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AN ISLE OF HOPE!

In the midst of so much devastation and destruction from Hurricane Florence, I want to tell you about a story of hope.

 This picture was taken by Cayden Grant, age 13, with the use of a drone

This picture was taken by Cayden Grant, age 13, with the use of a drone

It was only about two years ago that another storm, Hurricane Matthew, rolled into the Carolinas and severely flooded The Anchor House which currently comprises our Community Building and Cottage #1 – both structures had about three feet of water in them. Restoration required new flooring, drywall, insulation, and paint…all for a home that had never been occupied. So, for the past year, a dedicated band of volunteers, led by our Co-Founders Chris and Anna Smith, restored the Restore One home. Linda Royster, our Executive Director, hired the staff, acquired the furniture, oversaw putting in place of all the details to make this a home, a school, a place of refuge, and a licensed Residential Child Care facility. Just last month, the house-parents moved in, all the new furniture had been purchased and assembled, the four boys’ beds were made, food was on the pantry shelves, and the place had been cleaned from top to bottom. The Anchor House now looked, and felt, like a home.

In preparation for the impact of Hurricane Florence last Wednesday, 9/12/18, I, Linda, anticipated the arrival of a team of folks to help us swiftly move furniture to the attic and second floor. Meanwhile, our long-awaited license from NC DHHS arrived in the mail. The immediacy of preparing The Anchor House did not allow for much celebration, although we were jubilant and mildly celebratory. A hurricane and a potential flood were threatening to do great harm to our home again- a home built for boys who have suffered so much already.

We took action immediately – all furniture moved, the van was moved to higher ground, and prayers were offered up. My specific prayer last week during our prayer session was that God would put a “hedge of protection” around these structures. Then on Friday, 9/14/18, the storm hit land and it started to rain, and rain, and rain.

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This picture above was taken on Sunday morning, 9/16/18, at about 9 a.m., from the main road – you can see the rooftops of our buildings in the background, but you can’t see the drive under the several feet of water in the foreground. It didn’t look promising, and yet, we had to hope. We felt certain that God is as excited for us to open the house as we are – that He wants the boys, whom he already knows by name, to be welcomed into this environment of love, healing, and restoration. Sunday was a long day and I won’t lie – I was a little angry and resentful thinking about the work of rebuilding and the delay this would mean in opening.

A boat excursion by two of our Board members soon confirmed that the water was about 3 inches from the back door, and no flooding had occurred! A hedge is a hedge even if it’s only 3“ wide. But, not wanting to get our hopes up, we still had a lot of water around us and the chance of the creek rising even more over the next couple of days…so, we waited and prayed. Then, the unexpected happened. On Sunday at about 5 p.m., I received the photo at the top of this blog, taken by the 13-year-old son of our Board Chair, Steven Grant, with the assistance of a drone. And it showed that there was maybe a ribbon of grass surrounding the main house where the living room, kitchen, counseling room, and school are located, and a similar small green strip surrounding the cottage that will house the four boys and house-parents. Could it be my requested “hedge of protection”?

Executive Director: Linda Royster:

“Like Mike, many of us from around the country were praying for God’s protection. As I stood alone in the living room of our Community Building a day before our storm preparations began, with the memory of having been recently flooded, my heart began to break with the possibility of what might happen. Then, with the authority Jesus has given to every believer, I prayed and asked the hosts of heaven to guard The Anchor House and our neighbors. The Almighty answered our prayers and gave us an “Isle of Hope”; a miraculous circle/hedge around us. Psalm 91 became a lived experience for us, again.”

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Well, as of 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18, 2018, I am very pleased to tell you we have received confirmation from Steven that there is no evidence of water in either building. All I can say, with tears of joy, is “Praise God”. We are ready to move forward. The picture below was taken at about 5 p.m. on 9/18/18 – it’s the same drive that was covered in water in the picture above.

So, in the days and weeks ahead, we will be moving the furniture, accessories and food back into place, cleaning everything yet again, and preparing for the opening. Stay tuned to the website for more information about the next steps and our search for the boys who will come live in The Anchor House. How ironic that the name of the place is nautical. Maybe we should have called it “The Oasis”!

Thank you for all the love and support we have received to get us this far, and please continue to pray for us as we prepare to start receiving boys.

With Gratitude,

Mike Eggleston, President

Linda Royster, Executive Director


HELP MAKE ABOLITION POSSIBLE

If you are interested in helping further the mission of Restore One, through financial partnership, you can either give online or send your donation by mail. Thank you for making the work of Restore One possible.

Summer of Strength - Strength to Soar

STRENGTH TO SOAR

Over the last few months, Restore One has been running the “Summer of Strength” campaign, focusing on the strength of boys emerging from sexual abuse and exploitation. We have looked at the themes, “Strength to Name” and “Strength to Heal”. As we wrap up the summer, we turn to the topic, “Strength to Soar”. In the context of healing from sexual abuse and exploitation, what does it mean to “soar”?

I went to the dictionary and found several definitions:
 To fly aloft or about; to sail or hover in the air often at a great height – “to glide”
 To rise or increase dramatically (as in position, value or price) – as in, “stocks soared”
 To ascend to a higher or more exalted level – “makes my spirits soar”


As I think about my own healing journey over the last 15 years, I can apply all of these definitions to boys recovering from sexual abuse and exploitation. As a result of the restoration and healing in my life, there have been times when I soar or glide effortlessly in situations which used to make me uncomfortable or scared; times when I have been able to see and appreciate my dramatically increasing sense of self-worth, and not all of my faults and failures – to see my personal stock soar; and yes, at times, I’ve even experienced climbing a spiritual mountain, after intense prayer, realizing that God was with me each and every time I was abused – not causing it to happen but letting me know that He was with me through the ordeal and assuring me that I didn’t do anything wrong, I didn’t deserve it, and He loves me ferociously. This healing has certainly enabled me to reach a higher or more exalted level – to literally allow my spirits to soar. My Presidency of this incredible organization has provided me with numerous examples of God’s transformative and healing powers, and has allowed me to soar in ways I never imagined.


But here’s the tricky thing about soaring on the healing journey: it’s not an always and ever-increasing straight-line trajectory. There are times, still, when I need to furiously flap my wings in a headwind, to keep from losing altitude…or to dig my hands and feet into the smallest cracks available to keep from sliding down the side of the mountain…or to pray against doubting God’s promises previously heard and believed. And yet, droop, slide, doubt or fall, I do! But by applying the practices learned, I attempt to soar again, and often do. One of my favorite books on the lifetime effects of childhood sexual abuse on boys, “Not Quite Healed” by Cecil Murphey and Gary Roe, drives home the point that it can take a long, long time for a man to come to terms with childhood sexual abuse and to learn different responses to life’s situations that often baffle him. In their book they explore such topics as, “Why was I victimized?”; “It’s safer to live behind my mask”; “Why do I have to talk about it?”; “I don’t feel like a real man”; “I’m wounded body and soul”; and “When I’m healed, who will I be?” They bolster this truth I have experienced in my own life: through naming what happened to me by talking to others about it, by seeking professional guidance and therapy to achieve healing, and with a lot of love and grace from family, friends and God, it is possible to soar…

And getting boys to soar is what Restore One is all about. Through the Model of Hope developed by our own staff, we will engage the boy who has been sexually exploited. The Model is designed to meet the psychological, physical and sociological needs of sex trafficked and sexually exploited boys. At the Anchor House, every boy is treated as a unique individual by using holistic approaches and proven clinical methods that nurture healing and restoration. We provide education and offer opportunities for the boys to develop spiritually. All done in an effort to teach the boys how to soar!

