Restoring dignity and rebuilding lives
Ministry to the poor April 17, 2018
Jared and Helen Hodgson from Gracechurch, Bromsgrove, are seeing decades-old promises from God fulfilled as they run Hope at Home, a charity and hosting scheme for survivors of modern day slavery and human trafficking. They believe that God sets the lonely in families and their vision is to see every survivor within the UK placed with well-trained and supported Christian hosts in order to find dignity and see their lives restored.
In July 2015 the Hodgson family opened their home to Sarah*. Sarah arrived a broken, anxious and fearful woman having been trafficked into the UK several years ago. She did not eat or sleep, had no routine and couldn’t leave the house without her body shaking. She lived in despair and had no hope of any kind of future.
Over the year that Sarah lived with Jared, Helen and their three boys, she slowly began to trust again. Tentatively, she started to accept their love. She joined the family for meals – something she’d never been allowed to do before. Simple service, like making her a cup of coffee, gave Jared and the boys opportunity to bring gentle healing as they offered her the respect and dignity she’d never experienced from men before. As the family read Isaiah 61 over her and celebrated her birthday for the first time, tears rolled down her cheeks.
She says: “Before, I can’t do anything. Everything scared me and brought bad memories but now I can deal with this thing and can walk in town and my body doesn’t shake. In all my life, no-one has ever given me what your family has given me. Not even my own family. Everyone from your family gives me love. Every single one. Now I am the person I was always meant to be.”
By the end of the year, she was laughing, enjoying her voluntary work at the local hospital, eating and sleeping in a routine and looking forward to her future.
Hope at Home is now rolling out this hosting scheme UK-wide. The need is enormous. Survivors of human trafficking have no support, no money or access to benefits and often become street homeless and vulnerable to being re-trafficked. Hope at Home carries good news, restoration and dignity in its foundations. The opportunity for a safe, fresh start coupled with the support and consistent care from hosts is great news for people who have endured horrific trauma and injustice. This is also the call of the Church – to care for the broken and see the lonely placed in families.
*name changed to protect identity