Trisha’s Room

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“That a woman or girl will sleep in a bed in a room named after someone who 12 years ago was an absolute disaster, to me, is a great reminder of hope …”

By Trisha Baptie | Twitter: @trisha_baptie

There’s currently a highly concerning project being undertaken on the Downtown Eastside to house vulnerable homeless girls in an SRO (Single Room Occupancy) near Oppenheimer Park that will have one “house mom” for 18 young women. You will hear more on this later and how you can get engaged. Meanwhile, there is lots to talk about, but what I will use my space for today is share about a different kind of room for women and girls.

Last week I was in Ontario do to some things and I must be vague on some of the details for security sake, but I got to present to some of my favourite people (youth!) and then got to spend a few days having downtime with friends and other members of EVE.

One of the places I got to stay in was “Trisha’s Room.” Seriously!

Home for Victims

My friend, a survivor herself–and one I am so proud of–has opened up an emergency short-term house for victims of human trafficking. Instead of being taken to an institution-like place or perhaps a place not exactly suited for them, they will go to this beautiful house my friends have created to welcome them in so they know they are loved and safe.

For practical reasons they named the rooms, and one was christened: Trisha’s room.

What do you say to that? I did what I usually do when I am moved, honoured and amazed: I cried.

Lots.

What do you say to survivors who have pulled from the core of their being the strength to create a space that welcomes other women and surrounds them in safety, peace and rest? Usually once a woman has left the abusive space all she wants to do is sleep, and I’m not one to brag but my room is gorgeous! I cannot share pics of it, but I can show you the door!

Peace in this house

As the first person to spend the night in that room, in that quiet place I prayed that God would watch over all who came. That God would instill peace through the whole house. I prayed all women in the house would feel God’s healing.

If they had just come from hell on earth, I wanted them to be coming into a feeling of heaven on earth.

I’ve been reading Rob Bell’s Love Wins (I think everyone should read it!) and I matured spiritually under Steve Stewart who always said: “Life is about pulling heaven down”–that the Lord’s Prayer is a here and now prayer. “Your kingdom come on earth as is it in heaven.”

So, Lord, let this house be a heaven.

And for me, who is a big picture gal, fighting systems and principalities, I find it is in those quiet moments, those simple moments, that I am rejuvenated and reminded just Who holds us all in His hands.

How great is life when women who have been abandoned, rejected and labeled by society, come together and try to change the world, one person at a time. (As Heidi Baker says: “Stop for the one in front of you.”) These survivors have created a space we all would have liked to be available to us as we transitioned into a healthier life, free from exploitation, violence, rape and other injustices.

That a woman or girl will sleep in a bed in a room named after someone who 12 years ago was an absolute disaster, to me, is a great reminder of hope … A reminder of what can happen when the cross is applied and a reminder of who is truly in control.

About Trisha
Trisha Baptie is Executive Director of Honour Consulting and founding member of EVE (formerly Exploited Voices now Educating). In 2008 she won BC’s Courage to Come Back Award for her bravery in transitioning to a healthier lifestyle, for giving the murdered women of Vancouver a voice through her trial coverage of Vancouver’s serial killer and for her ongoing activism. Follow Trisha’s tweets at @trisha_baptie or friend her on facebook. She recently founded EVE (formerly Exploited Voices Now Educating.)

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