EP 155: Missionaries to Survivors of Sex Trafficking: Dave and Bobbie Ebert

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Reverends Dave and Bobbie Ebert are on a unique mission to minister to survivors of sex trafficking using the power of improv comedy. With their help, survivors find their voice, tap into their creativity, improve communication, and rediscover confidence. As US missionaries, they use their unique calling to help those in need and bring light into the darkest of situations.

If you’d like to support our ministry, click on the Partner tab to be taken to the Assemblies of God US Missions Giving page. All support must go through the AG US Missions portal for accountability and transparency.

We are the world’s first Improv Missionaries. We are expanding our part time ministry of improv for survivors of sex trafficking to a full time ministry. As Paul wrote to his churches for support, we are asking the Body of Christ to help us grow this ministry.

Interested supporters can partner with us at improvmissionaries.gifts4glory.com

Facebook/Instagram: @improvmissionaries and @gifts4glory

Listen to Dave’s personal story on his first interview on the podcast here:

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https://dswministries.org/episode-12-guest-dave-ebert-the-healing-power-of-laughter/

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Dave and Bobbie Ebert

[00:00:00] What does comedy and sex trafficking have to do with each other? It’s not what you think.

[00:00:07] We have my guest Dave Ebert on the show again from the first season to talk to us about his Ministry once again.

[00:00:17] So find out the answer to my question next on the Wounds of the Faithful podcast.

[00:00:24] Welcome to the Wounds of the Faithful podcast, brought to you by DSW Ministries. Your host is singer, songwriter, speaker, and domestic violence advocate, Diana Winkler. She is passionate about helping survivors in the church heal from domestic violence and abuse and trauma. This podcast is not a substitute for professional counseling or qualified medical help.

[00:00:50] Now, here is Diana.

[00:00:58] Hello friends, [00:01:00] welcome back to the podcast. I’m so glad to be here with you. We have a great show for you. As I stated in the introduction.

[00:01:08] So some personal updates. Those of you who have been listening to the show for any length of time

[00:01:14] and been following along with my surgeries this year. I am back to work this week, I went back two days early because I was bored and I felt pretty good.

[00:01:26] So I am back in the saddle again. I didn’t go into too much detail about the surgery this time because it was pretty much a repeat of the one I had in May. The surgeries went excellent, my surgical team is excellent, and I could not have asked for a better team. I had very little pain and I had plenty of things to keep me occupied while I was laid up for two weeks.

[00:01:55] I was very glad to have the scooter the whole time from [00:02:00] day one. And I start 10 weeks of physical therapy, this coming Monday, and then I will be back to hopefully be exercising again and, maybe running again for the first time in like over five years.

[00:02:15] So thank you for your prayers and your support.

[00:02:19] And those of you that texted me and emailed me and asked how I was doing. Like Eileen, thank you so much. It really means a lot to me that you guys care about me. I care about you guys too. So any prayer requests that you do have. I am honored to bring them before the throne of God each morning as I, read God’s word and pray for others requests.

[00:02:46] So let me tell you more about Dave Ebert. If you weren’t here on episode 12, if you didn’t hear

[00:02:57] dave’s first interview. [00:03:00] Please go back and listen to it. It was excellent. He told his personal story and then how he started his ministry and So that’s episode 12. Listen to all of my episodes from day one on my website, dswministries. org, on my blog page are podcast episodes.

[00:03:19] You just have to scroll down towards the bottom for season 1. So, let me read his bio. And I believe he’s going to bring his wife tonight.

[00:03:30] I think that’s what he said, because they are doing this together. So… You wanted to get the answer to the question that I posed in the beginning. The power of improv comedy in healing and growth.

[00:03:43] Reverends Dave and Bobbie Ebert are on a unique mission to minister to survivors of sex trafficking using the power of improv comedy. With their help, survivors find their voice, tap into their [00:04:00] creativity, improve communication, and rediscover confidence. As U. S. missionaries, they use their unique calling to help those in need, and bring light to the darkest of situations.

