Thunder of kingdoms in an uproar, nations assembling for war. The Lord Almighty is calling his army into battle formation. They come from far-off countries, they pour in across the horizon. It’s God on the move... Isaiah 13:4
A young girl who is unhappy at home is promised a better life. A single mom tries her hand at online dating and a teenager answers an ad for a part time job - no experience necessary. Each becomes one of the 27 million people enslaved in human trafficking. It is the second largest and fastest growing criminal activity in the world today. As a reusable resource, human trafficking is a lucrative business that recruits, deceives and forces victims into a life of slavery with little chance of escape.
Thunder of kingdoms in an uproar, nations assembling for war.
Debbie Martis, founder and CEO of Rebirth Homes, has a vision to find homes in the city of Riverside that have been abandoned and rebuild them to be used to redeem the lives of those trapped in a life of slavery.
In 2008, Debbie first heard the staggering statistics about human trafficking. She immediately felt a tug on her heart and was compelled to do something to fix it. She soon found that it wasn’t going to be that simple. No resources were available in Riverside or surrounding areas for those entangled in human trafficking. She met with others who had the same response to the statistics and through prayer, God began breaking her heart for what was happening in the world.
During a walk near the Caesar Chavez Center in downtown Riverside, she noticed the large amount of boarded up homes. A fleeting thought came to her that it would be great if there was another use for all of these homes. While driving down the same street a year later, God gave Debbie the vision to provide homes and resources for human trafficking victims. “God downloaded the vision and I was crazy enough to say yes, trusting that God knew what had to be done.”
It was a chance reading of The Reluctant Prophet by Nancy Rule that gave her the confirmation of God’s call. The book was the exact vision of Rebirth Homes in fiction form. “It was amazing to see that God wasn’t giving the vision to me, but he was giving it to others.” Debbie knew that this was where God wanted her and that he would bring others alongside her.
The Lord Almighty is calling his army into battle formation
In 2013, Rebirth homes was established with the mission to walk alongside human trafficking victims as they learn their identity in Christ and become empowered to be all they are created to be. Their goal is to not only provide homes for victims, but to provide spiritual, physical, emotional and mental healing.
You met Debbie and Rebirth Homes last year during Sandals Church’s Our Real Family series. You gave generously to help launch this ministry serving the men and women who are victimized by human trafficking. Debbie’s goal was to reach 5000 people, but God gave her the number one million. “My vision was too small and God was calling me to reach. The fact that God has this really huge vision for Rebirth Homes is incredible and it took me a while to grasp that God’s plan is to redeem 1 million lives through this ministry.”
Over the past year, Rebirth Homes has been working with local elementary schools, colleges and churches to bring awareness to the existence of human trafficking in Riverside. Debbie’s believes that “prevention means one less person needs to be rescued.”
Most recently, a vacant property in Riverside was identified to be used as a drop in center to provide emergency services to the community. The property is one of the homes that Debbie was driving by when God gave her the vision for Rebirth Homes. It is located on the “track”- a term used for the area where trafficking happens daily. According to Debbie, it is the perfect location to reach and serve those in need. Once purchased and repaired, the two story home will be used for medical service, counseling and classes as well as serve as an emergency shelter. Debbie and her team are actively fundraising and gathering donations to be able to purchase the property. “It is breaking my heart over and over again for the women that are here and the fact that we don’t have a home in Riverside when we need one.”
They come from far-off countries, they pour in across the horizon.
Their prayer for the community is that “God will create a burden in others and break the hearts of those he is calling to join the fight against human trafficking.” That prayer is being answered as community and health care facilities have come forward to assist Rebirth Homes in their mission. Strategic partners are in place ready to step in once the doors of the drop in center are open. Local shelters, counseling and pregnancy counseling centers as well as medical facilities have committed their time and resources to serve victims.
A Survivors Group has been created for women who have left that life and provides a safe place to be real about their experiences, seek God in their healing and have a community to come around them.
It’s God on the move...
“The need is very real. The opportunity for God to redeem and heal is very real. It is a burden knowing we have to do something as quickly as possible, but knowing that we can’t do anything out of God’s timing, but He is moving.” It is Debbie and Rebirth Homes’ mission to continue the journey of redemption with the survivors of human trafficking. “We will continue, not matter how hard.”
Debbie is asking you to pray for the 27 million who are enslaved around the world. Pray for the hope and strength and for them to be freed. Pray for Rebirth Homes and God’s vision for the ministry and pray that the ministry will be strengthened and God will use it as a tool to redeem lives.
To Serve God by serving Rebirth Homes in the area of events, administration, outreach, construction and many other areas.
And to give to Rebirth Homes to provide the opportunity for women to learn their true identity in Christ and experience the freedom only He can offer.
To be a part of what Rebirth Homes is doing in our city, go to www.rebirthhomes.com
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