New Creation opening shop to combat sex trafficking
Posted on July 20, 2015 by VMMissions Staff
The New Creation team at a “pop-up” shop selling items at the ONE Justice Conference in Richmond this past May. Courtesy photo
I grew up with the idea that to be a missionary meant going overseas to a poverty-stricken land where no one had ever heard of Jesus.
I watched missionaries leave my church to head to the mission field to share the love of Christ with people in other countries. They would come back sharing stories and photos of the work God was doing, and thought maybe someday I would do something like that. As I got older and began gaining a better understanding of what it means to be a missionary, seeing so much need in my own country and in my own community, I thought, “why must someone go to a faraway land to be the hands and feet of Jesus? Is it possible to do this in my own community where I see huge needs in every corner?”
I did not feel called overseas, and I wrestled with that for a while because that was how I saw other people “doing missions.” I soon learned that God was calling me into something different. I was being called to serve my Creator by serving my local community; by finding a need and creating a business to meet that need. I have spent the last 12 years building relationships that I now realize were stepping-stones for my journey: God leads us near and far. God has a plan, and for me, right now, that means staying in my own community.
My stepping-stones led me to an amazing organization, New Creation, a ministry in Harrisonburg combating human trafficking. My heart pulled me in their direction immediately: a business fulfilling a need! There are places in my own community that need the light of Christ. I didn’t move to a faraway land, but I am still giving my life to serve the Lord.
Volunteers remove carpet and help with painting (left side: international students from Up with People, right side: youth from Renew Camp) Courtesy photo
Over a year ago, New Creation purchased a former pornography shop to house the ministry. The work in our New Creation Shoppe funds rescue and restoration around the globe for victims of sex trafficking, as well as, assisting prevention and education in our community. We carry items from nine organizations; these products are handmade by survivors and designed for justice. With a global mind and local approach, New Creation is allowing me to share the grace and truth of the gospel in Harrisonburg.
We will open our doors to the public on July 25 after a 14-month renovation process. We are so excited to be able to focus our attention not on daily construction needs, but rather on people as we share the love of Christ and teach about the reality of who God is and who we are designed to be.
Looking back on my life and the way God has knit each event and situation together, I want to fall on my knees in praise. He has been preparing me for missions since I can remember. Being the hands and feet of Jesus is the best calling one can receive, no matter where in the world one is called.
Caitlin Tice is a tranSender, serving at New Creation in Harrisonburg, Va.