Please see the graphic below for more information on the Restore One Model of Hope.


In God’s love and grace, I am,
Mike Eggleston
President

 Learn more about President Mike Eggleston  HERE .

Learn more about President Mike Eggleston HERE.

 

 

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HELP MAKE ABOLITION POSSIBLE

If you are interested in helping further the mission of Restore One, through financial partnership, you can either give online or send your donation by mail. Thank you for making the work of Restore One possible.

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Summer Match Update & Ground Breaking Work!

Summer of Strength, our campaign to raise awareness about the sexual exploitation of males and funds for The Anchor House is wrapping up. Next week, we will post the final blog in our 3-part series "Strength To Soar". As you know, the staff at The Anchor House have been busy preparing for our final inspection from the State of NC this month. Opening the doors of The Anchor House has been our top priority. Thanks to you, we have made progress with the funds needed to become fully staffed per state requirements. We have secured the cream of the crop to care for the boys. 

We received a call this week from a nonprofit in Georgia who was thrilled to learn about our organization. They conduct street outreach and said they have such a hard time finding services for the boys they encounter who have been sexually trafficked. We hear this all the time. Services for boys are extremely limited across the entire country. This is why your prayers and support matter so much! We are doing ground breaking work. Opening a program of this nature and level of care is expensive and challenging, however, God has been so faithful. Thank you for saying YES to doing what you can to ensure boys receive the care they deserve. 

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Reminder...all gifts are being doubled up to $50,000 by two foundations until August 15th. So far, we have raised $24,228 towards this match. Please keep supporting as you are able, invite your friends to support and PRAY! This is a wonderful opportunity for The Anchor House operations (counseling, staff support, groceries, utilities and education).

 

 

Thank you so much for being part of the Restore One family!

We are praying for you. 

Emily Fitchpatrick

Summer Newsletter - 2018

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Dear Friends,

This summer we launched a national campaign called Summer of Strength. All summer we are raising awareness about the sexual trafficking of boys and men on social media, providing encouraging blogs and stories of strength, hosting Facebook Live sessions with team members and inviting our friends to pray with our 7 days of prayer and reflection download found on our website. More than anything, we are challenging the social norm. Most of United States society, and even some modern-day workers in the field of abolition have been duped into believing that only foreign-born women and girls are victims of sexual trafficking. With that statement, I want to acknowledge my personal gratitude for the awareness and education surrounding female sex trafficking that has occurred over the last decade. Many of my friends and allies in the field work for, or are founders of, organizations doing great work restoring the lives of many female survivors; I simply want to challenge the field of abolition on the topic of discrimination of male survivors. If we keep our marketing, language, research and program implementation solely female centered we are not only failing male survivors but we are also feeding into the culture norms that create barriers that bind us. Sexual trafficking knows no discrimination, neither should the field of abolition. While I acknowledge these as our realities, I do believe change is happening and will continue to happen. Over the past few years it’s been encouraging to witness male survivors start to appear at national conferences. Now many frontline speakers and educators include boys and men into their presentations.

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“While I had understanding
from my past experiences
and years in the field, I did
not fully grasp the weight
of the issue until I came
face-to- face with some of
the bravest and strongest
men and boys I know, my
survivor brothers.”
Anna Smith, Co-Founder

My hope is The Anchor House opening is just the beginning of safe homes opening up all across America. I believe that in the years to come, more men will be empowered to offer their voice to educate us and change the mindset of our culture. Change is among us and freedom is more contagious than the constraints of society. Our innate ability to dream past our unsteady reality into a future full of hope will only propel us to trust that change is possible. You are part of that change! By supporting Restore One and The Anchor House you are providing hope and restoration to boys ages 12-18 that have survived sexual exploitation. I pray you know how important your support and prayers are to our organization. We are so grateful for your friendship. Our team is praying for you!

I hope you find the enclosed updates encouraging and realize this could not be done without you.

Have a blessed summer,
Anna


JOIN US IN WELCOMING OUR NEW HOUSE PARENTS

CRYSTAL AND KENN PRICHARD

Kenn Pritchard has lived in Greenville, NC since he arrived to attend East Carolina University in the Fall of 1988 and attended Opendoor Church. His ministry has included volunteer work as youth leader, children’s teacher/team lead, life group leader, “sound guy” for the worship team, several non-profit board memberships, and camp roles from cabin counselor to camp pastor. Professionally he has been a counselor for the past 8 years specializing in issues of mental health and substance use. Kenn has worked in adolescent group homes (Level III) and therapeutic foster care (Level II), adult acute residential/hospital, and outpatient settings with all ages. His heart for youth, relational approach to ministry, and professional experience led to his enthusiastic acceptance of the invitation to join the Anchor House advisory board for in 2013.

Crystal Pritchard has a heart for children and for missions. She has worked in the dental field for over thirteen years as a Dental Hygienist working with underprivileged families and sees this experience as what launched her into service for others. She is a Greenville native but loves to travel abroad! She has traveled to Belize and Malawi Africa for several short-term mission trips teaching children about Christ and working to encourage them in their circumstance to know their worth as how God sees them and not man. She has worked in leadership at Opendoor Church in their children's department for several years and has helped organize their annual Kids Conference.

With a shared heart for worship and ministry, Kenn and his wife Crystal co-founded One Worship Fest, a community driven worship experience for families in and around Greenville. Together the Pritchards have a strong commitment to adding to the legacy of God’s Love, and they will continue to speak life into and over children who have not experienced abundant life.


JOIN US IN WELCOMING OUR EDUCATION DIRECTOR

TENEA STRAYHORN

Tenea, a native of Georgia has been involved in community service since the age of 15, often volunteering her time in various projects involving those less fortunate. She studied Religion at the University of Mount Olive in New Bern, NC. In 2010, she co-founded a 501C3 non-prot organization designed to prepare students for post-secondary education. To date she has helped those students receive over $80,000 in scholarships. Tenea has spent the past 10 years, facilitating workshops on education, and overcoming the effects of sexual abuse. She is passionate about empowering those that are survivors and makes it her life’s mission to promote the power of resiliency.

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FINANCIAL UPDATE

As of June 25th, we have raised $203,727 of our needed $430,000 to meet our 2018 budget for
Restore One and The Anchor House operations.


During Summer of Strength, two generous donors have provided a matching challenge and all
donations made by August 15th will be doubled, up to $50,000!
This is a tremendous blessing
for us! Please consider a gift to help us meet our goal. In turn, we can provide the highest level of
care possible to the boys we serve.

 

HELP MAKE ABOLITION POSSIBLE

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Our journey to becoming House Parents

We don’t believe in coincidence and our own story is proof that God’s providence (His purpose in our lives) is undeniable! 

