Monday, December 28, 2015

Windows of Heaven!

I am so grateful that 2000 years ago, our Father opened up the windows of heaven and sent his son (a prince) to come down to this earth and live with the lowly of the human race, to dwell with us, to live with us and live in our depravity. Jesus did not come to judge us, He came to set us free.

He did not come and say let someone else reach them, He did not say let me go to the people where I can only make the biggest impact, He did not tell His Father the warfare would be too great. He didn’t say the problem is not that big, He didn’t say I am not going to do this because they made their choice. He didn’t have a country club ministry - He went to the streets and markets, He went to the highways and byways and He compelled them to come in. God opened up the window of heaven and stepped out for you and me. He did not care if he was rejected, He did not care about the cost, He did not care about his comfort or what people thought, He didn’t go for numbers - He came for one! He came for you and He came for me!
Do you realize that these little girls are our little girls? They are in our backyards, our schools, our churches our neighborhoods. Make no mistake, men are rampantly buying girls right here in the United States. Just recently during a sting operation in Houston, they found a girl being sold who was only 4 years old!

God is stepping out again, He is hearing the cries of these children, that are in your neighborhood. He is wanting to reach these kids because He cares about the little girl whose mom died at 9 years old and no one took her, so she ended up in a system that abused and exploited her but no one has noticed her. He is stepping out for the one who was sold at 6 by her mom and never had a family and ended up with 3 different trafficker/pimps branding her. He is stepping out for the one who wanted to be accepted and finally have a family but was exploited instead. God is stepping out of heaven and is saying just reach one. He did it for you even when no one else would. He sent people to you so that you could be set free.

This Christmas season give the gift of stepping out.  Maybe our Father will use you so that one girl will see God open up the Window of Heaven for them. And then watch the miracles in your own life, as you become an answer to someone else's heart cry! 

As you can imagine, battles and wars rage in this area of ministry - the enemy does not want to see these girls set free. We have been discouraged, disappointed and yet determined. When it feels like the battle is going to be lost the Lord opens up the windows of Heaven and reminds us how great the victory can be. Just in these last two weeks we have seen amazing things. 

A mom who took the time to notice a young girl being held against her will and was doing things she didn't want to do - this mom was not willing to turn her head and look the other way, locates a neighbor to help her get out and brings her to her own home. Then gets on the phone calling people to help when she comes across Run 2 Rescue. We are in the process of helping this girl right now because one person stepped out!

We then received a series of text messages from a mom whose daughter was helped by Run 2 Rescue:

When a local church asked Shannon to come share at their annual women's tea, they were kind enough to record and upload it for all to hear it - check it out!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Stories that We Cannot Tell ~ by Shannon Forsythe Editor Mendy Faherty


(The following blog is written about the recent news stories of survivors not being truthful about their stories. However, there are survivors who have received the proper treatment and are amazing advocates for this cause! We will always stand and celebrate them!)

One of the most difficult things when having a non-profit organization that works with victims of sex trafficking is that people want to hear the first hand stories of these survivors. Yet this cause is fairly new, and we have found that these girls are not ready to tell their stories. When a victim is given the proper care to deal with their trauma, PTSD, substance abuse, dissociative disorder and grief etc. it can sometimes takes years to overcome. These girls are insecure, fearful and learned how to stay in survival mode for a long time. Then when they are rescued out of this horrible situation we need to remember that they still are in survival mode. Constantly assessing how to survive in this new world they have just found themselves in.

Because of this when they tell their story they often watch us to see if they are telling us what we want to hear, or they go for shock value to see our response.  It is important that we love them despite their story so they don’t feel the need to over exaggerate to find acceptance. These young ladies are like little girls who want to be cherished, accepted and loved. They need to know they matter regardless of where they are on their journey.

We have one girl who we rescued four days into being trafficked. She was still in the grooming phase so she was spared some of the horrors other girls go through. Does that mean we dismiss what she has experienced? Of course not! she still had to face the fear of not coming home and the realization of what she was going to have to do because she owed the trafficker money?

