We live in a world so full of need--but at the same time, a world filled with the most remarkable individuals reaching out to meet that need in various ways. In today's ecosystem of ever-broadening connection and communication, it has never been easier to learn about different causes and to forge paths for change. We at Hands Producing Hope couldn't be more excited to highlight the work of movers and shakers across the world through our new blog series, "Coffee with".
JOIN US AS WE LEARN ABOUT THE JOURNEYS OF INSPIRING INDIVIDUALS USING THEIR UNIQUE TALENTS AND IDEAS TO ENRICH THE LIVES OF OTHERS. ABOUT HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD, A LITTLE AT A TIME.
This week for our Coffee With series, we reached out to Sabrina Dorman-Andrew of New Creation, a nonprofit initiative working to counteract sex trafficking and to serve its victims. Today fostering prevention education and funding rescue and restoration programs around the world through New Creation Shoppes, Sabrina shares that the idea started with a shop in her dining room.
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT WHAT NEW CREATION IS?
New Creation is a faith-based nonprofit that creatively counteracts human trafficking with a local heart and global approach. Locally we provide community awareness + prevention education, while our shops help fund rescue + restoration through marketing survivor-made + fair trade items from around the world.
HOW DID NEW CREATION START?
My hubby heard the founder of an organization in Uganda speak at our church. She was working to empower women who were survivors of sex trafficking there. As soon as he heard about the mission he encouraged me to learn more.
It really started by simply asking, “What can we do to help?” We learned that having a U.S. marketplace was extremely valuable to them. So we turned our dining room into a shop and invited women over to purchase beautiful jewelry made by the women in Uganda.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE MOMENT IN WHICH YOU REALIZED THAT THERE WAS THIS NEED FOR CHANGE, AND IT WAS YOU WHO COULD TAKE ACTION TO ENACT IT?
When we began inviting women into our home to shop, they began to ask thought-provoking questions. They were interested in the work going on in Uganda, but they wanted to know if sex trafficking existed here in the US. Could it affect their own lives? Being a mom, I wondered the same things. So I began to research the issue, finding cases right in my state, town, and community. I kept saying to my husband, “Someone ought to do something about this.” And finally one day he said, “What if that someone is you, Sabrina?”
HOW DID THIS PARTICULAR CAUSE BECOME SO IMPORTANT TO YOU PERSONALLY?
New Creation was formed out of some of the most painful times in my life personally. Sexual abuse had intersected my life in numerous ways and the more I learned about human trafficking and exploitation the more the issue became very personal. The truth is, my journey had many similarities to survivors I have met. I will never know what it’s like to walk through the pain of trafficking, but I understand trauma and how it has affected my life, my family, and those that I love.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE WHO WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE BUT AREN’T SURE WHERE TO BEGIN?
Start WHERE YOU ARE! With WHAT YOU HAVE! Seriously, this was my motto. I didn’t want to overcomplicate doing good. I started really tiny, and I still trust that God will grow it as He sees fit. I think so many times we have really big vision but fear keeps us at a standstill. If we can just take steps in obedience, I believe we would be flat AMAZED by what God will do!
WHY DO YOU THINK THAT EDUCATION ABOUT HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS SO VERY IMPORTANT IN OUR COMMUNITIES?
Sex trafficking crossed my life from afar through the work in Uganda. But then it became much more real when I met a survivor in my little hometown with four stop lights and a population of less than 3,000. When I met her, I was presenting in a local church about the issue. She started the conversation with “I didn’t know it had a name.” I learned her story and found out she was a survivor of familial trafficking. For ten years she was bought, sold, and traded to support her mom’s drug habit. I kept asking myself, “How was this existing, right here, with no one taking notice?”
Community awareness is incredibly valuable! We as community members must be able to recognize and respond if we are to bare witness to trafficking. Like this survivor, most do not self-identify as victims of trafficking. Therefore, the more we as the community can realize it is here, understand how it is happening, and recognize we can be a part of the solution, the better chance we have to combat this issue.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED IN THIS JOURNEY?
We serve a powerful and mighty God. I stand amazed by the way He has lead us, used us, and opened doors. When I first learned about sex trafficking, I had watched a documentary that traveled around the world highlighting the issue in different countries. There was a two minute mention of a nation called Moldova.
Before this film I had never heard of this country that happens to be the smallest and poorest in Europe. My heart was instantly broken for this place, but I had no idea how to connect.
Fast forward to 2017 when God opened the door to an incredible partnership opportunity in, you guessed it, Moldova. In the last year I have traveled there twice, fallen in love with the people, and am now working alongside an NGO to provide dignified work to the 32 women they serve.
IN STARTING A BUSINESS OR A MOVEMENT, WHERE DO YOU RECOMMEND PEOPLE START? WHAT ARE THE VERY FIRST STEPS?
Again, start WHERE YOU ARE! with WHAT YOU HAVE! I know I already said that, but I believe it is really powerful to use the tools in your hand. What is right in front of you? But then I would say balance it with DREAMING BIG!
My hubby said one time, “If it doesn’t make you want to throw up, it isn’t big enough!” HA. I laugh now, but I think starting simple, but dreaming big, is a great first step. It has kept me moving forward day after day with my eyes on the BIG vision.
I wrote my HUGE goals and dreams down in the very beginning. Those certainly didn’t look like the makeshift boutique in my dining room but that was a step in the right direction! I think we need to step out and do SOMETHING! Even if it’s a really small step, don’t allow fear to paralyze you! Write down your goals, dreams, and visions. Then start taking small steps toward them.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE NEW CREATION GROW IN THE COMING YEARS?
It is so crazy to think all of this started in my house + now we have 2 brick and mortar locations + an online shop. Our focus over the next year is to grow our online sales + reach a larger audience. We are overwhelmed by the support of our local community, but I believe others will want to get involved too! The more we grow the more positive impact we can have!
WHAT STEPS CAN PEOPLE TAKE IN THEIR DAILY LIVES AND IN THEIR COMMUNITIES TO HELP FIGHT AGAINST AND/OR PREVENT HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
We all have a part to play! New Creation really seeks to create an environment where anyone, from anywhere can respond to this issue. We can all be educated, help raise awareness, pray around the issue, and shop differently. These are simple steps that we can all jump into!
Written December 20, 2018