“When Exodus Cry told me about the car it literally felt like someone punched a hole in the wall to let light into my life.” —Skye
Most people have never been locked up in a cage, but Skye* has been—not just in the figurative kind, but also in the literal kind.
For years Skye was sexually exploited and transported between many locks and keys. Though her days of captivity are behind her, her journey toward freedom continues in our Restoration program. As with many trafficking survivors, we knew a big part of Skye’s healing would involve genuine reconnection with the outside world.
Skye is an adventurer. She loves to get out and explore, experience nature and open skies, go places, meet people, and build loving relationships. Although she was able to experience more of this freedom after exiting exploitation, in many ways true liberation was still cutoff from her. This time though, not because of cages but because of mobility.
If a cage is a conspicuous symbol of captivity, a car is perhaps—at least in American society—a distinct symbol of freedom. Countless teenage daughters and sons restlessly pursue that passport to independence which we commonly call a driver’s license. The ability to drive is a coming of age experience establishing autonomy and independence in an individual’s life.
Skye did have a car to use, but it was more a source of frustration than a symbol of freedom.
Skye did have a car to use, but it was more a source of frustration than a symbol of freedom. Week after week while diligently trying to get to work, she was forced to make frequent stops during her commute, due to her car’s overheating transmission and leaking vehicle fluids. This also meant she had to leave for work two hours in advance during the hot summer months, so she could remain employed.
Not only did her car trouble affect her work, but Skye’s desire for community and inspiration had been hindered as well.
“It was a very frustrating, intense time, and even my exploring, which is often where I find light, had been shutdown.”
Her hope to connect with people and to re-attach to the outside world was deferred, as she describes, “It was a very frustrating, intense time, and even my exploring, which is often where I find light, had been shutdown.”
Unfortunately, this car was unsalvageable.
When we realized the best remedy would be acquiring a “new,” more dependable used vehicle, our Restoration team set out to make it happen. Our staff, volunteers, and interns contacted dozens of local car dealerships in search of donated or low-cost vehicles. Skye herself was empowered to help in the search, and she diligently researched car listings and retailers online.
Then one day, we had the opportunity to apply for a grant through a generous family, and were thrilled to hear the grant was approved. Skye finally became the owner of a dependable used vehicle which provides safety and reliable transportation. This car also holds a feature which is a powerful symbol to Skye of Jesus’ promise to be with her and heal her—a sunroof.
Back when she was still in the darkness of her captivity the light and wide open sky always reminded her of hope, but she was never sure that hope was for her. Now, the light coming through the sunroof reminds her every day that Jesus—who is the light—is coming close to heal her.
This car was a remarkably transformative gift for her.
In Skye’s own words:
“There are moments where love, extended in tangible ways, brings light into our dark places. This car was one of those moments for me. When Exodus Cry told me about the car it literally felt like someone punched a hole in the wall to let light into my life. It gives me hope of more life to come for me, and it is helping me get to more life today! The breakthrough it has brought and is bringing for me is more powerful than I could ever possibly express…”
Skye’s story illustrates how generosity is intimately intertwined with personal breakthrough. It’s one more example of the lives we’re able to impact through our restoration work because of partners like you.
We simply would not be able to do this without your support and prayers. But it’s not just grant-sized gifts that bring real impact—it’s the consistent monthly donations, of any amount, that make all the difference. You can make it personal with your gift today and help transform many more lives.
*Name changed to protect identities