[00:04:17] So if you’d like to support… Our ministry click on the partner tab to be taken to the Assemblies of God U. S. Missions Giving page. All support must go through the AG U. S. Missions Portal for accountability and transparency. So their areas of focus on their webpage here. Use comedy to break down walls and find the good soil for the seeds of God’s word to be planted.

[00:04:47] Rebuild confidence through fun, creative games and challenges so these survivors are better prepared to re enter society. Provide a needed respite [00:05:00] from the challenges of healing and recovery by creating a safe, fun, and laughter rich environment. Demonstrate the love of the Father and share the redeeming power of Christ to encourage forgiveness of those who inflicted the unimaginable trauma.

[00:05:20] So I think you’re gonna really enjoy Dave and Bobbie. I mean, what could go wrong with comedians, right? And I know that you’re going to be blessed with their stories and their vision to help sex traffic victims to heal. So, without delay, here’s my conversation with Dave and Bobbie Ebert.

[00:05:44] Please welcome back to the show Dave Ebert. And we also have his wife Bobbie on the show with us tonight. Welcome both of you guys.

[00:05:55] Thank you, Diana, for having us back or having me back and then first time guest, long [00:06:00] time listener, Bobbie. Thanks for having us.

[00:06:02] This is going to be great having comedians on the show again, and you’re on episode 12 of season one.

[00:06:11] So I already told those that didn’t meet you the first time to go back and listen to your story, Dave, and, how you started your ministry. So I definitely want to see what you’ve been up to since then, and you have some updates for us today.

[00:06:29] Yeah, absolutely.

[00:06:30] Where would you want us to start? There’s a lot to cover.

[00:06:34] Yeah, just remind the folks, what you do, and then I’ll have Bobbie tell the folks a little bit about herself and what role she plays in the ministry you have there.

[00:06:44] Awesome. So for the last decade I’ve run an improv ministry based here in Chicago where we just bring the light of Christ into various rooms using comedy to bring people together.

[00:06:57] Most of our shows have been either ministry to the [00:07:00] homeless or has been fundraisers where we’ve raised funds for everything from animal care shelters to people who lost part of their home in a fire. To Camps for Foster Kids, and it’s all about bringing people together and uniting them in laughter, because I truly believe that laughter is a gift from God because He knew that things would get stressful and Science bears out that laughter is such a stress reliever, such a healthy benefit for the body that there’s no way that happened by accident.

[00:07:30] God designed laughter as a gift to help us kind of deal with the things that are stressful and help us forget the things that really aren’t our burdens to carry. And, part of that ministry included for the last four and a half years, I’ve been working at Salt and Light Coalition in Chicago working with survivors of sex trafficking, using improv as a way to kind of break down the walls that they’ve had to put up to, just to survive, because frankly, they’ve been through hell on earth and [00:08:00] to survive.

[00:08:00] You’ve got to develop some calluses and around their heart, around, inside there’s just so many calluses and walls that are up and the gift of laughter kind of unlocks that and allows them to really advance in their healing.

[00:08:14] I’m such a big supporter of what you do, Dave, and when you talk about Oh, God created humor.

[00:08:21] I, I really wished in scripture, there was more of like Jesus laughing or Jesus telling jokes, don’t you?

[00:08:29] Yeah. I think that the human experience would tell you that you get 13 men. Just camping out, walking the wilderness. They’re gonna crack some jokes. They’re gonna make some, funny things like, James and John teased Peter, oh help me Lord, I’m drowning, help me!

[00:08:46] And, he would fire back, hey, at least I got out of the boat. And the whole the verse where Jesus is talking about it’s easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle. To me, that’s, that could be taken as a [00:09:00] sarcastic moment, like, just Jesus In front of everybody, just like, making this comment, which is so ludicrous.