One morning as Restore One was sharing our continued vision with local pastors and church supporters, some time was spent praying over each room in the Anchor House.  Being on the board for Restore One has allowed me the privilege of spending some time there, of which, I recalled that I had never set foot in the Cottage (where the boys would sleep and call home).  Afterwards, I went back through the Cottage to make sure all of the lights were off.  As I entered into the second room I had an overwhelming feeling of protectiveness and that the boys that were coming were indeed “ours”.  Kenn’s heart was already aligned when I called to tell him what had happened!  Both my husband and I have dreamed of what it would be like to be House Parents for the Anchor House, but those dreams were from a time where we were both single and had NO IDEA that God was getting ready to join us together for His Glory!  As I locked the door on the way out of the Cottage that day, I knew in my Spirit that there was more to this feeling. Little did I know, the path God was leading us towards.  

Both my husband and I have dreamed of what it would be like to be House Parents for the Anchor House, but those dreams were from a time where we were both single and had NO IDEA that God was getting ready to join us together for His Glory!

Kenn and I have supported Restore One since before we began this amazing journey that is our life together, and God has continued to show us that this fight is worth fighting, just now, we can fight it together! 

Early on in our relationship, we often spoke about our personal relationships with Christ and how we hear His voice.  One thing we have in common is that we both hear through repetition and His peace that passes understanding.  When we prayed about getting married, we asked God what we could do to honor Him with our union.  He gave us a vision for One Worship Fest, a community worship experience, where He then led us to give any donations that came in to Restore One.  Little did we know that just two months prior to this, The Anchor House would be partially flooded due to an unexpected hurricane, and restoration of the house would need to begin.  We may not have foreseen this need, but GOD DID!  We have shared the vision of Restore One for the past two years at these events and have celebrated along side them as we have seen God’s faithfulness!  

As we set out for this next adventure as the house parents for Anchor House, we are reflecting on how our journeys have prepared us perfectly for each other as we rest in God’s hands and submit to listening and obeying where He leads us.  We took the time to pray over if we should apply for the position of House Parents. We wanted to make sure we did not respond out of emotion and instead from hearing God clearly that this was the right step to take in faith.  We humbly asked our spiritual authorities and parents to pray over this decision, as there is wisdom in listening to counsel (Prov. 12:15).  Logistically this path answered so many prayers, and our hearts aligned with what God was showing us as we began to talk about “our family” and all the amazing things God will do through these boys!  The overwhelming support of our families and community is yet again the repetition that God uses as he winks at us urging us to continue on.  

 Kenn and Crystal holding the keys to The Anchor House

Kenn and Crystal holding the keys to The Anchor House

It has been our honor to serve on both the Advisory Board and Executive Board as God has been preparing us for this step without us even knowing it!  It is our hope that as we transition into this role we will see a glimpse into what could be with God’s direction and the support of our community!  We love that we serve a loving and gracious God and that He is faithful to do abundantly more that we could ever think or imagine!  

Please continue to hold Restore One, The Anchor House, and the many lives that will be impacted by this amazing organization in prayer!  We commit to do the same and love these boys as Christ has loved us.  

- Crystal Pritchard 


Support the work of Restore One!

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Summer of Strength | Part 2: The Strength to Heal

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This blog was first published on Red Tent Living. For more information on Red Tent Living, visit HERE.  

“Hello, my name is Robert”, spoke a tall statured middle aged man. I paused and reciprocated the greeting with the exchange of my name, and we discussed a bit about our professions. It was a short and slightly awkward conversation, which can be normal when meeting new colleagues at a human trafficking conference. I did not give much thought to the exchange. My heart and mind were preoccupied that weekend because it was the first time I chose to attend publicly as a survivor of sex trafficking. A lot of counseling, talking with other survivors, and prayer went into the choice of coming forward with the truth about who I am and the background that led me into the work of Restore One. Despite my slight nervousness, I felt the grounding peace of the Holy Spirit as I proceeded through the weekend.

Between breakout sessions I was with Restore One’s film team conducting documentary interviews. Time was of the essence, so I turned all my anxiety into focusing on the proper completion of the interviews. Regarding the personal weight of the weekend, it brought my fixation into my work, completely unaware of what God would reveal before I returned home.  It’s fascinating how oblivious I can be to the interworking of the Holy Spirit, especially when I’ve got my guard up.

Of my many anxious odd tendencies, one is attempting to be everywhere at once. After we finished the interviews, the rest of the film team took time to rest and recoup. With all my bottled up energy that was going to be impossible, so I insisted on pushing my personal envelope and went to listen to a few training sessions.

That day, every interview went extraordinarily well. However, combined with the sensitive nature of my own heart, I soon found myself overloaded, and beginning to mentally check out while thinking about everything else but the present. I saw Robert leave the breakout room, instantly giving myself permission to do the same. Once out from underneath the blazing fluorescent lights and powerpoint slides, I found the coffee table and with gratitude partook. With coffee in hand, I walked over to Robert. We struck up small talk about the conference and discussed a bit more about our professions, and he invited me to his presentation later that day.

To my surprise Robert was wearing a hippopotamus tie and with exuberance, I pointed out the obscure observation! He responded lightly, explaining it was his special presentation tie and that he has an affinity for hippopotamuses. He then showed me, Beepo a small hippopotamus that lives in his pocket on special days. He verbally told the reasons of why and as he spoke, my jaw almost hit the floor. Never in a million years did I think I’d meet someone who has this strange viewpoint. Uncannily enough, for the past few years, God has used hippopotamuses in various forms to remind me of his presence, strengthening who I am. When I see the image of a hippopotamus, it’s a personal God wink or sign I’m in the right place. Trust me, I see hippos in the most random but timely places! Coincidently that day I happened to be wearing my favorite brass hippopotamus necklace, which I shared with gladness, along with the hippopotamuses on my forearm tattoo. Anyone listening to our conversation would have gotten kick out of us geeking out.

Robert was just as stunned as me, to find that we both have an unusual liking for hippos. As the discussion continued we were both astonished by the odds of us meeting and agreed that the Holy Spirit brought us together for a reason.

Feeling awestruck but very comfortable, I shared a bit my own story and background. I disclosed that I was sex trafficked as a child and that I started personal recovery the year I co-founded Restore One. He listened with compassion and responded by sharing he, too was a survivor of sex trafficking. He empathized, explaining several points of his own journey, encouraging me to stay the course. As I left the conversation my head was spinning and my feet floating. I thought to myself, “Did that really happen? What a strange and beautiful collision orchestrated by the Holy Spirit.”

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Anna & Rob

Prior to the conference I’d felt a wondering of how God could redeem several places in my past, particularly relationships that felt undone and discorded. Meeting Robert brought answers to that heartache of unknowing.

I often expect so much less, when God is always offering the abundant.

I’d given up on several spaces of healing, but God again showed up in kindness juggling my expectations.

I’ve since continued my friendship with Robert. I later learned that Robert preferably goes by Rob, so I respectfully refer to him as such. Chris and I were able to visit Rob several times last year meeting his family and even co-presenting together at a human trafficking conference. I am continually blessed by Rob’s honesty, kindness and encouragement. Sweetly, Rob officiated Chris’ and my wedding renewal on our 5 year anniversary. The ceremony was a remarkable moment in time, filled with redeeming memories and restoring our marriage union.

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Reflecting back on the first conversation Rob and I had, I see that God loves to take our wavering hellos and string us together in relationships filled with blessing. God is the great connector. It’s so beautiful how one hello created a thread of relationship that has brought family ties to orphaned places in my heart and placement to relationship spaces I’d assumed would always remain empty. I’m so grateful God uses bizarre a creature like a hippopotamus to communicate his love and the grander connection we have to each other.

