Rebecca McDonald of Women At Risk International.

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa—Ladies throughout Iowa gathered Sept. 7 and 8 for the Iowa Association of Regular Baptist Churches Ladies’ Retreat at Iowa Regular Baptist Camp. Through the theme “Authentically Reflecting God,” the ladies were challenged to “be Christ with skin.”

Fellowship Baptist in Des Moines, the host church, performed skits from three fairy tales. In each skit, the character asked, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, am I like Him after all?” and used a mirror to get answers. This question pointed the women’s thoughts toward the theme verse: “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Rebecca McDonald, director of Women At Risk International and granddaughter of Dr. R. T. Ketcham (GARBC national representative from 1948 to 1960), challenged over 500 women attending to remove the masks that we often hide behind and be real with the people God allows in our path. WAR International works in about 31 countries, primarily fighting human trafficking and rehabilitating trafficking victims, but also addressing other risk issues that women and children face.

Fish shoulder bag sold by War Chest Boutique. Photo by Summer Jean Photography.

Throughout the weekend the women browsed WAR International’s custom-made jewelry and very own line of fashion scarves and accessories. These products, among many others that were not on display, are made by women who have been rescued from human trafficking; 90 percent of the proceeds goes back to the victims.

Because of Rebecca’s passion for her ministry, the eyes of everyone attending were opened to the evil of human trafficking that takes place under our noses—even in Iowa. Resources were available to assist the ladies in several avenues of involvement in ministry to those at risk all around us every day. They are in our schools and in our churches. We must wake up, she says.

Following encouragement from Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center, Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad’s office was flooded with calls from these ladies the following Monday and Tuesday. They asked the governor to name an individual to the vacant position of director of public safety to bring to justice the perpetrators of these evil crimes. By Tuesday, he had named such an individual.