Route One Ministry

Submitted by Bonnie Gatchell

This past year has been a year of growth and transition for Route One. In November 2017 we launched a prayer team for the Worcester area. This team quickly grew into the current outreach team, entering strip clubs in Worcester since March 2018. In May we were able to witness as a group the work of Route One when we all came together for our spring retreat. It was a true blessing to have all three teams under one roof for the weekend. For the first time ever, we invited a guest speaker and worship leader. Having these two women lead and shepherd the group really provided me the breathing room to participate in more of the retreat, and find rest myself . ​​​

We also increased the number of churches to receive Trafficking 101 training from 24 last year to more than 50 this year, with 1,300 Christian leaders being trained during the 2018 calendar year.

Some transitions that were more difficult were two staff ending their time sooner than expected. Our site coordinator in Boston found she was more comfortable with church ministry and resigned at the end of May. Additionally, it became clear that the site coordinator for Springfield also needed a new beginning. While this made things harder for the first few months, it did provide an opportunity to trust even more into God and His grace.

Over the summer we were blessed with an intern from Gordon-Conwell who is a survivor of trafficking herself. Her insights and story really spoke to each of our hearts.

This Christmas was, if ever before, true icing on the cake. There were several stories of hope but little time, here, to unpack them. First, we increased our Christmas Eve basket delivery by 60%, from 170 - 270 baskets brought to women exploited on Christmas Eve. Two, we had more than a dozen new volunteers going into clubs on December 23rd and 24th (six of whom were from Christ Pres). Third, we entered 4 new clubs and 2 clubs invited us back for Valentine’s Day. No one was turned away, which is unheard of, and several teams spent more time with the dancers than ever in Route One history.

Big things are coming, including our fundraiser on March 2, 2019.