[00:09:08] It could easily be interpreted as being a funny comment. I mean, a camel obviously can’t pass through a needle. So, I think that there are moments you can find in Scripture that are funny. It wasn’t his focus, but Proverbs 17, 22 says, light heart is like good medicine. Some translations say laughter is like good medicine.

[00:09:33] So I think if it’s covered at least once, then we can stick to it. Cause the Bible is true from front to back, but yeah, well, it would be kind of fun to hear like open night in Jerusalem, open mic night. Yeah.

[00:09:50] So, Bobbie, why don’t you tell the folks about your background and how you met the Lord, maybe and how you met Dave.

[00:09:58] Yeah, so I am [00:10:00] Bobbie Ebert, Dave’s wife, we’ve been married for eight years and my testimony starts in my childhood. It’s through a series of abuse growing up all the way from

[00:10:14] Junior high all the way through high school. It became pretty serious. The police ended up being, getting involved and and just a wide variety of things that happened with all of that and being severe trauma. The Lord, Revealed to me in a vision, my sinful nature and so how that happened was I was in a counseling session at a crisis center and it was in the middle of that crisis center session that the Lord gave me this vision of a Santa Claus list, where it has one side’s all naughty and then a nice.

[00:10:53] But instead of it being naughty and nice and who’s on that list and it was all of my sins and I couldn’t [00:11:00] read them. And I just remember like staring off in this, what would look to other people as if a daze. I was in a daydream and I was just feeling mortified about myself and the counselor had no idea what was going on.

[00:11:16] I was just looking off and, the car ride home, I was just, very silent. I was staying with my best friend and her family. And so they were my transportation, obviously. And I would just start repenting and just like asking Jesus to forgive me for salvation. And The one thing that I had a hard time wrapping my mind around was how does the blood of Jesus actually cleanse us?

[00:11:51] That is a dirty substance. How does that actually cleanse us? And I could not wrap my mind around that until that moment of [00:12:00] salvation and that veil was It came right off and I just had this instant understanding. So that was pretty amazing. And fast forward, through a few more years of going through like hope and healing and some other counseling sessions.

[00:12:20] The Lord did a really huge work in my heart and in my spirit and even in my mind, like, just completely renewed me and healed me. There is one Wednesday night I went to a church service where I was attending at that time, happened to be at the back of the subdivision where I grew up.

[00:12:41] And my dad still lived in our childhood home at that time. And on the way to church that Wednesday night, the Lord convicted me and told me three times. Forgive your father. And I said, no, I am not. And after that third time I said, fine, Lord. I will forgive [00:13:00] him if I drive by his house, I see the lights are on and he’s up, and awake.

[00:13:07] So after service, I drove by and I pulled him from the house. And of course, all the lights are on, doors are open, windows are open. He’s watching TV. So I’m like, oh so I arrived unannounced. And he let me in and we chatted and he had no idea why I was there. And finally I get up to excuse myself so I can travel home.

[00:13:33] It was a 45 minute ride to where I was living ’cause I had since moved in with another family member. And. As I’m walking out the door, I literally have my body half in and half out of the door and I turn and I said, I forgive you. And I was walking out that door and he says, hold on a minute. You get back in here.[00:14:00] [00:14:02] And he says, What is this, a 12 step program you’re going through? So I came back and I sat back down and I just told him, I forgive you of everything that has ever happened in my childhood, everything that you’ve ever done and all, I went on and he’s like, it created this special moment where he opened up and started talking about his childhood and the trauma and different things that he experienced.

[00:14:33] And he was still very unrepentant. Still is to this day, still denies everything that has Ever taken place mostly cause he’s protecting himself and from being vulnerable, and having to actually repent. But it created this beautiful moment that had I disobeyed God, my dad to this day [00:15:00] would not be open to hearing about Jesus.