In the last few months’ we have seen and heard through media outlets survivors who have sensationalized their story thus damaging their own cause. Why does that happen?  I believe there is a pressure to put a face to the campaign.  That’s not the survivor’s fault.

Organizations want to share their stories and share their successes. Especially if they want continued financial support.  It can be a catch 22 because people will give money when they hear a dramatic story. This can be hard because these organizations work hard and pour their own time and resources to help these victims and yet they need money to continue.  So, what begins to happen is the temptation for the survivor to embellish their story because that is what the audience wants to hear. There is a satisfaction for the survivor who receives praise and approval once they have shared their story. Yet, We then are giving them they’re worth based on the story they tell us. If we are not careful as a community then we will find stories coming out that may be embellished and that will only harm what we are trying to do. 

Is there a time where survivors should speak out? Yes! Absolutely their voices should be heard but only when their own hearts are mended and restored,  when they can stand on the truth of who they are today, when their past doesn’t haunt them and when the hurt doesn’t hurt as much. When you meet a survivor they are amazing and remarkable. They have ideas and vision that will change how we work with victims. They are ready to pour heart and soul to help others who have gone through what they have. They are strong and determined and think outside the box! 

So as an organization we strive to first foster complete restoration with our girls. It is understandable that most people desire to see their faces, hear of their tragic circumstances, and learn of their first hand account of redemption but that is not our focus. Our work is to make sure they are strong enough to go out and become the person they were meant to be. Our desire is to equip them, to be able to face their past with honesty and to embrace their future with anticipation and courage. 

If you would like to join us in the task and fighting for a cause that not only rescues, but also strengthens and rebuilds the lives of hurting women, the best way to help is to through financial support and prayer! 

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Saturday, October 19, 2013



When trying to wrap your mind around the world of sex trafficking, sometimes you don’t understand how so many girls are willingly having sex with strangers.  It’s hard to comprehend the depths of darkness these pimps will go to, too control these girls. Conditioning them that they are property, so when a john lays down cash they must do whatever the john commands them to do. Regardless of how degrading that could be. They are truly slaves to these men.  We don’t understand this world but just because we don’t understand doesn’t make it any less real.

The pimps change their precious names, and their new name will soon define how they feel about themselves. The degradation and shame they will be put through shapes the new them.  It soon will become easier to accept this street identity because their birth identity no longer feels right to have. They now believe they don’t deserve a better name because they accept what these men say they are. Never will they be that same person before the streets, that had big dreams of being something other than they have turned out to be. Soon their old life becomes just a faded memory, almost unreal.

Who would ever accept a girl like her into their home and love her the way she always dreamed.  So then, this new street family is all they have, ones who take their money, beat them if they don’t comply, tell them when they can eat and when they can sleep.  They accept and resign that this is their new life and this is all their worth. No one else cares and they will quickly learn that.

The following is an expert from Polaris Project in how pimps groom girls. I think it something we should all understand and maybe it will soften our hearts enough to want make a difference.

“Seasoning” Women and Girls to be Ready for Commercial Sex with Strangers

The process of “breaking-down” a girl from healthy adolescent sexual boundaries to commercial sex with strangers is often referred to as “grooming” or “seasoning.” It is a systematic process that has been documented and replicated by pimps nationwide. In essence, this process aims to achieve complete control over someone’s identity or individuality using a combination of physical, mental, and emotional means. In the trafficking paradigm, this process involves force, fraud, and coercion, as elaborated below. Seasoning often involves:

