In October, I had the privilege of meeting Lorraine Wiseman, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time!
Lorraine Wiseman is the President and CEO of Leading the Wise Way, a South Carolina-based
executive consulting firm specializing in strategy and change management. She first encountered Lighthouse for Life when our CEO, Jen Thompson,
was a guest speaker in her women’s Sunday School class. Her connection with us was immediate! Stirred to be a part of the solution in this fight
against human trafficking, Lorraine quickly became a faithful partner, supporting us through advisement, networking, and her business, Leading
the Wise Way.
Then, in October of this year, Lorraine’s impact deepened! Reeling from some game-changer circumstances that had hit Lighthouse for Life, Lorraine came and not only provided valuable advice for us, she also shared much appreciated support and encouragement at this difficult time in our journey. As we anticipated the next chapter of Lighthouse for Life, and in our desire to build this organization stronger, I reached out to Lorraine to see if she would be willing to personally mentor and support me in my leadership role. Lorraine not only agreed but welcomed me into one of her Vistage business groups, opening the door to tremendous personal and organizational growth opportunities as well as connections with other great businesses in our area. She believes in me, believes in us, and believes in the fight against human trafficking; investing her vast expertise as well as her heart! We are blessed to have her support!
It is because of people like Lorraine Wiseman that we anticipate this next chapter of our journey not only with hope, but with excitement; knowing that we are only growing stronger as we face the future!
As you know, one of our stated goals of 2019 was to open Karis Home for child survivors of sex trafficking. We began the year with the end in sight and felt like we had overcome the final hurdles by getting fully staffed. Then, before we were able to receive our first referral, there were multiple crises that were out of our control and happened within the space of three weeks. These unforeseen events were a real setback to us after having come so far over the last several years. After all, this is the year we finally obtained our license and contract from DSS (on August 12), a very long and arduous process that only one other organization has ever completed in SC.
So the Fall season has been very tough, as we had to regroup and change our entire staffing strategy for Karis Home. At times during the process, there was a lot of discouragement, but with your encouragement and belief we have pressed through those dark days and are now positioned to “find a way” to make it work. From the day I joined Lighthouse for Life, I have had a vision in my soul to build a ministry that would last for decades by quietly and consistently serving the people of SC in this critical area. As such, it is not surprising that it takes multiple years to lay a foundation that can withstand the resistance we must endure.
As for our next steps in Karis Home, we have sought wise counsel from the other one safe home in SC and a few others out of state. They have assured us that pulling a safe house out of the ground is always a long and difficult task that takes 7 years on average, so by those standards we are right on track. Nevertheless, by your prayers and with your support we will not give up on this vision. We have a plan to reopen Karis Home and we will share more details about that in January.
In conclusion, I once heard a wise man refer to the process we are in as “building the plane while we are flying it”, and that’s exactly how it feels to do things that haven’t been done before. So even though its been a year of new challenges, I want you to celebrate the fact that we are “still in the air.” And not only are we still in the air, but we’ve made an amazing amount of progress considering none of us had ever flown an airplane before we started down this runway in 2015. God is faithful and He has proven this to us over and over again and therefore we are full of optimism. Nothing worth fighting for ever comes easy and this is no different. Nevertheless, we have determined that we will persevere and persist because the vision set before us and the joy of our survivors is well worth the struggle.
Lets continue to run our race with endurance. We are always better together. ~ Jen T.
Please consider us for your year end tax deductible gifts. To donate please visit www.lighthouseforlife.org
Join us on February 29, 2020 for the Run for Her Life 5K GLOW Run/Walk
This is a family friendly event and is stroller friendly.
THE YEAR’S 4TH ANNUAL HOLIDAY MARKET WAS A TREMENDOUS SUCCESS!
SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL OUR VENDORS, VOLUNTEERS AND ATTENDEES!
This coming January, in honor of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month we have chosen to concentrate our training efforts on direct service providers such as Law Enforcement. We have been able to secure the following training and are working in direct partnership with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department to bring this FREE training to the midlands of SC.
Law Enforcement Investigative Response to Child Sex Trafficking
The following would benefit from this training:
Understand, recognize, and investigate cases involving child sex trafficking and exploitation. Learn the dynamics of trafficking and exploitation to improve skills related to interviewing the victim and interrogating the trafficker. Focus on the survivor’s perspective and changing perceptions regarding trafficking victims.
We recently sent out a communication asking for help in finding a missing young man named Kayden Felden, age 12. We are beyond delighted to announce he has been returned to his home safely.
We are so thankful the Feldon family alerted us and allowed us to help spread the word to locate Kayden. Having a child go missing can be overwhelming and paralyzing to say the least.
As we are now in the holiday season we’d like to take a moment to call your attention to the signs of human trafficking for the hospitality industry. If you work in this industry or find yourself staying in hotels along the way please be sure to pay extra special attention to your surroundings. Click here to find a specific list of signs to look out for in the hospitality industry!
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