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  • Rachel Sochacki – Gateway 328

    Ward Church Blog 2 weeks ago

    Rachel Sochacki is one of the co-leaders for Gateway 328, the Ward anti-human-trafficking ministry. When you talk to Rachel today about her ministry, her passion for human-trafficking victims is very evident. However, it was not always that way for Rachel. But God’s still small voice called to her in a worship service, to do the unimaginable to bless others.

    “The fear of the unknown, and the fear of what I’d experienced in another church first held me back from getting involved,” says Rachel Sochacki, but God’s voice broke through to her during an announcement in a Ward worship service.

    “I learned from my mom to care for others, to stop worrying about Rachel. She set an example of caring for the underserved. We grew up in church and I knew Jesus from a young age, but after leaving home for college, I didn’t go to church. I became successful with my work. But I realized that my job was unending and would take everything from me if I allowed it. God began to say to me, Stop running! Is this bringing you joy?”

    Rachel had been attending Ward for about a year when she heard about a project to help those caught in the sex slave industry, and she recognized that God was calling her to be on that team. She knew that God’s work could bring something new in her life that was missing.

    Rachel experienced God’s help and presence during her trip to Thailand, working with Not Abandoned Ministry. “I was amazed to be able to completely be away from my work for two weeks. It was life changing to be so present.” The team reached out to women and girls exploited by the sex industry and trafficking. It was intimidating at first, but Rachel received so much joy knowing God was giving her words of hope for so many who felt hopeless.

    “There are so many opportunities that continue from our trip,” she says. “I have new friendship with the team members. I have an expanded relationship with Ward. Most importantly, stories of these young women and others like them need to be told.” That’s why Ward hosted a seminar with Not Abandoned Ministry just before quarantine, sharing ways locally and globally to support the fight against human trafficking.

    Rachel planned to join the Thailand team again last year, but like most events, the trip was cancelled.    “I wanted to go to Thailand – and was tempted to think I could no longer make an impact if I were here. And in this season, Satan wants us to be afraid and wants to put obstacles in our way. But we must think about how we can get creative and tap into the fire that God put in our hearts to make a difference.

    In the fall of 2020, a team gathered to evaluate how to fight against sexual exploitation and trafficking in our own backyard. Rachel and the team prayed for God to show the way and connect them with the right partners, using the guiding verse “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28. The team has now partnered locally with All Worthy of Love, who do street outreach weekly in Detroit in Ypsilanti, building relationships, providing meals and care kits. Response to Gateway 328 has been incredible, and the team is excited to see what God will accomplish. As far as her work that was previously ‘everything?’ Rachel has a new perspective on how God has provided for her, in order for her to serve others.

    If like Rachel, you’re afraid to get more involved or have had a bad prior experience, she says “Take the leap! Ward has built ministries that work for all generations. We have so much to learn from those who have gone before us. We have one strong community, and serving is the best way to connect. Each person I’ve met has helped me grow in a different way.”

    Looking for a way to serve in a way that connects with your passions? Go to ward.church/serve, or email cindy.ziemba@ward.church.

     

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