Meeting Rob and having another hippo friend has certainly lessened my doubt and grown my anticipation for the goodness found in each beginning and each hello.

In Grace & Sincerity,

Anna Marie Smith

Support the work of Restore One!

 

This blog was first published on Red Tent Living. For more information on Red Tent Living, visit HERE.  

Join us in welcoming the House Parents for The Anchor House!

Welcome Crystal and Kenn Prichard, House Parents - The Anchor House

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It is a true joy to announce that we are fully staffed at The Anchor House! Our House Parents, Education Coordinator and Residential Support Staff have been hired and trained. The State is coming for final inspections. Very soon, we will welcome the first boys into the home. After receiving several calls a month and assisting boys the best we can with our current resources - it will be great to say YES we are open! 

Friends, your support has made a tremendous impact. Your prayers have literally moved mountains. Please keep it coming! 

I thought you may enjoy learning more about Crystal and Kenn. They both have been involved with our ministry for a few years. God called them in a special way to take this step. Please keep them covered in your prayers. 

Bio:

Kenn Pritchard has lived in Greenville, NC since he arrived to attend East Carolina University in the Fall of 1988 and attended Opendoor Church. His ministry has included volunteer work as youth leader, children’s teacher/team lead, life group leader, “sound guy” for the worship team, several non-profit board memberships, and camp roles from cabin counselor to camp pastor. Professionally he has been a counselor for the past 8 years specializing in issues of mental health and substance use. Kenn has worked in adolescent group homes (Level III) and therapeutic foster care (Level II), adult acute residential/hospital, and outpatient settings with all ages. His heart for youth, relational approach to ministry, and professional experience led to his enthusiastic acceptance of the invitation to join the Anchor House advisory board for in 2013. 

Crystal Pritchard has a heart for children and for missions. She has worked in the dental field for over thirteen years as a Dental Hygienist working with underprivileged families and sees this experience as what launched her into service for others.  She is a Greenville native but loves to travel abroad!  She has traveled to Belize and Malawi Africa for several short-term mission trips teaching children about Christ and working to encourage them in their circumstance to know their worth as how God sees them and not man.  She has worked in leadership at Opendoor Church in their children's department for several years and has helped organize their annual Kids Conference.

With a shared heart for worship and ministry, Kenn and his wife Crystal co-founded One Worship Fest, a community driven worship experience for families in and around Greenville. Together the Pritchards have a strong commitment to adding to the legacy of God’s Love, and they will continue to speak life into and over children who have not experienced abundant life.


Reminder! All gifts DOUBLED up to $50,000 until August 15thby two generous donors. To-date, we have raised $207,000 of our needed $430,000 for 2018. All gifts make a difference. 

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Summer of Strength | Part 1: The Strength to Name

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Part 1: The Strength to Name

At the age of 17, he'd never taken a trip to the zoo. Thus, our time had been long anticipated, welcomed by the North Carolina humidity and heat; we made our trek to join the crowds to see the animals. Elephants, baboons, polar bears, lions, and giraffes were the highlight of our viewing pleasure. He was captivated and ecstatic to see the wild creatures. In the sweltering heat, we laughed, ate Dippin' Dots twice, traveling from one exhibit to another.   It was delightful to watch him be little, unashamed by the enjoyment of experiencing the zoo through his childlike self. That day he felt small and young; happy and carefree, a firm contrast to the reality of his childhood and mine too.

By the end of the day, I was exhausted and so very grateful for the beautiful day at the zoo. As we were sitting down waiting for the shuttle bus to take us to my car, he turned, looked at me and revealed an incredible statement, "Anna, I do not see you as my social worker." Without further explanation, I curiously replied, "Oh, well who do you see me as?"  He answered, "I see you as my older sister." Being an only child, from precarious family, it felt mutually fitting to accept this invitation. So, I gently responded, "I have no siblings. I will gladly be your big sister." Underneath the blistering June sun, there we sat, two orphaned hearts, from widely different backgrounds, joined together by the hope of a family.  

Years ago, I would not imagine this story and others similar would be my experience. As I stepped into anti-trafficking work, I naively expected to be uninfringed by the people I ministered to, my hypothesis could not be more incorrect. Instead, I've watched God purpose my own story of sexual abuse and trafficking to intersect with those we've ministered to at Restore One. I've witnessed God redeem profound places of woundedness, allowing my story to slowly start to shift from fragmented pieces into accounts of graceful strength.

“I’ve watched God purpose my own story of sexual abuse and trafficking to intersect with those we’ve ministered to at Restore One." - Anna Smith

As I've journeyed alongside numerous other boys and men, I've admired their courage and bravery for saying yes to their restoration through the work of naming their own story. It takes great strength to sit with others as they name the truth of their own story of heartache; it takes greater strength to face your own. In recent years I too have been able to give words to my personal stories of harm.  I've learned it's bold to call out the marks of abuse and allow for grieve and rage over the damage. Naming these truths of our past, paths the way for restoration to transpire, a process that frees the heart to dream again and enables us to recognize the beauty of our core. In the month of June we are daring the community of Restore One to take a look at naming their own stories, and join us in believing for healing to transpire!

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Join us for 7 Days of Prayer & Reflection.

 

INWARD SPOTLIGHT WITH MIKE:

Mike Eggleston serves as the President of Restore One. To learn more about Mike CLICK HERE.

Mike, how has it been for you to own and face your own story?

Freeing - shame keeps you locked up! Before, I was always afraid if others knew my story, they would think less of me; now, I know that when I share appropriately, I give myself a chance to heal, and hopefully, provide hope to others who have been in my shoes.

Can you provide a word of encouragement for those who are naming their stories of harm for the first time?

Every healing journey has to begin with telling another person - a live, human other person. There is no other way!

Mike, what is your hope for the first four residents who will likely be just starting their journey of healing?

That these boys will learn that they didn't do anything wrong and that it wasn't their fault.

At Restore One we believe recovery is not a linear process, but a circuitous adventure, one that we hope to invite many boys into, starting with the first four at The Anchor House. This summer, God willing, we are opening the doors, and we ask that you join us in commemorating the resilience of these first residents who are saying, "yes," to naming their own story by supporting the Summer of Strength Campaign through giving, sharing and praying. Join us every Monday on Facebook Live 8:00 pm EST with Emily Fitchpatrick to hear updates and receive encouragement.  

In Grace & Sincerity,

Anna Marie Smith

Anna Smith serves as the Co-founder of Restore One, to learn more about visit www.sheisannasmith.com

 

Support the work of Restore One!

Join us for 7 Days of Prayer & Reflection

Introducing Mike Eggleston - New President of Restore One

Your friendship, support and prayers have kept Chris and I afloat as we've sought to see boys and men restored out of the grips of sex trafficking. As you know, the journey of Restore One has not been for the faint of heart and we've continued to see God's faithfulness! No matter how long the Winter, Spring is always on the horizon. Spring is a time for renewal and new beginnings. That has certainly been the theme lately at Restore One and The Anchor House! We feel excited and ready for a new season. We are hiring the remaining staff needed and preparing for final inspections to open The Anchor House. Thank you Jesus! 

