouragement notes
- A college group committed to making us 50 lunches, sandwiches and hygiene kits each and every month
- A foster care home teaches their “children” to prepare lunches and hygiene kits for us on a monthly basis
- Another stitch group made special “salvation story” hats, scarves and bracelets
- An “at-home” mother, intercedes for us in prayer each and every outreach – that could be four a week!!!!
- Runners commit to raise funds for AWOL while participating in marathons
- A small on-line autism business sends us ALL their profit in gas cards
- Someone donated a bunch of paperback bibles she bought at the dollar store
I remember “S” from our “neighborhood” inquiring recently….”How do you guys get all this stuff? This has to be expensive….” I explained how so many people want to be part of this ministry. Her reply was “Why?” I explained that there are a lot of people out there that love her without knowing her. Care about her and want to provide basic needs for her; and that those same people want to see her get to the “plan and purpose God has for her life”. She shook her head in wonderment saying “Really?”
Two weeks later, this beautiful young 26 year old woman from the suburbs called the AWOL hot line to be rescued from the streets – she had felt the love of Jesus from His people – YOU the true church – the answer to Modern Day Slavery…… I would later learn the answer to my own “Why?”….. “S” was abused physically, emotionally sexually and mentally by her own family members since she was a child that put her into this tail spin we call Sex Trafficking. Thank you all for being the hands and feet of Christ to “S” and so many others in our “neighborhood”…..you are truly in the AWOL “prayer van” with us …..
Twyla Baggett, was formerly employed for 17 years with Bethesda Christian School as a physical education teacher. She also held positions in Coaching, Public Relations and Fundraising for the school. Prior to her employment with Bethesda she worked in various law firms in the Detroit area as a legal assistant. Twyla is an Elder at Bethesda Christian Church and is involved in the Visitation Ministry, Women’s Ministry, Catechism Department and Children/Youth Departments. In her retirement, she manages several personal investment properties and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren. Twyla and her husband Mel serve faithfully as leaders on the AWOL outreach team and the Board of Directors.