JOPLIN, Mo. — The new year will bring with it a lot of changes for a worldwide ministry based in Joplin.
2023 will be a milestone for Rapha International, a faith-based organization that helps women and young girls to get out of human trafficking.
They’ll be celebrating their 20th anniversary with a change in location.
Their current headquarters are on Main Street in Joplin but will eventually move to this former church building on 20th.
One of the advantages is increased floor space, which will allow for an expansion of the Rapha Hope and Healing Center, for victims of human trafficking not just in Southeast Asia but here in the U.S. And the Four State area.
“And so that is why the capital campaign is going on for the new building so we can expand and offer a lot more services in this community, you know hire more therapists be able to see a lot more clients,” said Angie Brower, Clinical Dir., Rapha Hope & Healing Center.
Allowing the ministry to more than double the number of therapists from two to seven.
“What we want to do is really pilot the program, work out all the kinks, you know, understand how best to help the clients we serve, and then be able to take this program and multiply it in different cities across the U.S,” said Brower.
And instead of sending employees out into the community to educate and train groups about human trafficking, those groups, instead, will come to the future facility.
But one program that won’t make the trip to the new facility are the items made by trafficking victims overseas.
Brower says what merchandise is in stock now will be the end of the line when it comes to being able to purchase in person.
“And so whatever we have left here we will sell as people call and make an appointment to come look at it, but once that’s gone we’ll continue to sell it online,” said Brower.
The move is tentatively scheduled for late spring or summer of next year.
To learn more about the organization and its hope and healing center, or find out how you can contribute, you can visit their website here.