Truly, we are grateful for you and we ask that you continue to pray as we prepare to welcome boys into The Anchor House. On Monday, a group of pastors and church friends came to the home to pray over each room. The Spirit was so sweet. As we enter this new season, Chris and I are delighted to announce that our current Board Member, Mike Eggleston, will assume the role of President starting June 1st. Our Board and staff are so excited about Mike's new role. He brings a great deal of experience and leadership to our organization (as noted in his bio below). We put together a short video for you to help you put a face with a name. 

Join us in welcoming him! His email is Mike@RestoreOneLife.org.

Chris and I will continue serving on the Board of Directors and Co-Founders, and will focus our energy on speaking, advocating, training and vision-casting for Restore One. 

Thank you again for your continued support for this very precious mission. Please do not hesitate to call or email with questions about this very important transition - we have been working on it for months to make sure it goes well. 

In Grace and Sincerity,

Anna Marie Smith 

Read Mikes Bio Here

Q&A with the Restore One Board | Update on The Anchor House

Hello Friends,

Our Executive Board here at Restore One recently sent out a donor survey. Our intent was to evaluate our methods of communication and address any questions or concerns. 

The responses were very helpful and encouraging! If you did not have the chance to take the survey, you can do so here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D7XWLWN

We'd like to take the opportunity to answer a few of the most frequently asked questions. If you have any additional questions we have not covered, please email our Director of Development, Emily Fitchpatrick at emily@restoreonelife.org.

If you would like to be added to our email list you can do so below: 

1)    When will The Anchor House open?

We are VERY close. The process of getting The Anchor House to this point has been laborious. Opposition from our local community, the flood and red tape from social services have all contributed to a much slower process than we expected. Our licensing consultant has reviewed our policies and procedures; however, before we can receive final approval the staff must be hired. This is in the works. Our Executive Director, Linda, has recently hired our Education Coordinator and one of the Residential Care Specialist. To be honest, the pool of qualified applicants has been slim. Linda and the Executive Board are heavily recruiting and interviewing. Please be in prayer specifically for this process. Once completed, we can move forward with final inspections, receive our licensure and being accepting residents!  

2)    Have there been any tangible results so far?

Many people do not realize this, but we do serve boys outside of The Anchor House. In the last year, we have served 6 boys and men through referrals and mentoring. 

3)    Are there any national partnerships that you are affiliated with?

Restore One is not directly affiliated with any national organization, however, we do receive referrals from other organizations and agencies nationally. We have attended and presented at various anti-trafficking conferences over the years ( ex. JuST Conference hosted by SharedHope.org). 

5)    Where can supplies be dropped off in Greenville, NC for The Anchor House? 

Mary Mayo, Restore One's Executive Assistant, can assist you with dropping off supplies for The Anchor House. You can reach Mary by email, mary@restoreonelife.org

6)    How can I become a volunteer?

Social services expect volunteers to go through the same training and screening process as staff. Volunteers are required to receive 24 hours of continuing education per year (we provide), TB test, physical exam, background check and provide a high school or college diploma. If you feel led to become a volunteer and this process does not scare you away, we’d love to have you! We will post volunteer needs and the application on our website once the home is open.

 

Dehumanization and Human Trafficking

Racism: dehumanization of human beings based on the color of their skin.

Sexism: Dehumanization of a person based on their biology and/or their expected or chosen gender roles.

“Homophobia”: dehumanization of a person based on their sexual orientation.

“Isms” are founded in the idea that somehow a specific group of human beings are somehow less than human. It leads to the mistreatment of others and it fuels systems of human trafficking.

Small actions and phrases build up overtime and affect how we think. The frog will hop out of boiling water, but will slowly die as the temperature increases. (Actually this is an old wives’ tale, but it serves a purpose by making a point.) By allowing everyday seemingly small actions take place, we are slowly harming ourselves. For example, when we talk about certain groups we even lose the humanity as the subject--somehow an adjective becomes a noun. “Females” “Gays” “Blacks” “Asians” The “human,” “person,” “people,” “community” are all lost.

When someone speaks out against a sexist or racist joke or action they are not being overly sensitive. They are simply asking the “jokester” to tap into their humanity so we can preserve our collective humanity in the world.

Racism and sexism fuel human trafficking. Fighting racism and sexism in turn fight against human trafficking. For more information on the interconnectedness, continue reading below.
 

Intersection of Trafficking, Childhood Abuse, and Minority Groups

Trafficking of Children:

According to the US DOJ, the average age at which an individual enters the “sex industry” is 12-14 years. Actively supporting “sex workers,” gives buyers a way to rationalize paying to sexually abuse a child– “He looks 18.” Or “She says she’s 18.” Then in hindsight, “How was I supposed to know?” Others come to the trafficker’s defense, and blame the girl or boy for “being untruthful.” An abused, trafficked child is blamed for the actions of an adult.

“Statistics show that as many as 90% of prostituted youth have been sexually or physically abused and many have run away from home to escape such abuse only to encounter far worse on the streets.” –GEMS

Trafficking Among Indigenous Women in North America:

“Native American women and girls trafficked into prostitution previously experienced sexual and physical abuse as children and adults at alarming rates. Service providers characterize childhood sexual abuse as the key experience “setting the stage for Native girls’ entry into the sex trade.” Of the prostituted Native women interviewed for Garden of Truth, 79% had been sexually abused as children, by an average of four men. Likewise, a Canadian study of 150 trafficked Aboriginal youth found that 80% had been physically, sexually, emotionally, or verbally abused in their homes. This correlation is disconcerting given DOJ data showing that Native American women are over 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than women in the United States generally. More than one in three [Native American women] will be raped in their lifetime, usually by a non-Native individual; the figure for the general U.S. population is less than one in five.” –Native American Women’s Resource Center Bring them to Justice: http://bringthemtojustice.org/id70.html

Normalization by Victims:

“Advocates say that Mary’s ability to normalize her life as a child prostitute is common among Native girls who have been frequently exposed to sexual abuse and violence. Research in the Shattered Hearts report also found that Native girls and women who exchange sex for food and shelter don’t consider the acts to be prostitution. They are simply doing what they have to do to stay alive, engaging in survival sex.” --Native Girls Are Being Exploited and Destroyed at an Alarming Rate:

https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/news/native-girls-are-being-exploited-and-destroyed-at-an-alarming-rate/

Trafficking and LGBTQ Youth:

“LGBTQ youth face higher rates of discrimination, violence, and economic instability than their non-LGBTQ peers. When faced with fewer resources, employment opportunities, or social supports, LGBTQ youth who are away from home must find ways to meet their basic needs and may therefore enter the street economy, engaging in commercial sex to meet these needs. It is difficult for many individuals who have been trafficked to reach out for assistance, but this is especially true for individuals who fear that they will be mistreated or not believed because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Studies have found that LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in detention for prostitution-related offenses and report higher levels of police misconduct than their straight peers.” Read more here: Polaris Project https://polarisproject.org/sites/default/files/LGBTQ-Sex-Trafficking.pdf

Racism and Human Trafficking:

“This Article explores the role of race in the prostitution and sex trafficking of people of color, particularly minority youth, and the evolving legal and social responses in the United States. Child sex trafficking has become a vital topic of discussion among scholars and advocates, and public outcry has led to safe harbor legislation aimed at shifting the legal paradigm away punishing prostituted minors and toward greater protections for this vulnerable population. Yet, policymakers have ignored the connection between race and other root factors that push people of color into America’s commercial sex trade.” Racial Roots of Human Trafficking: http://www.uclalawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Butler-final_8.15.pdf

“Racism is woven throughout the horrifying tapestry that is human trafficking. To ignore that fact is to miss the mark completely. To advocate for the freedom of trafficked girls is to boldly acknowledge the connections between race, gender, and child sex trafficking.”

http://www.essence.com/culture/gabrielle-union-op-ed-human-trafficking-women-girls-color

 

This blog was written by Restore One intern, Kari Carr. 

