This week for our #InTheFightForRapha, we'd like to introduce you to our 2017 Summer Intern and Camp Speaker Nicole:
I look back at the moments that have lead me to where I am now and I can’t help but be encouraged by God’s faithfulness and story writing. I was born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and was first introduced to the mission of Rapha House when I was sixteen years old. My youth group went on a weekend retreat to Johnson University Florida where I heard about Rapha House and their mission
After that retreat I felt inspired to share about Rapha House with others. I did a couple of fundraisers in high school, but always had the desire to do more. I was attending Johnson University Florida when God blessed me with the opportunity to visit Rapha House in Cambodia. I got to see Cambodia up close and personal, and my heart was shattered by the brokenness and injustice but also restored by God through His faithfulness in the work that Rapha House was doing. I remember meeting the precious girls that I had been learning and praying for and feeling a sense of peace and joy in my heart. To me, these girls that have gone through such trauma in their lives were representations of strength, commitment to the Lord and truly made me think of what heaven would be like.
After returning to the states, I continued my college career with the dream of one day returning to Cambodia and interning with Rapha House. God completely surpassed my expectations and opened up the opportunity to return in less than two years, and afterwards I was able to take a summer internship with Rapha House. As a Rapha House intern I traveled to different summer camps as the missions speaker challenging students to fight against human-trafficking and exploitation.
When I went on my second trip, I remember walking about the Siem Reap safe house. During the tour of the facility our team was told that there were eight cottages, but that only three were able to be in use at the moment due to a lack of funding. I knew that needed to be my mission for the summer. I wanted to challenge the campers to help sponsor our Siem Reap cottages so that Rapha House would be able to open their doors to more girls! I have seen God work through the struggles of financial instability before, and I knew that God was going to provide. My goal was to fundraise $3,840 (enough to sponsor for all eight cottages for one year) in three weeks of camp.
At my very first week of camp in New Mexico when it was time for the offering, the students were challenged to donate all that they could. Quickly there was a line of students donating everything they had in their wallets. We counted the money and they had raised $1,900! Through God’s conviction, the students were lead to give even more. We had a second round of offering and when that number was counted, the students had reached my three-week goal in one week! God continued to surpass my expectations as I spoke to the remaining two camps by more than doubling my original goal. It was such a blessing to see students take up the calling to be in the fight for Rapha! When I got back to our Rapha House office, we put the money towards one safe house-sponsorship. With the money raised, there was enough to do a $40 a month sponsorship every month for the next 20 years! I am in awe of God’s faithfulness and His ability to use me in my brokenness for His greater will!
Unfortunately, even with the success of the camp’s giving, that funding is still not enough to facilitate the cottages. The accumulation of multiple safe house sponsorships is needed to fully fund a cottage. Rapha House is equipping girls for a healthy and successful future while also lovingly pointing them to the cross. This organization doesn’t just help girls in the long journey to healing, but also focuses on the discipleship of new Kingdom workers. I want to challenge you to be a part of the work that God is actively doing through Rapha House. For $40 a month, you can help open up the doors of the remaining five Siem Reap cottages and provide an opportunity of healing for more girls. I ask that you pray about partnering with Rapha House as they work to end sex-trafficking and exploitation.