[00:15:04] He doesn’t always want to hear it from me, but he’ll ask me questions. He’ll ask me questions and he’ll ask Dave questions and Dave has his unique way of being able to create this bond with my dad, where my dad’s more open to speak with him versus me. And that’s okay. Yeah. Cause he’s still going to get the gospel.

[00:15:25] So I’m glad that he’s open and he’s been open for 15 years now, and now he’s just starting to do a Bible study with a friend. So, God will use anybody and it doesn’t have to be me. I planted, I watered seeds, but God gives an increase and he’ll use anybody. And I just pray, Lord, I don’t care who it is.

[00:15:51] I just pray for his salvation. And he’s really into The Chosen and The Chosen brings the word to life in a way that [00:16:00] most people haven’t even thought of before, and so The Chosen has been really powerful in getting him closer and closer to taking that final step and like, yes, Lord, I’m yours.

[00:16:10] So it’s been really exciting to see over the last eight years to see her dad really grow in that way and get closer and closer. He’s in a crock pot right now. Yes. And a few more hours to be ready. Well, I’ve talked about the Chosen on the show before, and some of the guests, and I don’t necessarily like some of the liberties they take with some of it. Who am I if the show is getting people to get in the Bible, to come to church, or to start asking questions?

[00:16:44] or renew their relationship with Jesus. So, I just, let God do what God does. Right. Yes. Yes. And I think that’s a healthy place to be is that you don’t have to think that they’re getting everything perfect or [00:17:00] doing it right. And there are times that we’ve looked at each other like, maybe they could have done it differently.

[00:17:06] But like you said, it’s getting people excited about. And prayerfully, people are not forming their entire doctrine and faith based on a TV show, but at least getting their appetite wet for more of the living word.

[00:17:21] Awesome. I really just love your story, Bobbie, and that you are obedient to what God had called you to do.

[00:17:29] Even though it may be, you were a little afraid to approach your father, but. It looks like God’s blessing you in that way, and even the healing from the trauma that you’ve gone through, that’s a journey too. Now how did you meet Dave?

[00:17:45] I was previously engaged and after that engagement broke off I was like, Lord,

[00:17:51] like it’s just you and me.

[00:17:54] Yeah. And some of that was just a couple of years of [00:18:00] healing and being able to move on from that previous engagement. Cause it was a long term relationship. We were together for over five years, so, I’ve been told by a counselor in the past that, when you have something happen, you count how many years you’ve experienced that, divide it in half, and that’s about how long it takes to like be able to move on from that, to heal from that.

[00:18:28] And it was probably about that halfway mark that I really felt like I was ready to move on. And I… The Lord was blessing me to move on and to be open to dating again. And there’s a few people who presented themselves and Christians and non Christians and the non Christians. I was like, you’re going to be wasting your time.

[00:18:52] And you’re going to be wasting my time. Yeah, but. Even the Christians who presented themselves, they [00:19:00] weren’t, they still weren’t the right ones that God wanted for me. And I am grateful because the Lord really showed me to be more discerning.

[00:19:10] So fast forward, I, one day was like, I’ve always been against. online dating, meeting people through dating websites and stuff, but I was like done. I was tired of being single and crying my eyes out in my pillow every night and I said Lord, I don’t care. I’m doing this. So I signed up for Christian Mingle that night and the next day I met a friend of Dave’s.

[00:19:42] And we got, together and We kind of tested things out for a couple of months, and it wasn’t a right fit, but during that time, I met Dave. He was actually dating somebody else that he had met on Christian Mingle, [00:20:00] and… Actually, I met her on Plenty of Fish.

[00:20:03] Oh, sorry. The free site. Well, you were on Christian Mingle, though. The free version. I paid. Anyway, so we would all hang out as a group of friends, and his relationship ended. My relationship ended with his friend and fast forward about three four months. And the guy I was dating, he was having a Mark Schultz concert at his church and he needed help.