 

 

Board Member Spotlight: Meet Mike Eggleston

In March 2015 Mike Eggleston had just finished watching the PBS documentary, “A Path
Appears”, which spotlighted the restorative efforts across the country aimed at getting girls and
women who are being trafficked off the streets and help them learn new skills and ways of
coping.


The thought that stuck out the most to Eggleston though was, “what about the boys?” So he
started looking and found that Restore One was one of the only initiatives dedicated to
rescuing boys who had been sexually exploited.

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Fast forward 2.5 years and after staying in contact with co-founder Chris Smith, Eggleston is
now a board member for Restore One. “I waited until the time was right to plan a trip to Greenville to see it [The Anchor House],” Eggleston said. “That day finally came in early August 2017, when I flew out from Kansas City to attend the Open House of Anchor House.”
He said he was blown away by the house, the other board members, Chris and Anna Smith and
Executive Director, Linda Royster.


“I felt an immediate connection with the work and when I was asked if I would be interested in
serving on the Board, I couldn’t believe it. A dream was coming true.” Although Eggleston has only been on the board for about two months he has already jumped right in. He has begun reviewing policies and procedures, advising on business and legal issues and reviewing documents.

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Eggleston supports Restore One because he feels that boys are overlooked – hiding in plain
sight. “While no one wants to admit that the problem of sex trafficking exists in the United States,
even fewer want to admit it happens to our boys,” Eggleston said. “I believe that these boys are
some of the ‘least amount us’ that God invites us to help and love.”
In his free time Eggleston enjoys spending time with his wife, two daughters and two Scottish
Terriers. His wife and him love to explore and find new places to experience. He is also very
busy in his local church, Christ Church Anglican in Overland Park.


THANK YOU, from everyone we are so thankful for board members like Pastor Brian and Patrick Porter. Thank you both for serving and beleiving in the mission of Restore One.


We invite you to partner with us in this life changing work. 

Board Member Spotlight: Meet Pastor Brian Maciaszek & Patrick Porter

Meet Pastor Brian Maciaszek, Board Treasure & Secretary

“One day two 24 year old kids came to me and said they were going to open an a boys home for sex trafficked boys. I said, ‘that [is] great,’ and I honestly thought their ambition was greater than their ability. As time went on I learned it was their faith that was greater than their ability and I admired them for that immensely.” Brian Maciaszek currently serves on the Board of Restore One as both Treasurer and Secretary. He oversees the financials, keeps records of meetings, and ensures that Robert’s Rules of Order are followed.

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Mr. Maciaszek sees Restore One as an avenue for increasing the value of human life, particularly for the underserved population of sex trafficked boys. In his spare time, Mr. Maciaszek enjoys spending time with his family which includes five children with one on the way!


Meet Patrick Porter, Board Member at Large

“After attending the first banquet for Restore One I was heartbroken to hear of the stories of kids that are/were sex trafficked.  I, like many I am sure, were not aware of the numbers of kids that are trapped in this evil world.  I was also amazed that there was no organized homes for boys to be able to receive restorative care and to be able to be loved and shown the love of a heavenly father that cherishes them and wants what is best for them.  It has been an honor to serve and play a very small part in helping Restore One reach the mission of opening the first home for boys and to start serving these boys with the love and care they deserve.”

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As a Member at Large, Patrick Porter attends meetings to help make decisions regarding the Anchor House and ministry. Additionally, Mr. Porter volunteers time to assist with needs at the Anchor House and elsewhere as they arise.

Mr. Porter and his wife support Restore One because they believe the ministry is well equipped to assist boys who have been victims of sex trafficking in helping to restore dignity, value, and self-worth. When he is not volunteering in his spare time, Mr. Porter enjoys spending time with his wife and their two sons on the water tubing, fishing, or skiing. The family loves to travel around the country and the world.


THANK YOU, from everyone we are so thankful for board members like Pastor Brian and Patrick Porter. Thank you both for serving and beleiving in the mission of Restore One.


We invite you to partner with us in this life changing work. 

Donor Spotlight: Meet Corey Tugwell

Corey Tugwell and Co-founder of Restore One, Chris Smith met in high school and have remained friends since then. Tugwell was rewarded with the honor of seeing Chris and Anna’s dreams of Restore One become a reality. “From hearing their thoughts and ideas to seeing it all fall into place,” Tugwell said. “Their actions inspire me to dream more, to learn more and to do more for others.” 

He supports Restore One because as high as 50% of commercially sexually exploited children in the U.S. are boys and a lot of people aren’t aware of this statistic. “Since Restore One is the only facility in the U.S. that helps boys that have been victims of sex trafficking we can change that statistic, by volunteering, by donating and helping to spread the word of Restore One,” Tugwell said.  Tugwell knew that he wanted to help out and give back and much as he could. But when Hurricane Matthew hit Eastern North Carolina in 2016 and flooded the Anchor House he was devastated. But that devastation also turned into one of the best things to happen since he became involved with Restore One. “After the Anchor House was flooded, the community came together tremendously; churches came in to help, people donated money and companies donated appliances and supplies,” Tugwell said. “It was a beautiful thing to see.” 

One thing he wishes people knew about Restore One is that a donation of just $25 a month could provide a “night out dinner” for two boys and it could provide birthday and/or Christmas presents for one boy.  “Many of us know that special feeling of getting presents and attention on your birthday and seeing those presents under the tree on Christmas morning, I know those were some of the most magical moments of my childhood. For $25 you could make those moments magical for these boys,” Tugwell said.

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He said if you are thinking about donating or volunteering that it’s worth it. “if you don’t have the money, the donate your time. From personal experience, I can tell you it is so rewarding, it’s the best feeling in the world knowing that you are helping make a difference in these boys lives,” Tugwell said. “It’s up to you to make a difference, take some time out of your busy life and do it.” 

When Tugwell isn’t working or volunteering for Restore One he is spending time with his family and dog, Thriller. He also spends time cheering on his favorite sports teams, thrifting, watching Survivor and jamming out to Michael Jackson.  

 

Thank you so much for being a volunteer/donor at Restore One. We look forward to opening The Anchor House in 2017, and we could not do this work without you. Thanks!

 

Donor Spotlight: Meet Debbie Mayer

Debbie Mayer became involved with Restore One through one of the numerous anti-trafficking, rescue and restoration organizations that she follows on social media. “About six years ago, we attended a screening of Nefarious and that was it for us. I found I couldn’t stop talking and
trying to raise awareness about the horrors of human sex trafficking,” Mayer said. “I started to educate myself about it, went to a trafficking conference in our city and started following, via social media, non-profits in the fight.”

