Sometimes healing takes a while.
This is certainly true for women who have been prostituted.
It takes a woman, on average, seven attempts to successfully leave commercial sexual exploitation. Her journey often won’t follow a linear path. She may take many steps backwards on her journey forward.
That’s why Word Made Flesh Bolivia is committed to walking with women for the long haul.
Our program begins with intervention: meeting women in brothels and health centers, building relationships and trust. We believe that if Jesus came upon someone in the road who needed healing, he would heal them. Perhaps he would never see them again, but that one interaction still had an impact, still glorified God, and was still a work of the Spirit. We believe that even if we never have the opportunity to follow up with a woman, the interactions we have in the intervention stage still make an impact.
When a woman decides she is ready to do the hard work of leaving a life of prostitution, she can participate in our restoration program, where she has access to more specific tools and healing resources.
Sometimes it may take ten years for a woman to make the jump from intervention to restoration. These women may seem stuck, and it may seem like they will never leave prostitution. Later, something awakens in them, and we see incredible change and growth.
Our founders have been here for 18 years working alongside Bolivian staff and volunteers, and it’s been 17 years since the ministry center started. Over the years, we’ve had seasons where we focus on the difference that we make for one person. If we make an impact in one woman’s life or in one child’s life, then that’s enough. But recently we’ve also been uniquely privileged to see a lot of fruit. We’ve grown a lot in staff; we’ve seen the Bolivian community be built up and become experts in their area and also have more possibilities because the community is larger and more diverse in skill and experience.
We’ve seen the beautiful impact of the ways that God has really blessed the long haul.
In her role as Women’s Program Coordinator, Kara Chambers oversees all outreach and therapeutic components of the program ensuring that it meets best-practice standards in caring for and treating victims of trauma. After graduating from George Fox University with a dual degree in social work and Spanish, Kara interned for both a refugee resettlement program and a program for Latinx survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault before joining the WMFB staff in 2017.