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There's no place like hope

Rest Stop Ministries provides a space for women to be restored

As a pastor counseling women for 14 years, Rondy Smith recognized the connection between mistreatment as youth in sex trafficking victims and knew there was a service gap to fill. Since founding Rest Stop Ministries (RSM) in 2011, Smith and her team have housed, counseled, loved and led thousands of women to healing and restoration.

“As I began to see that connection, my heart broke for these women. My research showed that it required intensive long term residential restoration to heal, and that women healed best within communities of support with other victim-survivors who shared their lived experience,” explained Smith.

With more than 1,100 victims throughout the state annually, Smith says there was no program in Tennessee designed solely and uniquely for this population. In 2015 they set out to fill that need and opened their doors to the first 24-hour, long-term residential treatment home for survivors.

As a “housing-first” model, RSM provides holistic survivor-centered, trauma-informed care in a long-term residential community with a mission to comprehensively restore survivors and stop the oppression of human trafficking. Women are welcomed into a beautifully curated place to call home, where they are supported through their healing journey by professionals and other victims who understand their story.

RSM connects victims to medical and mental health providers, legal council, employers and hundreds of volunteers to provide transportation, life skills coaching, mentoring, and workforce readiness skills.

But Smith says, the women who come to them are the real heroes, “It is the most courageous, difficult work to choose to move from survivor to thriver.” 

“It takes a comprehensive continuum of holistic care to heal from complex trauma and be equipped to live a different life. We are very proud to have accomplished our strategic plan of adding a workforce development and economic empowerment program through our social enterprise, Good Hope Farms,” she explains, “The way to end cycles of abuse and exploitation is through economic independence and our mission says we are not only about restoring survivors, but also stopping oppression!”

Every Good Hope Farms purchase supports the economic empowerment of local survivors and the Rest Stop Ministries residential restoration program. Partnered with many anti-trafficking organizations worldwide to globally empower trafficking survivors and those in at-risk communities, RSM is proud to offer the beautiful things created by survivors and highlighting the good work being done by others as passionate about freedom as they are.

How can you help?

  • Donate A list of current needs is available at www.reststopministries.org/current-needs
  • Attend Mark your calendar for September 15, 2023 for RSM’s annual gala, hosted at the Hermitage Church of the Nazarene where local survivor Cyntoia Brown-Long will be the keynote speaker.
  • Buy Purchase gifts, apparel, housewares and more at goodhopefarms.org

"This is the church's business, to establish a place for the church to be in action, for Jesus to tell these women I want to restore you and love you lavishly."

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