[00:20:38] And I was like, you need some help. So I’m like, I volunteered to help him at his concert because he really needs volunteers. And So it was when we were there that Dave and showed interest in me and inquired like, so what is going on between the two of you? And he gave his blessing for Dave to make his [00:21:00] move and David did.

[00:21:03] And he friended me on Facebook along with some other people I met at the church that night. So I was like, okay, whatever. It’s just people that I’ve met. Friending me on Facebook, but then we would start chatting on Messenger for hours on end, and he would try flirting with me, and I was like, Dave, stop, you’re, like, you’re flirting with me, stop.

[00:21:25] And I would use his cheesy line, like, hey, I can’t help it, I’m a Libra, I’m a hopeless romantic. What would you say, Dave? Give us one of your best lines here.

[00:21:37] I would just, say, she had a nice smile, just simple flirty stuff trying to make her laugh through Facebook Messenger. I don’t really remember any of my lines. I honestly don’t remember either, but fast forward come March, he asks me to go to a concert. Oh, he is asking me out on a date.

[00:21:59] [00:22:00] And I wasn’t for that. And so I assume like a bunch of your guy friends are going. And he’s like, well, actually. It’s just, I was trying to find my sister and I’m asking you. I was like crap.

[00:22:17] So I agreed to go and it was so awkward. How do I connect with these people? His sister ended up not going. So it was just me and his friend that he had started to improv the group with. And finally, after the concert, his friend started talking about Moody Radio, Moody Church here in Chicago.

[00:22:39] Okay, here’s a point of connection. Here’s something to strike up a conversation. And so we started to converse about that and Dave was freaking out thinking, Oh no, they’re connecting. But we really weren’t connecting like that. So, he walks me to the train after I protested because the [00:23:00] train was literally right across the street.

[00:23:01] I could walk myself and.

[00:23:04] But it’s Chicago, it’s late at night, and you’re not letting her walk by yourself to the train. But I’m not afraid of the city, so I’ve had plenty of experiences on my own and as a young kid in the city, in some rough neighborhoods, so I’m pretty confident. But anyway, I let him walk me to the train, and I have this anxiety about, Making sure I’m on the trains right away, and so I’m not missing my trains.

[00:23:35] So I get on this train and he’s literally like, what? No hug? All right. So for context, I walked her all the way to the platform, the train we’re talking, and as soon as the doors open, like literally as soon as they came apart, she was gone. And so, yeah. Yeah. So the lamest of lame ploys, I’m like, What, no hug?[00:24:00] [00:24:00] So she kicked me back out, gave me the side bro hug, and then took me back to the train. And here I am leaving this day thinking like, man, I am in the friend zone. And men, that’s where the friend zone is.

[00:24:15] So the next day we are talking on the phone and we’re talking about this concert and what happened.

[00:24:23] And so to give some back info, the movie Courageous if everyone has seen that, at the end, they’re doing the Father’s Day speech and they’re listing off all the, I will declarations that they will do as fathers and men of the home and husbands. When that movie came out and I saw it, I was like, okay, Lord, whoever I marry really has to follow all of those declarations.

[00:24:51] And so we’re on the phone discussing this. And at the, towards the end of the [00:25:00] conversation, he starts saying all of these declarations and he had never seen the movie. And so it was like, literally God was slapping me upside the head. And I literally was on my couch, like. Oh my, this is my husband. Well, okay, Lord, so then it went from there.

[00:25:22] We dated for seven months, got engaged and got married seven months after engagement and now here we are eight years later. I propose at the end of church service. I had coordinated with our pastor and I asked him to set it up it’s like a testimony stay, like, cause there’s two weeks before Thanksgiving set it up as like, do you have any Thanksgiving testimonies?

[00:25:47] So a couple of people shared. And then when I realized that nobody was going to go after, go next, I, that’s when I started my testimony and then stood up to the platform and proposed and I was [00:26:00] like, wow. Yeah, so, but it’s funny, though, because… He stood up in his seat, well, not on the seat, from his seat, and, started to talk to the congregation, introducing himself and stuff. Okay.

