DETROIT, MI – “If I tried to place my finger on the right word, it might land somewhere between you and me, seated in the back of a friend’s car, stopped in Michigan’s darkest city, paused in prayer for the light to come. It reminds me I never quite grasp God’s glory – that I never quite have big enough expectations. Allow me to explain.”
FRē Outreach, the sex trafficking outreach at Legacy Church, has branched out from its suburban hotel outreach in Novi, Michigan to cross with international interests. The North American International Auto Show draws nearly one million people to Detroit, and human trafficking is escalated in the city of Detroit during these two weeks. Minors makeup a large demographic of individuals that are sexually exploited, and information on them is sought by both police detectives and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
I wake up once a month to take pictures of missing kids to local hotels. In the hopes that one child might be seen or found, our FRē Outreach team is dedicated to the search for missing kids and to the hotel staff we educate on sex trafficking. On January 15, our team took the latest pictures and our educational packets into the hive of the Michigan sex trade, every hotel and motel in Detroit. We were given a peek into the hive. As I predicted, my expectations were too small for God’s glory.
I often find that prayer is a companion we see as small but mighty, as the mustard seed can move mountains. I regret that I have never seen a mustard seed literally move a mountain, as it would be a wonder of the natural world. However, I have seen such a wonder through the power of prayer. Our team spent months in prayer for God’s protection, His direction, and His motivation to put our hands and feet to work. Then, the outreach came. Prayer was essential. The WMU Prayerwalking team and members of the FRē team joined together in their cars and prayed as we traveled through the city. Have I yet stated that God will conquer our expectations and prove them to be inconsequential? Here is what my eyes beheld.
I never expected that I would be calling the Toledo Police on a tip. I never expected that a woman at a motel would listen to us. I never expected that God would put me in a motel in Detroit, have me stand face-to-face with her honest eyes, have me equipped with 12 photos, and have one of those photos spark a memory in her mind. The staff member remembered seeing one of the girls on our posters; she had recently come to the hotel for a room. A missing girl from Toledo made it onto our posters for the outreach, and we happened to visit the motel where she would be recognized.
Prayer, an open conversation with God, is more potent than I can comprehend. It took one million international visitors, all the hotels and motels of Detroit, five carloads of willing servants, and one motel employee to hear the whisper in my ear. I never anticipated the opportunity to pass on information concerning a child’s case. Prayer enabled our outreach serve one lost sheep, and I heard the word – God is faithful.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rachel Lipovsky is a writer at Divinely Enchanted, a soon-to-be university graduate in marketing and management, and a mad lover of Jesus and his ministries. You can find more about the author and her work at DivinelyEnchanted.com.