This week I got to speak to the “woman”. This past week I missed a couple of calls from the same number on the same day. The call ID came with no details whatsoever and that usually means a telemarketer. I tried following up and after some phone tag caught up with a soft spoken, but frustrated lady who had given up on finding us as she had journeyed the shopping center looking for those free classes this week. She had even gone into another studio only to find out that “this” wasn’t their passion. She told me there was no point anymore because she was already clear across town.
Oh boy I was going to have to work a little harder to reel her back in. But would she let me? Or would she be difficult because she had the right to? Would I need to release her and perhaps refer her elsewhere? I had just finished a conversation with a recruit the night before about always speaking to clients and potential clients empathetically from their point of view, meeting them where they are before even attempting to state your own position. Less relationships and opportunities would be lost that way.
But here’s a little background: It’s human trafficking awareness month and this year, we at Passion Barre by Karingah designed our free community barre-a-thon classes around all our regularly scheduled classes for one week; versus a one day event as we’ve done for a couple of years. Proceeds from class donations go to our partners who do the work of rescuing and restoring women and children captives of human trafficking/modern day slavery. This is an issue involving an estimate of 27 million enslaved individuals (mostly women and children); a 31 Billion dollar industry and affects us heavily in the US and all over the world.
All we asked in our advertising is that all reservations be made online at passionbarre.com/schedule and barre-a-thoners arrive for their scheduled appointment.
This lady found the barre-a-thon information card and wanted to get involved. She thought, however, that the barre-a-thon classes were running non-stop throughout the day and all week (don’t think that’s not in my vision plan, haha). She came to understand the concept of reservations as I offered to help her get a class reservation but told me “but that’s not why I came.”
So there I was – stumped. “Oh I see – how may I help you then?” I said.
She went on to explain that she simply wanted to drop off a donation as she is THE WOMAN we are doing all this for… Whoa…
She was formerly trafficked and although she is unable to take regular classes due to the damage her body had been through she would love to offer a donation.
And I’m still stunned!
I’ve met and heard of trafficked individuals at different stages and in settings where that issue was the focus. I’ve also only ever hosted one member a couple of years back who had been trafficked; so it’s not everyday at our studio that I meet an overcomer still walking through the injuries of captivity who just happens to get that Barre-a-thon card and hunts us down in order to give and be a part of unleashing freedom.
She has gone from victim to survivor to overcomer!
I stuttered briefly out of honor, awe, privilege and gratitude and I knew me and God we’re going to have another deep conversation. I went into protective mode. I didn’t want to ask too many questions but we actually got a good rapport going, so I got the opportunity to convince her to let me treat her to a Santu class because it may address the fast pace movement concern she had of regular classes. I would be so stoked to host, stretch, speak life into and pamper her in that class! I would probably also be so giddy and honored to have her on our floor and in my class that I may have to restrain myself from hugging her right or kissing her feet or something (sure, I’m weird). Why? Nothing could define the convergence of our social entrepreneurship and freedom journey so far like the moment I had with her today. She may not know it, but what a hero!
Our walls continue to say:
“But this what The Lord says:
Yes; captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce;
I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children, I will save.”
From the book of Isaiah 49:25
She is our confirmation, and confirmation is powerful.
Till we meet at Santu class, warrior!