[00:26:16] But then when he moved up to the front of the church, Oh my gosh, Dave, this is not one of your comedy shows. You don’t have to stand in front of everyone. Yeah, no clue, huh? And so one of the men in the church, he kind of thought it was funny too, and he’s like, well, what is this? Like some kind of proposal happening? As soon as he said that, I started backing up because I’m on the platform as part of the worship team.

[00:26:42] I interpreted the worship in ASL. So I literally was backing up to the wall as far as I could go and he starts his proposal and you hear the gasps [00:27:00] and stuff and I’m like, oh my goodness because I’m not Usually comfortable being center of attention and all eyes were on me and I was freaking out.

[00:27:16] Were you happy that he proposed?

[00:27:19] Yes. And he will tell everybody that when he. Will you marry me that I never said yes, but I did. Several times with my head buried into his shoulder and in his ears.

[00:27:32] But what is true, I did not give her the ring. She snatched it out of the box.

[00:27:39] But this is what is really cool. And so God ordained is the ring that he proposed with is his mom’s ring. But it also happens to be the same exact ring that I used to look at in the old, Sears and Service merchandise catalogs [00:28:00] when I was a kid. So it was a sign that, yes, this really is of God and this really is your husband.

[00:28:12] I’ve never heard that before. That is something else. Yeah. Eight years later and I don’t remember, you don’t have any children, right? Not yet. Not yet. Yeah, okay. Working on it. Not right now though. Yeah. That’ll drive up the rating.

[00:28:36] The TMI ratings.

[00:28:41] Because it’s been a few years, I didn’t want to assume, but,

[00:28:44] sorry.

[00:28:45] No, we just go with it here. Yes. And yeah, I can’t make this stuff up, right?

[00:28:53] Now, you were doing the comedy. The improv like part time right and you were [00:29:00] pastoring weren’t you Dave?

[00:29:02] We were co children’s pastors and have been together basically since we got married and so that was that’s part time unpaid volunteer here. Cause we’ve been at small churches and building up rewards in heaven.

[00:29:15] Yes. And the comedy was part time, we get paid every once in a while, but it was never an income generator. So I’ve had a few different jobs that paid the bills. But what’s different now is in October of 22 I got laid off. And the Lord showed us through several circumstances that it was time to get into full time ministry.

[00:29:37] And so, this September we went through missions training. And we are now U. S. missionary candidates. And we’ll be doing what I’ve been doing Salt and Light full time, which is working with survivors of trauma using comedy and improv to unlock their creativity their communication skills and remind them that it’s okay to laugh.

[00:29:57] It’s okay to let your [00:30:00] guard down and find joy in life. Yeah. So we’ve been working with specifically trafficking survivors and the need is they need to know that There’s hope for them and there is a future for them and that their hope is in Jesus and that their Future is in Jesus as well So through the comedy what we do is like the improv workshops with them and through that we’re able to break down the walls in their hearts and Turn stone hearths into hearths of clay and we’re able to share the love of Jesus with them And what’s really awesome in Was the unwritten benefit and the unwritten aspect is that I am a man coming in with these women who survived being abused and just put through literal hell on earth by men.

[00:30:58] So they’re getting a chance to see [00:31:00] that number one, there are healthy men that you can trust. And also because we’re married, Bobbie’s been able to come to a few of the workshops now and they’re able to see that. There is a possibility of a healthy marriage and we get to model those things while we’re also having fun and seeing God really break down a lot of walls.

[00:31:21] You lost your job in 2020. I lost my job in 2022 also, and it’s just amazing how God moves us in a different direction. And it’s definitely changed my life.