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She found that as time went on and as she became more involved in raising awareness about human sex trafficking that there was one question that she asked everyone: what about the boys?
“Every article, book, documentary and organization treated them as an afterthought. It was always ‘and it happens to boys too’,” Mayer said. “So when I learned there were no restoration facilities in the whole nation for boys, I was shocked!” That’s when she soon learned about Chris and Anna and what they were doing with The Anchor House.

“When I learned about Chris and Anna and their efforts to open a home for these forgotten boys, my husband and I were in,” Mayer said. “Our monetary support is small, but our prayers are big.”
Debbie said that her and her husband live pretty far away so physical support isn’t possible, but if they were closer they’d be here for everything Restore One related. She said that people would be surprised to know that after years of working with children, that she is capable of still
acting like a four-year- old when necessary.

“I’ll do anything to make a child laugh, I’m fairly quiet and laid-back in public though,” Mayer said.
Debbie and her husband have two sons, a daughter and a grandson. So they love spending time with their family in their free time. She said they also love being in God’s beautiful creation.
“We both feel God’s presence most strongly in nature and love the Smoky Mountains,” Mayer said.
She said she enjoys reading and her husband enjoys driving his ’66 convertible Mustang, but together they are both guilty of binge watching Netflix.

Thank you so much for being a volunteer/donor at Restore One. We look forward to opening The Anchor House in 2017, and we could not do this work without you. Thanks!

Donor Spotlight: Meet the Harris Family

 Scott & Donnica Harris

Scott & Donnica Harris

Scott and Donnica Harris first heard about Restore One when Chris and Anna shared their burden for boys in human trafficking at the Church on 68 in Greensboro, NC. “We were astounded by the statistics and how prevalent sex trafficking is in the southeast and even our home state,” Scott said. Scott and Donnica assumed it to be a “big city” or even a foreign problem, but in fact human trafficking was destroying people right here. They’re interest in Restore One spiked when they realized that there was a lack of resources available to help in the restoration of these lives, specifically male victims.

“Thank God, Chris and Anna presented us with an opportunity to partner with them that day,” Scott said. “Instead of leaving feeling heavy with responsibility of the statistics we had just learned, Chris and Anna imparted their passion and vision for Restore One into our church family and into our hearts that day. We could help! We could change lives!” Scott said that putting your hand on the plow feels great. “Whether it’s money, time, talents, we all have ways we can contribute and give back to our community; especially when you hear the heart of Chris and Anna and be able to give towards that,” Scott said.

“Whether it’s money, time, talents, we all have ways we can contribute and give back to our community”

Donnica said that it is truly exciting and satisfying to support Restore One financially. “When faced with an issue as enormous as sex trafficking, it would be easy to assume that Scott and I alone couldn’t make a difference. But partnering with Restore One has given me a sense of freedom in that I don’t have to learn how to run a non-profit or get a counseling degree to impact lives for the better,” Donnica said.

Scott and Donnica support Restore One prayerfully and financially because they are growing in relationship with Chris and Anna and enjoy hearing their passion for Restore One. But also because of their personal beliefs that their finances are assigned to build the Kingdom of God. They would tell anyone who is thinking about getting involved with Restore One to do it. “Get to know Restore One. Get to know Chris and Anna. Get to know the organization and the vision. We want them to be the first to break out so others can see and hear about what they are doing and join in. We want their vision to be contagious and The Anchor House to be a prototype for others throughout the nation until we see sex trafficking abolished” Scott said.

In Scott’s free time he is a full time artist in Greensboro, NC, and the owner of Harris Design Studios. He is looking forward to donating art to The Anchor House and using his talent to raise funds for Restore One. Donnica works as an oncology nurse and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in holistic nutrition. Together they enjoy hiking, traveling and being disappointed by the Minnesota Vikings.

Thank you so much for being a volunteer/donor at Restore One. We look forward to opening The Anchor House in 2017, and we could not do this work without you. Thanks!

Learn More on how you can be a part of the giving team.

Shifting the Perspective: Boys & Men Sexually Trafficked in the United States

The plight of boys and men being sold for sex was made aware to Chris and I during our first year of founding Restore One. Once you know something, you can no longer not know. While I had understanding from my past experiences and years in the field, I did not fully grasp the weight of the issue until I came face to face with some of the bravest men and boys I know, my survivor brothers. While entrenched in this work I admit there are aspects to the nature of male sexual harm that I do not fully comprehend and probably never will. What we do know to be true is in the United States boys and men are being sold for sex every day and there little options for recovery care. Nearly five years into Restore One and we are still the only safe home in United Sates designated solely for boys who’ve been sexually trafficked. This reality is horrifying. In one of the most developed countries in world, we’ve been negligent, failing our men and boys. Males whom experience sexual harm are significantly overlooked and underserved. I’ve come to several conclusions concerning why this is the case in the United States.

Research is now showing that rather than being viewed as victims or survivors like sex trafficked girls, boys are often perceived as homosexual, deviant, promiscuous, exploiters, pimps, hustlers, buyers, and willing participants in “sex work” (Friedman, 2013; Jones, 2010; Rivers & Saewyc, 2012). Our culture communicates a false portrayal of the ideal masculinity, resulting in stigmas and shame. Stigmas paint an untruthful picture that boys and men who do endure sexual harm must be willing participants, bypassing their need to identify as a victim seeking services. In the field of abolition, males are seen mostly as the perpetrator, not a victim. Stigmas surrounding sexual harm are fueled by western culture’s ideals for males. Communicating to boys starting at a very young age that they are too tough, invincible, unable to be harmed or show emotion. Many care providers are influenced by their own biases which drastically impacts the ability for male survivors to form a therapeutic alliance and feel secure in obtaining services. Historically we’ve found that boys in treatment for sexual abuse receive less clinical attention than girls with sexual abuse histories (Douglas, Coghill, & Will, 1996) and adult males’ disclosure of sexual abuse to psychotherapists are often met with insensitivity and a lack of empathy (Alaggia & Millington, 2008; Tickner, 2014). I’ve told many front line workers that boys receiving care starts with you believing the survivors’ story and their need of services. Part of the cultural facade lures many to believe that male survivors of sex trafficking do not exists. Yet we know that as high as 50% of sex trafficked children in the U.S. are boys (Curtis et al., 2008). The antidote to under reporting is changing our mindset to recognize the equal vulnerability of both males and females.

More than anything the modern day field of abolition has been infatuated by the concept that only women and girls are victims of sexual trafficking. With that statement I want to acknowledge my personal gratitude for the awareness and education surrounding female sex trafficking. Many of my friends and allies in the field work for or are founders of organizations doing great work restoring the lives of many female survivors. And I want to challenge the field of abolition on the topic of discrimination of male survivors. If we keep our marketing, language, research and program implantation solely female centered we are not only failing male survivors but we are also feeding into the culture norms that create barriers we are bound in. Sexual trafficking knows no discrimination, neither should the field of abolition.

While I acknowledge these as our realities, I do believe change is happening and will continue to happen. Over the past few years it’s been encouraging to witness male survivors start to education at national conferences. Now many frontline speakers and educators include boys and men into their presentations. My hope is The Anchor House is just the beginning to safe homes opening up all across America. I believe that in the years to come more men will be empowered to offer their voice to educate us and change the mindset of our culture. Change is among us and freedom is more contagious than the constraints of society. Our innate ability to dream past our unsteady reality into a future full of hope will only propel us to trust that change is possible.

 

This blog was written by Co-founder & President of Restore One Anna Smith. To learn more about Anna click the button below. 

