October 2016 Newsletter
Residential Volunteer Shares Her Heart for
Annex Transitional Home
We had the opportunity to sit down with one of our residential volunteers, Rachel Aiello, from the Annex Transitional Home this month and hear about her heart and vision for the ministry of Source.
Rachel heard about Source back in 2012 when our director, Maria Eddy, shared a vision of restoration homes for trafficked women. God put on Rachels heart a passion for trafficked women and she knew she wanted to somehow be involved in the ministry of Source. Rachel’s compassion for people involved in sex trafficking began in 2011 when she, for an assignment, researched human trafficking at Normandale Community College.
She says, “I met with a friend and we were talking about sexual assault and I was looking around the school and thought, ‘If one in four women and one in six men have been assaulted, how many people here have been taken advantage of in that way and how many people need healing?’” She began meeting with a counselor at Normandale to increase awareness and introduced a program called SAAM to Normandale, which stands for sexual assault awareness month, which is in the month of April.
In January of 2016, Rachel moved into the Annex as a Residential Volunteer. Some of her roles in the transitional home include helping to make community meals and lead devotions with the women, but the main reason for having residential volunteers is to just do life with our residents. They go on outings together and support each other when someone has a bad day; they are there to walk through life together.
“One of the best things about the transitional home has been the people that make up the community. The women that I live with are extremely passionate women. It flows into how we love and care for the women that come in. Some of them are also really good at baking and they bake yummy pies and cookies!”
When she’s not at the home you can find her at work as a cleaner, hanging out with friends, family and her church family, or playing music.
“The truth of who we are in Christ is everything in being able to be victorious.” said Rachel. “I think when you experience trauma, you need that encouragement from community and that new voice to tell you who you really are in Christ.”
One of Source’s Neighborhood outreach programs includes our Community Meal. Provided on Wednesday nights, the purpose of this meal is to create a safe space of belonging for people in the neighborhood. A mixture of individuals are involved through our art coop, or living in Source housing, along with a variety of neighbors. The neighbors live, work or go to school in the area. Sometimes we have homeless people drop in as well.
We host this meal treating each individual with dignity and respect. Taking time to listen to them and get to know them. This is the beginning of building relationships with our guests and communicating Gods love and forgiveness.
Over the years we have prayed for our African neighbors and had some important interactions. For example, this past month one of the young boys (about age 12) was playing Pokemon go and it “just happened” to stop right in front of our Urban Art Center just as one of the church partnerships had pizza delivered. One of the volunteers engaged with the lad a bit and then he was off continuing to play. Awhile later he brought back 5 friends for pizza! They let us know what kinds of food they could have in the future. (so they can come back and eat with us) The next week a couple kids returned with their mother. God is so good! Continue to pray with us for our neighbors’ revelation and conviction of who Jesus is and how much he loves them.