NC Ministry Saves Sex Trafficking Victims by Combing Through Craigslist Escort Ads

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  • Emily Fitchpatrick
    (Photo: OEWM)
    Emily Fitchpatrick, founder and president of On Eagles Wings Ministries, speaks in a promo for the organization.
By Jessica Martinez, CP Reporter
December 12, 2013|3:47 pm

A North Carolina-based ministry is taking a stance against nationwide sex trafficking by directly engaging with the women and underage girls involved who pose as escorts in online ads that are found on classifieds websites, including craigslist.com.

On Eagles Wings Ministries is behind the outreach program, "Rahab's Hope," named after the Canaanite prostitute found in the Old Testament. In the past two years, the organization has contacted over 2,000 women, 90 percent of whom are victims and under the control of a pimp.

"At Rahab's Hope, we pull ads from backpage.com from the escort section in different cities," said Amanda McCoy, outreach director for Rahab's Hope, to The Christian Post. "We call a different city each time for two hours, twice a month and we always have resources in their area before we make the calls."

McCoy says a lot of the women they encounter are in need of food, housing, clothing and need help getting out of the sex industry.

"These girls are so eager to talk. It's surprising the responses we get. We have had girls ask why we, as Christians, would call them, [and if] we think they are dirty," said McCoy.

"One girl had said she and her friend were safe but there are so many out there that are not. They had been sharing our hotline number for a while with other girls in the life. We had called them in a different city prior to that night and didn't even know it," she added.

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Some girls who get a phone call from Rahab's Hope hang up on McCoy's team who are only hoping to help on the other line. Others say they "are just fine" and most send the ministry's volunteers to voicemail though they eventually call back, according to McCoy.

"We have ambassadors out there handing out our hotline number … God is working behind the scenes. We receive calls from a city that we called six months ago [because] these girls keep our number," McCoy noted.

The organization began operating the call center after its founder, Emily Fitchpatrick, traveled overseas to learn more about sex trafficking. Upon further learning that it is an issue deeply rooted within various American cities including Charlotte, N.C., Fitchpatrick decided to begin four additional ministries that help industry victims who are undergoing recovery.

Aside from Rahab's Hope, On Eagles Wings Ministries also operates Hope House, a home where rescued girls can complete a two-year rescue program; Fields of Hope, a work study program to teach them how to work and manage money on their own by making products and selling them; and Youth for Abolition, an organization that raises awareness for youth.

In addition to their outreach with women involved in sex trade, Rahab's Hope also ministers to strippers in local clubs each month where volunteers hand out gift bags or food.

"In November, we were able to serve Thanksgiving dinner in the ladies dressing room," said McCoy. "During the Thanksgiving dinner, one lady said to me that it was great that there are Christians out here that do not condemn them. She loves that we come in to love on them. They look forward to us coming in."

Through those outreach efforts, McCoy says the women oftentimes express their gratitude for her organization's efforts but she insists they are simply bringing Jesus to them.

"We are doing God's work by loving on these precious daughters of His and our sisters. He loves them so much," said McCoy.

 

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