Soon after attending my first TGC service (at that time Origins Church) I met with Jon Tyson for coffee. The church was only a few months old. We talked about life in New York, my job, and my desire to launch a new nonprofit called Restore NYC whose mission is to restore the well-being and independence of foreign national survivors of sex trafficking.
I was close to quitting. New York City is not an easy place to start an organization and I was feeling beat down by being told continuously that it would never happen, and to the critic's credit - it was impossible. With the most sincere expression Jon said, "You have to do it. It's too important not to, and I will do whatever I can to help you. We're with you."
After that conversation I felt empowered to keep going. And not just that day, but in the difficult days ahead of spiritual attacks, sleepless nights, anxiety, and poverty. When I couldn't sleep, I would text or call a few friends from the church to pray for me (it didn't matter what time of night). When I didn't know where my next rent money was going to come from, I would find an envelope of cash that someone had anonymously slipped into my pocket at a Sunday service. TGC opened their church office to me, so that I had a place to work outside of my apartment, and the list goes on...
I am beyond grateful for the love and support that TGC extended to me during Restore's early years. Empowerment is an investment, and the fruits of that investment not only extend to my personal growth, but to all of the women who experienced (and will experience) freedom from slavery. On behalf of myself and all of the survivors of sex trafficking who walked (and will walk) through Restore's doors - thank you.