·       Beating/Slapping/Whipping – With hands, fists, and kicking, as well as with objects such as bats, tools, chains, belts, hangers, canes, and cords
·       Burning – Of personal items and items of meaning to foster hopelessness and demoralization or directly burning women and girls using cigarette/cigar butts
·       Sexual assault – Rape or gang rape
·       Confinement – Using torture practices such as confinement to lock women and girls in closets, trunks of cars, or rooms for indeterminate amounts of time.
·       Other torture techniques – Such as deprivation of food or water or various forms of bondage such as chaining individuals to items or tying them up.
·       Emotional abuse – Direct verbal insults, name-calling, threats, mind control, brainwashing, cognitive re-programming
·       Re-naming – Offering “nicknames” both for endearment and to erase former identity
·       Creating dependencies – By instructing how to walk, how to talk, what to wear, when to eat, when to sleep, and where to sleep.
·       Removal from familiarity and support structures – By transporting a woman or minor to a new location where she knows no one
·       Document confiscation – Of identification documents (ID, birth certificate, SS number)
·       Forced sexual education – Inducement of viewing pornography to learn to have sex

I believe some of you have hearts, which are burning to see this change. Run 2 Rescue is in prayer right now about starting a project called “Anchors of Hope.” This will be a national campaign where we ask the churches to stand and make a difference in their hometown/churches. We will provide step by step ways in which you and your church can be involved. We are asking for point people in each church around the nation, who will volunteer with us to help this project get off the ground. We will soon announce the details. But if you are interested please contact our program director Right now we are collecting the names of those who have a heart for this.

God said He would raise up an army and I believe the Lord is raising up you. If we all play a small part then it won’t be as overwhelming. Our hearts is to give these girls a new identity, one that God has given them. Where he turns Ashes to Beauty and he brings treasures out of the dark places. These girls are precious in His eyes and they should be precious in our eyes too.  So lets agree to pray what God would have our part to be. This will be one the greatest adventures you ever embark on. 

Shannon Forsythe
Executive Director

If you would like to donate you can donate here!

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Dance!

The Dance
Shannon Forsythe

Often times it may seem that all we talk about is the dark times and tragic things going on in each of these girls lives. It is true that frequently, the stories can be dim, bleak and, overwhelming.

Yet today, we get to write about one of the victories and why we do what we do! When we watch these girls overcome and do the hard things, facing their giants, and leaping over insurmountable hurdles,  then we stand back and remind ourselves that all of this is worth it!

Next Saturday one of our girls is being honored as Survivor of the Year!

Her journey was not easy and the road seemed forever long. So many tears were shed as the hidden hurts of her past crashed over her like a tidal wave. Every tear shed so precious and so treasured, that the God of heaven, chose to keep every one of them in a bottle.

Imagine the God of the universe going to His closet of tears, pulling her bottle from His shelf, and sitting down reflecting how far she has come. He always remembers her , His thoughts are always on her and He always bends down to listen when He hears her cry. Yet The tears in her bottle do not belong to her alone but they are mixed with another set of tears. Ones belonging to the God of Heaven, Her rescuer and Savior. The One who has wept for her and with her.


Now He rejoices over her!

I found these verses and I want to dedicate them to Kristi and for all those survivors doing the hard thing:

2 Samuel 22 (the message Bible)

"A hostile world! I called to God, to my God I cried out. From His palace he heard me call; my cry brought me right into his presence- a private audience!... He caught me.. - reached all the way from sky to sea; He pulled me out of that ocean of hate, that enemy of chaos, the void in which I was drowning. He stood me up on a wide-opened field; I stood there saved - surprised to be loved!

God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before Him. He gave me a fresh start. Indeed, I've kept alert for God's ways; I haven't taken God for granted. Every day I review the way He works,...I feel put back together. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to His eyes."

So we rejoice! We rejoice that God reached into the depths of darkness and pulled out a treasure that was hidden there. Today we are not sad, we do not mourn but we watch the dance. The dance that the heavenly Father is having with His precious Daughter - Kristi Merrill.  and it is beautiful!

If you would like to donate to Run 2 Rescue and help us continue what we do you can donate here!

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

One Meal, One life, One's Freedom

Shannon Forsythe

Imagine if your home was taken from you, your family was taken from you, your belief in God was taken from you, and your innocence was taken from you? What if all the things you ever dreamed of was completely stripped away? There are some of you out there who may think I am being dramatic, there are some of who may think this is just the current trend of the day, There are some of you who just don't want to hear it. 

