By Rachel Timothy with express permission.
[Jacque’s Note: Rachel’s book has rocked my world. Rachel’s story and what God is doing has changed my life in ways I’m still processing. This book is already helping so many! I want to be part of her army and fight for her, with her, and for the others. My eyes are opened! Now I ask you to open yours, too.]
My story may surprise you.
It may sound impossible even.
But I promise you that every word of my story is true and you would be surprised how often something similar happens in your very own backyard.
When I was just nine years old I was introduced to the girls’ basketball coach of my new school. He was a smooth talker, and a highly respected man of the community.
When he began to show me special attention, I was excited, completely unaware of the nightmare that was beginning for me. As I believed his lies, I fell more and more into the trap thinking that I was safe with him.
The same way my community had been groomed into believing he was the good Godly man he proclaimed to be.
I trusted him and everything he said.
By the time I realized something was wrong, it was too late.
Just like a frog put into a pot of lukewarm water that is slowly brought to a boil, I was trapped.
People view trafficking as something that only happens in other countries or in gangs or drug circles.
They don’t expect it to happen in a public school, or a prominent church.
They wouldn’t expect it to happen to a little girl who gets to go home and live a seemingly normal life.
They wouldn’t expect it to be a dark secret but powerful presence in their own community.
Open Blind Eyes walks you through my journey from nine years old until 2018. It shows you the roller coaster ride of what I went through, how I tried to get help, and how the abuse didn’t stop as a child but began again as an adult when I was married with children of my own.
I often say that Open Blind Eyes is an extremely watered down version of my story, but it was initially written for my own healing.
I actually had no intention of publishing it until my counselor presented the opportunity at the same time my safety was once again being threatened.
We needed a way to shine a light on all that was happening, and since justice didn’t seem to be a thing, Open Blind Eyes was published.
We were presented with two options. Either go into hiding to stay safe from the traffickers, or shine a light on their evil world.
We chose to shine a light.
Since Open Blind Eyes has been published we have seen a slew of other victims come forward validating my story.
We have had an army rise up from my old community saying that they want justice.
It is a battle not yet won, but God is definitely at work and moving mountains. I pray for each individual who chooses to read my story because I know it’s not an easy read.
It’s difficult to get through and hard to process. But I believe it is equipping people to see the truth of how grooming and trafficking can seep into communities without people realizing it.
It’s empowering people who have experienced abuse themselves and helping them better understand where God was and how He is working through their pain.
It is forcing people to stop burying their head in the sand, but to see the truth that trafficking exists and it’s hidden in plain sight.
No, it’s not an easy read, but it’s something that could end up opening your eyes in time to keep it from happening to someone you love.
“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” ~William Wilberforce
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” ~Proverbs 31:8
I am only on FB now by the grace of God… if you want to stay connected, here is one way…