A Garden of Healing in Tupelo for Trafficking Survivors
Sometimes the seed of a life-changing idea takes root in the most unexpected and surprising ways. For Pastor David Ball of The Anchor Church in Tupelo, Mississippi, the seed of a calling to help human trafficking survivors began to blossom because of a conversation with a fellow traveler in the airport.
A little over Three years after that conversation, that seed has grown into a garden—Transformation Garden, to be exact. With construction close to completion, Transformation Garden will soon be a 20-bed residence offering trafficking survivors a safe place to recover and restore their self-worth.
How do we know so much about Pastor Ball’s meeting with a stranger in an airport terminal and its impact on making his vision of Transformation Garden a reality? Because the traveler he met was none other than Lee Howard, RE + NEW + ALL’s founder!
And it’s because of RE + NEW + ALL’s special connection with Transformation Garden and our desire to support their mission that we’ve chosen this wonderful ministry to be June’s Difference Maker of the Month.
No Chance Encounter
For some time, Pastor Ball felt compelled to get involved in the fight against human trafficking. It was while waiting to board a plane back to Tupelo in 2017 that he struck up a conversation with Lee, on her way back to Memphis.
Since this was before the launch of RE + NEW + ALL Candle, Lee talked about her work with trafficking survivors as a counselor and event coordinator at A Way Out Ministries. Pastor Ball listened as she shared the physical, psychological, and spiritual trauma these women work to overcome.
Pastor Ball knew their meeting was no accident. He returned home to Tupelo determined to open a ministry that would provide help, hope, and healing to women hurt by sexual exploitation.
A Community Dedicated to Helping Others
Transformation Garden isn’t the first residential program The Anchor Church community has founded. Through their Grace and Mercy Ministry branch, they also run Transformation Ranch and Transformation Home, which are residential recovery programs for men and women struggling with addiction. Additionally, they created Transformation Place as a re-entry program for formerly incarcerated men.
Through the ministry’s work with addiction, they found out firsthand how many women had also been molested or trafficked at some point in their lives. And when they learned how few facilities existed to care for victims of exploitation, they decided to help fill that gap.
As a community dedicated to lifting others up, it didn’t take long to find volunteers from the church willing to lead the way in creating this new haven of healing. And through the grace and generosity of several partnerships, they were able to raise the funds and secure the skilled volunteers needed to nourish their vision and bring Transformation Garden to life.
Transforming the Lives of Trafficking Survivors
Pastor Ball and Lee have stayed in touch, and he reached back out to her as construction on Transformation Garden got underway. During the building process, the church has also regularly held educational events and invited some of the graduates of A Way Out to speak.
Construction on Transformation Garden is due to be complete by August. And here at RE + NEW + ALL, we’re privileged to partner with this wonderful ministry and help nurture this garden so it can carry out its mission and continue to grow and thrive.
Won’t you join us in supporting this beautiful, new care facility for survivors?
You can help ensure they have additional funds to put the finishing touches on these halls of hope and prepare to launch their recovery program.
Throughout the month of June, when you purchase our Difference Maker candle, we’ll send 15% of the proceeds directly to Transformation Garden. You’ll get a beautiful, eco-friendly, lovingly hand-poured candle while contributing to the restoration of a trafficking survivor’s self-belief so she can transform into the brilliant flower she was born to be.
It takes a great deal of care to tend to a garden of wounded souls. Order your candle today, and you’ll bring light, warmth, love into your home and into the hearts of those seeking healing.
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