How do you define success? Webster’s Dictionary defines success as,
the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect or fame; the correct or desired result of an an attempt; someone or something that is successful: a person or thing that succeeds.”
Last night I had the privilege to speak at an Out of Darkness Ambassador’s Training. Their ambassadors are just as the name implies, representatives of the ministry. They speak across the state about Out of Darkness, sharing what the ministry does and how people can partner with them in their mission to,
REACH, RESCUE, and RESTORE all victims of commercial sexual exploitation, that the glory of God may be known.”
The founder of Out of Darkness, Jeff Shaw, gave an update on the ministry, sharing how the ministry was expanding in the jails, how three rescues were taking place as we met, and the financial status of the organization. For their ministry to take a victim of sexual exploitation from REACH through to RESTORE costs $7,650. This organization just celebrated their 100th rescue this year. You can do the math and quickly see the financial support needed to continue at this rate. However, Jeff was quick to say they do not measure success based on numbers, not the number in their bank account or even the number of rescues.
Success for Out of Darkness is any advancement of the Kingdom. Success is not for them getting or achieving wealth, respect or fame. Success is a woman coming back to their program to visit, even before she’s ready to commit to the long haul, because she knows she’s safe. Success is when the ladies step out of the van on Princess Night to pray for the girls on the track and the girls run up to them and hug them, because they recognize them as Jesus with skin on. Success is when the bouncer of a strip club waves the van over and asks them to come in and talk to their girls inside.
1 Samuel 16:7 says,
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
The staff and volunteers of Out of Darkness recognize that any step towards Jesus, no matter how big or small, is success, and they will continue to fight the good fight until there are none left to REACH, RESCUE or RESTORE and the glory of God is known.
So, I ask you again today, how do you define success?
To learn more about Out of Darkness or to support them financially, click here.
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