BUT, If your freedom was taken away, would you want someone to listen? If your daughter was trapped in this, would you want someone to rescue her?  Does this have to get so close to home before you do something?

The only way for me to make this real is to give you photos of what we have seen on the streets. Maybe you will still close your eyes, or maybe just maybe you will stand up and make a difference!
 Here is a John who brought a girl to the parking lot of Toy R Us, where he will be conducting his business.  A place where you go and buy your children, or their friends, or nieces and nephews, and grandkids gifts. We caught him pulling up his pants. He didn't care that we were sitting there (He didn't even notice)  he wanted to finish his business. We pulled up to the window to get the girl and he drove off so fast, realizing he was caught. This man was an average guy you see around work, your family barbecues, churches, sport events and he purchased someones daughter.
The photo above is from a hotel we have been watching. We know there are girls in there but have not been able to get them out. What you see on the door knob in the top photo is a baseball cap. This is what the pimps use to communicate to Johns. (Johns are men who purchase girls for sex) The cap indicates a job is being performed. Once the job is done, we have watched the John take it off the door and give it to the girl, until the next one shows up. This girls does not leave the room!
Finally, we got a glimpse of one of the girls as she was allowed to come out to smoke. Her pimp was inside the room. There was no way for us to approach her or let her know there is a way out. In some cases nobody is looking for these girls, they have been forgotten. So they are resigned that this is the rest of their life.  Less than one percent of the 27 million trafficked victims world wide are ever identified. I just showed you one and she is still trapped!

Is this ok with you? Imagine if we all stood up and said enough! God's heart is aching for these girls! Why are our hearts not aching? Have we become so calloused and so comfortable that we don't see what is right before us? or are we so scared because it is so dark and the enemy abides here?  But isn't our God greater? We quote Isaiah 58 "This is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless, give clothes to those who need your help. .... , and help those in trouble."

When was the last time you really lived this verse? Not the one time giving change to the homeless on the streets. Or the donating your clothes you have grown out of to make more room in your closets. all though this is helpful, what about making this your lifestyle, something you choose to live daily? If you do God says "Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ...Then your light will shine out of the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as the noonday."

Darkness flees when the righteous steps into darkness but we have to step into it. 

Have you been stirred but don't know the next step. Then be a voice for those who can't speak out. 

You can start by giving up one meal and praying how God wants you to be involved, how you can make a difference. I promise He will answer you. Let your friends, family and church know about the problem. Share this blog with them.  Then donate the money you would have spent on food to Run 2 Rescue, so we can keep following God's heart beat. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

What is normal anyway?

Who defines normal in our lives? What is normal to you? Do you know that when we rescue girls we want them to have normal lives, we want them to have full and abundant lives but think about it… to them the life they are living is normal.  Normal is conforming to a standard or a common type. These girls have conformed to a standard. The standards on the streets. This has become natural to them. They look at our lives and its not only abnormal to them, its not even a reality that they ever think they will attain. So then if a girl is rescued what do we tell them? We need to understand our way of life is foreign to them. We need to understand that no matter how abusive the streets, a pimp or a john are this is their perceived family.

This is hard for us to understand. So my sister was with me at a conference and she explained it to someone this way. When we get up in the morning our routine is this: we make our coffee, we take a shower, we brush our teeth, we get ready, we take our kids to school, we go to work, we eat lunch,  we come home, we make dinner we wind down for the night we go to bed. What if I would ask you to give that all up? Leave your family and friends behind and start over?

