Mr. Salim Khalil became the Chairman of our Board of Directors this month. Here is the story of how the Lord lead him to join the ministry.
“About three years ago my wife Amanda and I began a small group study on Tim Keller’s book Generous Justice . Early in the study we learned “doing justice includes not only the righting of wrongs, but generosity and social concern, especially toward the poor and vulnerable. This kind of life reflects the character of God. It consists of a broad range of activities, from simple fair and honest dealings with people in daily life, to regular, radically generous giving of your time and resources, to activism that seeks to end particular forms of injustice, violence, and oppression.” This didn’t fully resonate until a couple of months later when we learned what sex trafficking was and that it was happening right here in our community. We wanted to participate in all of the forms of activities that Keller references and Lighthouse for Life provides those opportunities. We volunteered in a few capacities, began giving financially and in prayer, and then I joined the Board of Directors. During the last three years I have heard of so many who have been educated by Lighthouse for Life on sex trafficking. Then there are so many supporters, churches, and businesses that have partnered with us. Also, I’ve been able to witness the miracle of Karis Home being officially opened for victims. God only knows what is next and I’m honored to be along for the ride.”
Please enjoy this unique and behind the scene perspective as this month’s update has been written by one of our Caregivers on staff at Karis Home.
Home – “The story of who we are and a collection of all the things we love.”
I walked into the Karis Home for the first time almost nine months ago. A home produced by prayer and permeated with the promises of God with the purpose
of providing healing and hope to young survivors of the horrors of sex trafficking. Although empty of residents and occupied by only a handful of staff
at the time, it breathed life in each and every room – redeeming, restoring, and renewing life. God was there. I knew it. I felt him and I heard him.
He occupied every unoccupied space.
Idle time does not exist when we surrender to serve God in the process of his purposes and plans. He is intentionally and specifically crafting and orchestrating
every minute detail for His glory and for our good. Every hour of training, every drill practiced over and over again, every meal cooked, every activity
planned, every night away from home and family, every new relationship nurtured, every prayer prayed at Karis Home– is a valuable part of the process
that ultimately provides me and every other staff member with an opportunity and privilege to be a small part of God’s big plan in the lives of each
girl that will call this house God built for them “home.” I GET to be present while I wait and in their lives as God unfolds a new story, reveals Himself
to them, empowers them to understand their true identity in Christ, and begins to build a new foundation – a new collection of things to love.
Max Lucado said, “Seren-dip-ity occurs when something beautiful breaks into the monotonous and mundane.”
God is doing miraculous things in the seemingly monotonous and mundane moments of our lives and as I trust and believe him, with a confident hope, that
a beautiful serendipity is going to break through in the lives of each resident that comes into Karis Home, may I be found faithful to be a living
letter to them; one that is fueled by His Spirit and produces freedom to heal and hope again through the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
II Corinthians 3:2 “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, recognized and read by everyone.”
September 21st – 2nd Annual Freedom Run
The event will begin at 7:45 a.m. & is hosted by Ebenezer Pentecostal Holiness Church –
September 22 – Free Community Awareness Event – West Columbia, SC
September 28 – Free Community Awareness Event – Blythewood, SC
Lighthouse for Life recently was able to hire a full time Administrative Director. We asked her to share a bit about herself with you for this months L4L News.
Hi, everyone! I’m Donna Coffin and I’m blessed to be a follower of Jesus Christ. I’ve been married to Byron (IV) for 26 years and we have 4 kids – Jessica,
21; Byron (V), 20; and twins, Katie & Kassidy, 16. We live in Irmo, where Byron and I both graduated from high school, then both graduated from
USC, and both earned an Accounting Degree. Our church home is Fellowship Bible Church (Columbia), where I serve as a volunteer on our women’s committee.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, cooking and eating, crafting / diy’ing, vacationing at the beach, walking the beach
at sunrise, and riding jet skis at Lake Murray with my husband. I enjoy playing card, word, and board games; and watching football with my family.
I’ve been blessed to be able to be at home with our children as they’ve grown up. I’ve loved taking care of them, volunteering in their classrooms, going
on field trips, and then for the last 5 years, homeschooling them. Now, as they’re older and more independent, I sensed God asking me to return to
work outside our home. I heard about Lighthouse for Life through Lisa Kejr at our mutual church home. I had been praying about going back to work and
about volunteering with Lighthouse, but not thinking those two ideas could be merged! God is so cool, though. He combined my desire to serve with the
talents He has given me of administration, organization to provide this Administrative Director’s job, which truly seems tailor made for me. I am so
grateful to help shine the light and love of Jesus into such a dark and broken world. I look forward to seeing how God works in this new chapter of
my life and in the ministry of L4L to bring restoration and wholeness. As God tells us in my life verse, we can be “…confident of this, that He who
began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
On Thursday September 12 our CEO, Jen Thompson had the honor of addressing the Lexington County Legislators. Senator Katrina Shealy, of Lexington and Senator
Sandy Senn of District 41 have sponsored Bill S194 which will separate the penalties and assign a separate code to Sex Buyers. Jen spoke of the need
to see Bill S194 pass through the SC House this coming session. Representative Chris Wooten also spoke up in strong support of S194.
Jen also raised a concern about the prominence of Illicit Massage Parlors being used for Human Trafficking in the midlands of SC. Richland County recently
has passed a new ordinance giving Law Enforcement more regulatory control in order to prevent human trafficking disguised as legitimate business. She
encouraged Lexington County to consider passing a similar ordnance of its own.
We’d like to take the opportunity to thank Dena Rapp, Executive Director of Rivers of Justice. Her organization is one of many that Lighthouse for Life partners with to address the issue of human trafficking.
Rapp recently met with Judge Danny Singleton, president of the S.C. Summary Court Judges Association, about the importance of training municipal court
judges and magistrates when new laws concerning human trafficking come into effect. Both Rapp and Judge Danny live and work in Seneca, so she made
the contact. Judge Danny was very knowledgeable of the operation of the underground sex economy and was sympathetic to the need to educate legal
professionals on the latest related laws.
As you know, Lighthouse for Life has been promoting a bill S194 that will increase fines on sex buyers. The bill passed the Senate and House Judiciary
Committee, and hopefully it will be voted on by the House when the General Assembly reconvenes in January 2020. When the bill becomes law, we will
reach out to Judge Danny to authorize the Judges Association to conduct training.
We would like to thank FIT413 Health Club for taking up donations the entire month of September in honor of the opening of Karis Home!
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