In a mosaic, many small pieces come together to create one larger work of art. Some of those pieces may be broken, have rough edges or look different from the other pieces, but each piece comes together to make something beautiful and distinct.
“Mosaic” was the theme of this year’s annual Scarlet Hope Gala, an event that benefited Scarlet Hope’s mission to bring the hope of Jesus Christ to women in the adult entertainment industry.
The Sept. 12 event was held at the Speed Art Museum—a fitting backdrop for an event acknowledging the work of a ministry that seeks to show exploited women that they truly are “God’s masterpiece” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT).
Keynote speaker for the event was Ricky Lynn, the lead human trafficking investigator for the Kentucky Attorney General’s office. Lynn has worked in law enforcement since 1981 as a community officer, hostage negotiator, crisis intervention team member and police officer support team member, among other roles.
Lynn now advises on human trafficking cases.
Lynn did not shy away from the realities of human trafficking. His speech included photos of convicted traffickers, many of whom also were charged with other crimes such as possession of child pornography, rape and murder.
Lynn also shared mugshots of women who had been charged with multiple counts of prostitution. Many were first charged before they could drive. Some women had more than 10 mugshots over a period of several years, each more stirring than the last.
Over time, their faces swelled with bruises and the light in their eyes faded until they were images of hopelessness.
“These women are more than just their photos,” Lynn said. “They’re daughters, and they have stories. And they need the help of ministries like Scarlet Hope.”
These were only a handful of the hundreds of thousands of women that are exploited and victimized by human trafficking in the United States.
But through God’s work at Scarlet Hope, this is not every woman’s story.
Since 2008, Scarlet Hope has followed God’s lead in sharing the hope of Jesus Christ with women in the adult entertainment industry.
What started with taking a meal to women in a local club has grown into an outreach team that serves meals and builds relationships with women in more than half a dozen clubs and massage parlors each week with the help of a team of prayer warriors and cooks.
In 2017, Scarlet Hope launched Scarlet’s Bakery as a place for women in the ministry’s Career Development Program, or CDP, to work and learn valuable life and career skills. Scarlet’s Bakery now has locations in Shelby Park, St. Matthews and downtown Louisville.
During the gala, Amber, one of the women currently in Scarlet Hope’s CDP, shared her story.
Amber grew up in a broken home, where she and her siblings were abused. She began working in clubs in her late teens.
After leaving the industry, Amber enrolled in Scarlet Hope’s CDP and began working at Scarlet’s Bakery.
In the CDP, Amber attends life-skills classes, meets with a mentor and attends a Bible Study in addition to working at Scarlet’s Bakery.
She has since come to faith in Christ and attributes all of the transformation in her life to Him.
“Scarlet Hope has truly given me hope,” Amber said. “My life has totally changed because of what God is doing here.”
Scarlet Hope is a Southeast Christian Church local missions partner. For more information, visit www.scarlethope.org.