By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
Over the years, I have written many times about a wonderful place called Pure Hope Ranch. It is located in Texas, and it has two purposes: to strengthen families and to restore those who have been rescued or have escaped from being trafficked. They have Hope Home, where the women live, learn, and rebuild their lives, and the Pure Hope Inn, where all manner of retreats are held. I have been to both places, and it changed my life. God willing, I’ll be able to go back many times.
This past Tuesday, my friend, mentor, and Pure Hope co-founder Kathrine Lee gave a live Zoom presentation on the grim statistics that currently face us as they pertain to the link between pornography and human trafficking. More importantly, she enlightened people as to how we can be more aware, observant, and become able to help those that are so vulnerable, and possibly prevent them from being ensnared in one of the fastest growing crimes of all time.
About ten years ago, by what some would perhaps call divine “serendestiny,” Kathrine sat next to a man on a plane on her way home from a Juice Plus speaking event. It would alter the direction of her family’s life, and facilitated the birth of Pure Hope. After conversing with the man for about an hour, she finally asked him what he did for a living. Without missing a beat, he told her that he owned the second largest pornography-producing company on the planet. His expectation was that she would recoil, and while inside she was stunned and perplexed, she managed to pray, calm herself down, lean forward, and say, “Really? Tell me more about that.” Not sure what had just happened, he proceeded to give her the full download as to how the business works, as well as how they find the girls.
“Oh, that’s easy,” the man said. “We go to malls and look for girls with daddy issues. We compliment them, and if they square their shoulders, say thank you, and walk on, we know that they are not a likely candidate. If they stop, hunch forward, and don’t receive the compliment, we know that they are vulnerable,” he added. She was able to show him that his own daughter was at risk due to the fact that he was divorced and she was out from his protection as a father. He literally gasped at the realization, and he gave Kathrine his business card, telling her that perhaps one day the women in his life just might need her. All the ways that she ministers to the people who come across her path have indeed been called upon, and God had been preparing Kathrine for this role all her life.
When Kathrine got home, she told her husband, Michael, what had happened. Long story short, they sold everything, moved to Texas, started Pure Hope, and to date have helped restore more than 100 young women. In addition, they have hosted innumerable retreats for all kinds of people.
As many times as I have heard this story, I determined afresh that I would “square my shoulders” if someone gave me a compliment. As I listened to Kathrine talk about what signaled to predators the likelihood of a young woman being susceptible to the wrong kind of attention, I determined to do my best to teach the young people in my life how to stay safe, physically and digitally.
Pure Hope Foundation has just received a massive shot in the arm through the generosity of a donor who has agreed to match funds of donations up to $250K. They need to build another Hope Home, and have the land to do it. There is also a movie that will soon be in the works, and the idea of the Pure Hope story being available on film absolutely thrills me. I invite you to join us in being a part of a true “field of dreams.” Indeed, if we build it, even more will come, and many will be able to live an abundant life at last. For more information, please go to www.purehope