The willow is a strong and tranquil tree. Its branches hang gracefully and its roots run deep. Often found near streams of water, it exudes peace, offers to share that solace with guests. Offers comfort, offers refuge. Offers gentleness.
The book of Psalms, chapter 137, laments a group of people who were forced into slavery. Rather than worship in the presence of their captors, the slaves hung their harps on a willow tree, preserving joy and hope before surrendering all freedom. Thus, even through captivity, the willow would call. It would swing with music, rustle, and sing. It would stand as their symbol, deep within hope, calling them back to the spirit of protection, dignity, and– maybe one day–escape.
Here at Willow International, we aim to provide similar restoration to survivors of human trafficking. Like the willow tree, our roots and our presence lie deep in tranquility, and our presence reaches out to those in captivity. We welcome victims of horrific abuses into our family and home. Our programs empower each individual to heal and attain their God-given potential. They are called back to freedom, back to protection, and back to the place where they can again take up their harp, rejoice in God’s love, and be free.
We have witnessed incredible transformation in survivors. Girls who have lost all hope gain hope for themselves and for their future. Girls whose dreams of education at one time seemed a fantasy are able to attend school. Girls suffering from the physical, mental, and emotional effects of trauma are brought to recovery, leading full, healthy lives.
The heartbreaking reality is that only 40,000 of the 20.9 million victims of human trafficking are being rescued and receiving aftercare services. We invite you to join us in changing that statistic. You can help fill the gap in aftercare services for these victims by donating, becoming a partner, subscribing to our newsletter, or even hosting an event in your area. You can stand by the willow tree. Together, we’ll offer peace and set the captives free.