The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:5 ESV
The darkness of human trafficking is extremely pervasive. Too often, people become aware of human trafficking but believe it to be happening in some third world country or in a back alley. No one believes this could be happening on the streets of their city or at their next-door neighbor’s house.The enemy would love for us to remain this naive.
St. Andrews Road in Columbia, SC is no stranger to human trafficking activity. In January of 2022, Lighthouse for Life was given a piece of property at 1038 St. Andrews Rd., right in the midst of this darkness. The building wasn’t even visible when we first stepped foot onto the property. The original plan was to sell it and use the profit to buy an “ideal” piece of property to open our long-awaited Survivor Support Drop-In Center. But, when we found a single, glittery high heel shoe underneath one of the building’s windows, plans changed. We realized that the very people we hoped to serve were already familiar with this location and had been squatters there for some time. This was the place of hope where our dream would become a reality. L4L would be moving into enemy territory for the glory of God.
Our goals for this space are both physical and spiritual:
- clean up and fix everything that’s broken
- restore the space to its original beauty while preserving some of the scars
- help bind and heal the brokenhearted and their deep wounds
- restore to the victims their God-given identity
Serving as a drop-in center for victims of human trafficking, the repurposed building will be a vision of hope for the community. Our Survivor Support program will make it possible to come alongside those looking to escape “the life” and guide them into a life of real hope and belonging. They will be welcomed with grace and given support for their individualized needs.
When we were discussing this God-sized dream with one of our current survivors, she said, “How about calling it The Harbor?
A place of shelter.
A safe space in the midst of rough waters.
Yes! A harbor is exactly what we want to be for our survivors.
Following some renovations, The Harbor will become the hub for L4L’s Survivor Support program. It may not look like much now, but that high heel shoe reminds us that God has provided the perfect place for His light to drive the darkness away.
Please pray with us that The Harbor’s consistent presence of light draws those who need our help into her door. All it takes is one spark to cause darkness to flee. Imagine what a host of sparks could do on St. Andrews Road.