[00:31:35] And you might remember from our first conversation, Dave, that I was a missionary for 13 years Baptist Missionary as a church planter. Now that process of becoming a church planter is probably different than the process of that you’re going through to become missionaries. You just went through candidate school and what does that look like? So it started in January with the [00:32:00] application very in depth. Had to find 10 references, which to me was like, this is because especially for guys, we don’t have that many close people. We’re just like, we have, Jesus had like really three close people.

[00:32:16] Then he had the 12 disciples, but he had three. And it’s like, how am I supposed to have like three times as many friends as Jesus? But we got the references. Right. This is Dave Ebert. Yeah. Yeah. The comedian. No. Yeah that, that’s me. And so it was kind of like trying to find a groomsman for the wedding, calling up people from third grade.

[00:32:40] Hey, what are you doing this weekend? What’s your dad doing this?

[00:32:49] Right. And usually when you hear somebody out of the blue after 10 years and they talk really friendly, usually they’re trying to get you in some MLM.[00:33:00] [00:33:01] Hey, let me tell you about what I’m doing. Yeah, exactly. DoTERRA unto others as you would have doTERRA unto you. But so there’s application process and there were interviews with the head of missions, then interviews with the people who would be over my specific department several testing, a lot of

[00:33:25] forms, to fill out. Psych tests. Psych tests. Psych tests. And then… Yeah, make sure that we can at least lie well enough to, I’m kidding, no. Make sure that we’re ready because, when you walk out into full time ministry, especially with missions where you’re responsible for your own fundraising and support raising, it takes a toll and you have to be healthy.

[00:33:51] You have to be in a good position. Also, you have to be in a place where you’re not like escaping the world to say, Oh, I’m just gonna be a missionary and get away from stuff. [00:34:00] So they do a very good job of vetting and making sure that you’re healthy and ready. And then the candidate school, the orientation was six, 10 hour days of learning about fundraising, about how to honor the gifts that people give, and also the different rules and regulations that we have to follow because

[00:34:19] we are accountable to our home church, to our home district, as well as to the National Assemblies. So a lot of training, a lot of prep, a lot of numbers, and now we’re hitting the road calling every pastor we know the churches that we visited for fundraising with the comedy team. We’re connecting with them and just asking them for support because what we’re going to do is we’re serving organizations that.

[00:34:47] Don’t have a budget to hire an improv coach. So we want to go and serve them, free of charge and just rely on the body of Christ to make sure that our cats don’t go homeless.

[00:34:57] The goal is to also [00:35:00] eventually open our own facility. Wow. So

[00:35:03] like a home, like a residential.

[00:35:06] Yeah, like a residential facility for survivors, men, women and children, and to offer them, a comprehensive therapy as well as job training skills and things to get them on their feet so that once they’re on in this place where they’re ready to start over. They’re ready to start over and start building a life instead of, many trafficking victims when they come out of trafficking, unless they have an organization that walks up and, hand in hand, they either fall back into drugs and fall back into that lifestyle again, or worse, they fall into depression and possible suicide.

[00:35:45] Because they end up escaping, but they have a record because they’ve probably been picked up by the police several times. They’ve also probably got a drug record because either the people that they were quote unquote working for or by their [00:36:00] own desire to survive, they. End up on drugs, just trying to cope in, in many cases.

[00:36:07] And the courts really don’t care why you’re being arrested for being intoxicated or on drugs. They just know that you are. And so that makes their lives really hard once they escape, because who’s going to help them. They’ve got a rap sheet. They probably got no place decent to stay. They might have kids that are now in the system.

[00:36:27] So they have a lot sacked against them when they get out. And so we want to be another, be an organization that gives them all the tools they need to not only escape and survive, but to actually start to thrive and they can leave their past behind. And it will be just a beautiful testimony to share of God’s goodness that no matter what you’re going through, God can redeem it and heal it.

[00:36:53] And we want to do our own facility here in Illinois, and we also want to reproduce what we’re doing [00:37:00] because. We believe it’s valuable and it’s unique and it helps kind of fill in some of the gaps that traditional therapy might leave because a lot of the time, these survivors have felt betrayed or felt like they can’t trust people.

