“‘…For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothes you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” — Matthew 25:35–39
Some in society can be viewed as “less than” others—those who are imprisoned, hungry, strangers. Yet, these fellow humans are loved by our Creator and in need of someone to care for them. Clarks Summit University alumni step out to serve in countless numbers of ways and locations. The following stories tell how God is working through alumni to reach those who are hurting and in need of Christ’s love.
SERVING THOSE AFFECTED BY HUMAN TRAFFICKING
By Julie Wilson (’96, ’18)
When Stacie Brandt (’17) was a student at CSU, it wasn’t just the classes that made an impact for her future ministry. It was the influence of the daily love and investment of her professors that Brandt exemplifies when she ministers to the young girls at RAHAB Ministries.
She uses that same patience, understanding, love and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to work with young women at RAHAB Ministries who need to be shown the love of Jesus. It was the compassion she received at CSU that encourages her to show compassion to those who are hard to love, and to see beyond where they are now to the person Christ has created them to be.
RAHAB Ministries (Reaching Above Hopelessness And Brokenness, Inc.) serves victims of human trafficking and those at high risk of being trafficked. They bring the hope and healing of Jesus Christ to those who have been affected by human trafficking, showing His love to the people that often go unseen. They partner with Summit County Juvenile Court’s Restore Court Docket and the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court’s Safe Harbor Docket to provide mentoring.
Brandt serves as a program coordinator for RAHAB’s Minor Mentoring Program. She has spent time working at the Minor Safehouse. Girls enter this home angry and with walls built high around their hearts. The ministry of RAHAB works to show these girls a consistent, caring presence over time to penetrate through the deceptions they have experienced through trafficking. Brandt has learned the importance of showing real love in action, while asking for nothing in return. She shares, “Every day we remind the girls that they are loved, that they are wanted, and that they matter.” Brandt has had many opportunities, along with the other RAHAB staff, to be a light in the darkness, always pointing to Christ.
In her own story, time and again, God reminded Brandt that He is in control, teaching her to surrender to His will, trust Him and abide in Him. She saw God’s hand when transferring to CSU was the one door left open, a decision that was exactly what she needed. She saw God’s hand in the time she spent working with Mission Scranton while astudent at CSU and how God used it to draw her heart to city ministries. It continued with a degree in Early Childhood Education that is helpful as she uses what she learned in child development classes for working with those who have experienced significant trauma, and as she educates those around her about the reality of human trafficking in their own neighborhood. urrendering to God’s will led to an internship at Cuyahoga Valley Church, through which she learned about RAHAB Ministries.
Brandt knows that her job is to be faithful, to till the soil and sow the seed, to remove the rocks and weeds that choke out the truth, and to watch God’s grace bring the growth. Her time at CSU taught her the importance of living in community so her brothers and sisters in Christ could encourage her, rebuke when necessary, and serve together. In the same way, her job at
RAHAB reminds Brandt of her need for God and the importance of walking in the Spirit and living in community, a knowledge she passes on to the tender hearts of the girls she mentors.