denton texas

Moms Moving Out

This past Christmas, two of the four moms staying at The Wheeler House moved out into permanent housing. This was the goal for Giving Hope INC., the organization that manages the housing portion of The Wheeler House. The Wheeler House provides transitional housing for single moms and their children in a housing crisis. The first mom to move out of The Wheeler House transitioned out in late October. Many of the moms now live in the same apartment complex, which gives them a sense of safety and support. Jamie Gutierrez, one of the moms who recently moved out of The Wheeler House with her three children said it felt like a family the first week everyone moved into The Wheeler House.

Jamie Gutierrez never had to spend a day on the streets because of The Wheeler House, which is one of the reasons she said, “For anyone that doesn't believe that God always finds a way! I lost all hope until I found the Wheeler House! Thank you Giving Hope and Serve Denton."

With the continued help from Giving Hope and our faithful Denton community, these moms will have a support system for the rest of their lives. For more information about The Wheeler House, please contact Serve Denton Executive Director Pat Smith at psmith@servedenton.org or Giving Hope, INC. Executive Director Dr. Alonzo Peterson GH CD at alonzopeterson@hopeincdenton.com.

Let’s Eliminate the Human Trafficking Industry

The average age of a girl entering the sex industry is 12 years old. Human trafficking is a 97 billion dollar a year industry. One third of runaways are picked up by a pimp within 48 hours. This is all because of sexual exploitation. Refuge for Women is a three-phase rescue organization that focuses on healing, job preparation and employment. Sexually exploited women need the tools to become self-sufficient. Upon receiving after-care healing, like Refuge for Women provides, 94 percent of these women do NOT reenter the sex industry!

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 12.12.24 PMThe directors of Refuge for Women North Texas, Lynnie and Jay Anderson, became involved with Refuge for Women Kentucky in 2011 after attending a meeting at their country church. In response to the meeting, Lynnie said, “Our hearts were touched by the testimonies we heard and the need for support.” They had no idea there was a trafficking problem in the U.S., much less a need for an after-care healing home for sexually exploited women. Their hearts were hooked to help.

Refuge for Women Kentucky was gifted a second home, and they needed help with renovations. Lynnie and Jay had built three homes together and accomplished several renovations, so the two were excited to offer their support. “What an amazing transformation it was to see that old Kentucky farm house brought back to life,” Lynnie said. While the building was being dramatically transformed, they knew it wouldn’t stop there; people’s lives would soon be radically changed as well.

The two decided to move to Texas in 2013 to be closer to their two children, but they were sad to leave the chapter in their life associated with Refuge for Women.

While in Texas, Lynnie saw a Facebook post from Ked Frank, the founder of Refuge for Women. He would be in the Dallas area meeting with some front-line ministries that send women to Refuge for Women Kentucky for healing. Lynnie felt she should reach out to him, but didn’t know where it would lead; she just knew the program worked.

Lynnie and Jay asked Ked to give a short presentation about the ministry, and they gathered a group of 14 men and women to listen. Lynnie recounts, “That amazing group of people agreed to come back the following Tuesday and pray about where this all would lead us. That group has committed to become what is now the seventh location for Refuge for Women across the nation.”

While living in Texas, they have uncovered some heartbreaking statistics. Texas is the number two state in the nation with the most human trafficking, and sex slavery is a $99 million per year industry in DFW alone. They have found several awareness and front-line ministries here in Texas, but very few aftercare-healing homes for these women.

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 4.34.06 PMThat is where Refuge for Women steps in. They have the program ready to roll out. They just need a safe haven, a home, for these women to experience healing so they can become self-sufficient again. Their ideal location is in the country so the women can have safety, solitude and serenity for this phase of their life.

How can you help? Join the team at Refuge for Women North Texas by volunteering your time or financially contributing to their cause. Your support helps sexually exploited women escape the sex industry and experience healing.

They invite you to join them at their open meeting on the second Tuesday of each month at Serve Denton. Lynnie said, “I often think back to that day in 2011 when we heard about Refuge for Women for the first time and I ask, “How can we help, and what do we have to offer?” Then I remind myself of the saying, “God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the people He calls”.

For more information, please email Lynnie Anderson at refugeforwomennorthtexas@gmail.com.