Today, we have a very special guest writer. A woman that I was fortunate enough to meet at the 2016 Buck Brannaman Clinic in Rapid City, agreed to share her story, and it is awesome.
Our mission is to offer the best coffee and be a light for girls out of human trafficking.
Growing up in WA, I spent most of my time riding my horses or working at my mother’s coffee shop. I learned how to roast coffee when I was 12 years old and worked in the industry throughout my undergraduate studies and business school.
Years ago, I heard a statistic that I’ve never bothered to look up, simply because I know there’s no way to prove that this percentage is indeed much higher. One in 4 women are sexually abused. Women are abused on a regular basis. I have witnessed this countless times over the years. Going through college, working in bars, and living my own life has showed me that abuse is rampant in our world.
In my life, abuse started at a young age and has continued, to some degree, as I’ve grown older. I have been raped multiple times, had customers try to undress me at work, so-called “gentleman” have tried to drug me and take advantage. The numbers of times I’ve been assaulted physically or verbally are completely unacceptable. They broke me for many years. I exaggerated my problems by drinking, partying, and racking up multiple arrests and charges.
Fortunately, I was called to go on a mission trip to Cambodia in 2012. The first day I walked into Cambodia’s Rapha House, was the day the real Rachel Stephenson emerged. Everything in my life had been leading up to that moment in time. Rapha in Hebrew means healing. Rapha House offers healing for girls rescued out of human trafficking. It’s ironic how I went to help others heal but I needed to heal myself.
I looked around and saw beautiful little girls of all ages. The youngest was 4 years old. The anger I felt regarding my past had crippled me from moving forward. I felt guilt and shame for the way that I chose to deal with my problems. I was letting the devil destroy a beautiful life because I was unwilling to forgive. Those little girls saved me that day. For that, I will never stop fighting for them!
I have devoted my life to this cause and I will never give up. Our vision is to create an army of coffee drinkers across the U.S through the geographic expansion of our mentoring program. Our goal is to have a full mentoring/apprenticeship program specifically for girls who have experienced abuse in their life. Our program is designed to teach the foundation for a holistic approach to life: financial freedom/career satisfaction, physical wellness, and spiritual wellness. We believe these are all important to creating a lasting lifestyle that is both satisfying and sustainable.
We aren’t ready to implement this next stage yet. Currently we donate proceeds from our coffee to human trafficking shelters. Our hope is that you will visit our website and purchase coffee to help us move closer to our goals.
Thank you, Rachel, for all that you do, for sharing your story, and for helping other women heal!
Now for the fun: to thank all of you for reading and supporting our efforts to talk about domestic violence and sexual abuse, and to promote Rachel’s amazing coffee (that I’ve been fortunate enough to sample), I’ll be giving away four bags! Yes, FOUR! Four of you lucky readers are going to get to choose the coffee you want, and we’ll get it sent out to you!
To enter: leave a comment about how the series of posts this month have helped you, let us know what you’ve learned, or how it may have changed your view on this often ‘taboo’ subject or simply tell us how you’re going to “be a light”. For an extra entry, leave a separate comment to tell me you’ve followed Rachel on Instagram, or Facebook (Links below). Also, tweet any of the posts from this blog since October 1, using #IAmWorthy as the hashtag. Contest closes at midnight, Friday the 21st. Good luck!