Supporting REST in our City
REST: Real Escape from the Sex Trade was founded in 2009 for the purpose of powerfully serving and loving victims of sex trafficking by providing prevention, intervention, and restorative services. The nonprofit has served over 1,580 individuals and assisted over 100 in exiting the sex trade for one year or more.
Still, the statistics are devastating: one study in 2008 showed that on any given night, up to 2,000 individuals are being trafficked in Seattle. The average entry age for sex trafficking victims is 13 years old, and studies estimate that 1 in 3 runaways will be trafficked within 48 hours.
For every statistic, there is a story. For every number, a person, made in the image of God, bearing dignity and worth. Each and every story matters. One survivor, Alina, said this about REST “When I called the REST Hotline, my whole life changed. REST has become my family, giving me the support I never had. This place has saved my life, and I didn’t think I could be anything more than a prostitute before I met REST.”
To the glory of God and by his grace, REST has been a transformative tool in the lives of youth and women throughout Seattle. One of the ways that REST serves our community is by providing a Drop-In Center, with workshops, classes, support groups, meals, and peer support. Additionally, REST provides essentials to victims and survivors who often lack clothing, especially for winter months.
Throughout the season of Advent, we partnered with REST to provide them with winter clothing which will go to the women they serve. In total, we collected over 400 items including winter coats, gloves, sweaters, sweatshirts, underwear, socks, beanies, scarves, toiletries, and gift cards. The staff at REST were overjoyed by your generosity!
Paul encouraged the church in Corinth to give generously for the needs of the believers in Jerusalem, writing,
“You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God” (2 Cor. 9:11-12).”
I am deeply and richly encouraged and humbled by the donations that we were able to give to REST in support of their ministry, and I hope you are too! God is doing incredible things through REST, and He has given us the wonderful chance to partner with them! If you are interested in learning more about the issue of sex trafficking in Seattle or about REST’s ministry, or want to continue to support REST, I encourage you to visit their website at www.iwantrest.com. Consider volunteering, giving financially, or participating in their upcoming “Raise ‘em for REST Poker Tournament” on March 8.
Thank you to everyone who gave generously and partnered with REST in support and through prayer!
– Micah Rickard
Deacon of Mercy Ministries