Help Make Abolition Possible

Staff Spotlight: Meet Linda Royster

            Linda Royster completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC while also working with adolescent boys and girls at a local mental health hospital. And she is now the Director of Restorative Care for Restore One.

            Linda became involved through a mutual friend who know that her vision and training paired well with Restore One’s mission to provide care for those affected by trauma, particularly, men and boys.

Reclaiming the desires of the soul that were stolen, disfigured, or driven underground psychologically may be the most difficult work for some of our residents, but no less important. - Linda Royster

            One of the first experiences and clearest memories that Linda remembers from Restore One is when she met Anna and two members of the Advisory Board at Panera Bread in Raleigh. “The four of us talked about trauma, its impact, what recovery looks like, and the reality of spiritual warfare. We shared our vision of what The Anchor House could offer boys who have been sex trafficked. We laughed. We became more acquainted with each other,” Royster said.

            Linda also said that while all of that was taking place, they got to listen and watch as the Holy Spirit melded their dreams and joined their desires to partner with Jesus in bringing robust care to underserved victims of sex trafficking.

         She continues to support Restore One because she believes as a young organization, that every type and level of support is critically important. “There are various ways to support The Anchor House. Whether it is financial gifts, material donations, donated services, and/or effectual fervent prayers, we need support. The work of The Anchor House is unique and necessary. I support Restore One because our work touches the heart of God,” Royster said.

 We need committed people to pray effectual and fervent prayers for us and our residents. - Linda Royster

We need committed people to pray effectual and fervent prayers for us and our residents. - Linda Royster

         Her favorite part of being a staff member for Restore One is being able to participate in the co-creation of a restorative care program that has the potential to transform boys by giving them a future and sturdy hope.

         When Linda isn’t working she enjoys painting, reading and sharing time with those who are most important to her.

Donor Spotlight: Meet the Orr Family

Jamie and Jennifer Orr heard about Restore One from a friend at their church and soon after they attended the first Stand for One gala, which is when they decided to start sponsoring Restore One. They are the parents of two little boys, and the mission of Restore One spoke to them specifically because they were addressing the needs of male victims in sex trafficking. “When I think about one of my boys being victimized in that way, I’m horrified and my protective instincts go into overdrive, so it made sense to take that passion and strong sense of justice and support the mission of Restore One,” said Jamie Orr.

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They have been supporting Restore One before they even had a house or land and that was a step of faith. They believe that partnering with an agency like Restore One is one way to live out the Gospel daily.

“They’re opening the only safe house in the country for male victims of sex trafficking. What an amazing thing to be a part of!”

 

“We caught onto their vision, and we believe in the need and God’s calling on Chris and Anna to do this work. We really enjoyed each milestone along the way —including our tour of the Anchor House — and we can’t wait to see the vision come to fruition this year.” When they support Restore One they like that they’re giving their money to a local agency that’s truly making a difference by addressing a very under-served group. “They’re opening the only safe house in the country for male victims of sex trafficking. What an amazing thing to be a part of!” This also allows them to know that, in honor of their own sons, they are supporting a group that works with boys.

While neither Jamie or Jennifer have experienced serious trauma in their own lives, such as sexual abuse or sex trafficking — they know and understand the corruptive nature of sexual sin. But they are big on the fact that they don’t think someone has to have a personal experience with the issue of human trafficking to be impacted by it and to be motivated to help. When they aren’t working and volunteering they enjoy hiking, being outdoors, playing Monopoly with their kids and reading.

 

Thank you so much for being a volunteer/donor at Restore One. We look forward to opening The Anchor House in 2017, and we could not do this work without you. Thanks!

Back to Life

This blog "Back to Life" is part two of a two part series. If you would like to read part one click the button below.

Back to Life

We know that Jesus heals, utterly and we know that He has power over death, literally and symbolically. Each one of our deaths, burials, and resurrections is a reflection of the incomparable Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus. His resurrection happened and nothing could prevent it and He invites us to live a resurrected life that is predicated on His. Our resurrection is coming and no dire circumstance can prevent it. Because this is true, I am hopeful for The Anchor House, its residents, and myself.

    When we talk of resurrections, we cannot do so well without entering the space of story, embodiment, and hopeful imagination. Imagine that you knew only a portion of the resurrection story of Jesus. “Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. 2 Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. 3 His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. 4 The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. 5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.” Matthew 28:1-6

Surely, it is an extraordinary fact to know about Him and it is not the fuller story. I imagine that a curious mind would want to know who is this man who conquered death. To know Jesus, we must know His story. We must listen with curiosity and allow His life to speak to us in all of its multi dimensional realities.

    Core to the restorative treatment approach of The Anchor House, is our focus on narrative exploration. We are continually being invited to grow in how well we hold stories, including our own. Our residents, in due time and a pace that permits them honoring entry to their stories, will be invited to give voice to their narrative. They need a witness to their lives: the goodness they’ve enjoyed and the harm they have suffered. There are multiple ways to enliven this treatment approach. For us, having The Anchor House residents share their narratives in a kind holding environment is as important as any other component of our treatment approach.

    I invite you to rethink what you may have come to know about sharing stories. In no way am I advocating a rote telling or retelling of facts. There is little, if any, goodness in that. However, my invitation to our residents is to ask them to risk a full-bodied telling of their stories. We want them to be mindful and present and we know this likely will feel counter-intuitive. Every story can’t be told nor is that necessary. There are some that must be told, engaged, and held well. Jesus’s story, in the fullness of Scripture, is our model of how we aspire to care for stories, including our own.

    It is right and good to bring our bodies to the stories we tell and to those who bear witness. This is the invitation for staff and residents alike; and you. I realize the language I am using may sound strange, especially in contexts where there has been emphasis to separate mind and body. Divided and dissociated states are not how we were created to live. The work of trauma is to divide us from ourselves; to take our bodies away from us. I am grateful that we have the capacity to create some division/dissociation in the midst of trauma, but we are not created to live continually separated mind from body. Nowhere in Scripture have I seen it more painful and clear of how it can feel to bring our embodied selves than when Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane in Luke 22:44. Embodied, Jesus agonized in prayer to Father so much so that His sweat fell like great drops of blood. The Anchor House residents will need to know that their bodies are not bad; nor their feelings. Our work is to partner with them in becoming whole people again. Becoming whole requires some imagination for the future; some sense of what can be that is not yet. Often, that can be an agonizing process.

    Resurrection makes playful imagination hopeful. Please refuse to limit yourself to believing that playful imagination is only fantasy or for very young children. It is that and so much more. Playful imagination helps us live with hope instead of being resigned to status quo. If we don’t enter the lives of our residents with hope, then we will become impotent in our capacity to “heal the brokenhearted” and broken bodied as Isaiah 61:1 says. Hope is the fuel that keeps us engaged and believing that there is more; that the present and future can be different from the past. The Resurrection of Jesus grounds our hope; reminding us that He is not bound by painful pasts or the war with our bodies or our ambivalence about freely imagining becoming who we were meant to be.

    Our stories are sacred and we are living epistles. My hope for you is that you will find a community who reads you well and stands awe-filled by your stories. Our heart is to do this for our residents; courageous boys who may not yet know that they are risking everything on the allure of Resurrection. Resurrection is coming!

- Linda Royster, Director of The Anchor House