In the beginning, our first place to reach out to vulnerable women was a local shelter. We would bring coffee and muffins and just spend time sharing love and friendship. This particular morning we were doing manicures with the ladies. There were several women talking and enjoying the experience of having their nails painted. After a little while, a woman, named Bethany, walked through the door and she sat down to join us. She had seen the sign we had hung on the outside of the door that read… CREATED. Her first question surprised us! She asked if we knew the OTHER Created. I was floored! We had only been coming to the shelter for a few weeks and here we were meeting a woman that had previously met Created in another city. Bethany explained that when she was incarcerated in Tampa, Fl that Created came to visit her in jail and would write to her regularly.
After leaving the shelter, I sat in my car for a while in utter amazement. I was in awe of how Jesus would grow a ministry to a new city at just the right time for...The One…Bethany!!!
Bethany matters to Him and He will not give up on her. He will move mountains in order to show His unfailing love to even one of His children. We have since met Bethany multiple times on the streets and in the local jail and each time she is reminded that she matters to her Creator and that there is a family of women who is saving her place to belong and be cared for along her journey of leaving the streets. Created Gainesville is committed to women in our community, like Bethany, who have found themselves caught in the sex industry struggling to find hope that they can escape or have a life other than the one that continues to steal.
In 2012, Created Gainesville was launched. Being a city saturated by the sights and sounds of student life, the arts, and college sports, there is also the hidden reality that Gainesville is not exempt from the affects of the ever-growing sex industry. We knew we had to do something and responded to the call to love the vulnerable of our city.
“Wow, no one’s ever come out here before to show us any care….” We hear these words often from women we meet working on the streets or in the strip club, and we get to remind them that they are not forgotten. Created cares for these women and hopes to invite them into community, love, support, and new life in Jesus Christ.