A trafficked girls routine is this: they go out to meet clients around 6:30-7:00 am  who want to meet up with someone before they go to work, they get drugs that help them wind down during the day, they get photos of themselves up on the internet for that evening, they may have to pan handle to get some food, the whole time their every move is being monitored by a pimp, they go out to meet guys who are on their lunch break, after they may get to rest a few hours, around 3-4 pm they start to get ready for the night, they get their drugs that will keep them up all night, they head out (or men are brought to them) to meet guys getting off work,  then they keep working all night…

Then we come in and ask them to leave their street family behind, the friends who they believe have stuck by them ( no matter how dysfunctional they might have been) and give up all that is familiar and start over to have a “normal life. “

Let me place this challenge to you if you have a heart to work with these girls then practice the art of surrender. Surrender to let God change their lives the way He intends it not the way we intend it. Practice the art of listening and the things that matter to them.  Watch their body language, notice the things that make them laugh, make them afraid, or make them insecure . Be the one that becomes their normal. Be the one they are comfortable being around. Be someone they can trust. Be the one they can feel safe to dream with. Be the one that when they take a scary step you are standing with them cheering them on. Be the one that shows them that God's plan is unique for them and unique to who they are. 

You will notice that instead of you telling them what normal is, their lives begin to change with your loving and gentle guidance and they will look back on their lives and realize they have a new normal. 

"God can do anything, far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us." Ehesians 3:20-21 message

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Carried Home

As I write this, I am waiting to hear of a rescue we have been planning and whether or not a girl finds freedom or stays with her captors…

I have met some amazing people these last few weeks, who like me, will forever be changed by the things we have seen.  I never imagined I would see in my lifetime a room full of underage girls held hostage by arrogant men who feel they are above the law. I never imagined I would let a trafficked girl use my phone to call home and then lose her to the streets. I never imagined that I would work with former pimps to find these girls. I never imagined I would talk to girls who I felt powerless to save because my resources were so limited. I never imagined I would see men who wanted to cover there debase actions that they would let girls remain captive only to protect themselves. I never imagined that I would be a part of something so big the very thought of trying to make a difference is crushing.

I never imagined…. But the Lord did! The Lord sees! And this is not too big for Him.  Run 2 Rescue is working with multiple people all over and we all have one goal in mind. It is not who gets the glory, its not who gets to be the voice on national television, it is not who gets the credit for rescuing. Our one goal is to bring these captives home and because of that we are working in unison and collectively we are making a little difference.

I want to share a story about this team.  Each with different gifts and yet each uniquely put in place so as to compliment one another.

The Lord brought us all together at one point in time where we were all working for a common goal. Little did we know this would be the beginning of what God was going to do.  When you are dealing with a 32 billion dollar industry, the level of organization is beyond comprehension. Rival gangs will put down weapons and find common ground to buy and sell girls. Well the Lord brought us together and we found common ground to reach and rescue these girls. 

In one of the searches a phone call was made and they left a message, a prostitute called back and she was able to communicate that she wanted out. Our friends were able to meet her, and picked her up and brought her to a safe house. To find out that this Jane Doe ran away when she was 17 and was trafficked immediately. For the last ten years she was sold ever five days to a new pimp.  EVERY FIVE DAYS!  The average life span of a prostitute is 7 years the fact that she was still alive is a sheer miracle. She was taken from one coast to the next. Her family had been praying for her safe return and this precious gem accepted the Lord as her Savior and after ten years she went home.

I have been told if resources were available that a girl a day could be rescued. But there is no place to take them that is 365 girls.  We have 800,000 missing this year alone.

I have seen with my own eyes the victims who are still victims. We want to rejoice with our Jane Doe who was able to go home. I want to rejoice over many many more!  We are praying for land right now and have some possible open doors. First we need prayer for resources and a place to house these girls.  We already have them we need a place for them. 

After this Tuesday I will be devoting myself to Run 2 Rescue full time and thus, I will no longer be working at Far Reaching Ministries. They have been so gracious to help with this transition and this step of faith. So please pray for us and prayerfully consider financially supporting Run 2 Rescue.  The need is great and I have seen first hand how real it is. 

I know what the Lord has been saying. I know His heart is here. His glory will penetrate this darkness and our hearts will thrill with joy in what He is about to do. 

Arise!!! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you, Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. …. Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home. Your eyes will shine and your heart will thrill with joy.. Isaiah 60