[00:37:15] And so traditional therapy doesn’t always work. It doesn’t always help them free themselves from their past. So when comedy is entered into the picture. We can kind of till that soil a little bit so that now therapy is a little bit easier because now the, some of the calluses in the walls are torn down.

[00:37:32] Yeah. So then it opens doors for other types of healing methods. Once you get through that big block wall, right?

[00:37:41] And it’s been amazing cause we’ve seen women open up publicly for the first time and share their stories where traditional therapies may not have. Worked in that way. If that makes sense. They find more freedom when they start to laugh. When you laugh in a [00:38:00] room with other people, there’s like this bond that happens, where you feel safe because now you’ve all admitted something about yourselves.

[00:38:07] If you go to a comedy show and you hear a group of 500 strangers laughing, they’re not strangers when they leave that comedy show, because in the midst of that, they laughed and admit they have something in common, and when you admit that you have something in common with 500 other people, now you don’t feel alone.

[00:38:23] Now you feel… A little bit of safety. And we’ve seen these women find that they feel safe enough to share their story for the first time in any kind of a public setting. And as once you shed light on your pain and shed light on what you’re struggling with, it doesn’t seem quite as big and as daunting.

[00:38:43] And shedding light on it allows you to give it to God and let Him finish the healing.

[00:38:47] Like, like you say, the laughter is so powerful because it makes you feel good.

[00:38:52] And then the laughter makes you feel better because all those endorphins and the serotonin levels are where they’re supposed to [00:39:00] be. And you look on the world in a different perspective. It’s crazy, like, oh, 10 minutes ago, I was depressed. And now I think I’m going to make it.

[00:39:10] And here’s something I like to talk about is when you laugh, when you have like a deep laugh and you’re like truly just enjoying the moment, you naturally lift your head up and automatically your eyes are lifting up.

[00:39:23] It’s almost like it’s a form of worship when you have a good laugh because you’re looking up to where your help comes from. And it’s just a beautiful sign because when you’re laughing you’re just, you’re letting this energy go, whether it’s stress or it’s just, you’re even fatigued, when you let it go, suddenly your shoulders lift up, suddenly your blood pressure drops, and you’re reminded that there’s more than what’s here right in front of you.

[00:39:53] You lift your eyes up and realize there’s so much more. And it’s just a beautiful thing to see. Let’s just also [00:40:00] think about it. God is our Father. And what good father doesn’t take joy in laughing with his kids? And when you see a healthy father and child relationship, they have moments of giggles and cackles and tickle fights.

[00:40:16] So what good father, him, doesn’t take joy in laughing and enjoying the presence of his kids? So I think that when we laugh, in those moments of where it’s pure and it’s just joy, he laughs with us. And I think that those, like I said, are moments of worship in a way because we’re reminded of his goodness.

[00:40:39] Yes. God gave us a gift. I think that people outside of the Christian community, they, they view us as fuddy duddies and stuffed shirts and that we don’t ever have any fun and we’re serious all the time. And we’re, about, reading our Bibles and praying all the time and that we don’t have any fun, but.

[00:40:57] I like your perspective [00:41:00] of showing the world that it is a gift from God and we do have fun.

[00:41:04] And like I said earlier, talking about Jesus and the 12 disciples, you get a group of guys together, they’re gonna goof off, they’re gonna laugh, and the adoration that the disciples had for Jesus, less Judas Iscariot the adoration, that does not happen when it’s just a militant leader saying thou shalt, there has to be moments of levity, moments of bonding and pure joy that’s more than just a rabbi teaching his students.

[00:41:31] The love that they had, the love that they felt for him to be willing to die for him, for his name, that doesn’t happen in a military setting. That happens in relationship where there’s moments of levity and laughter, and I can’t wait to eventually be be in heaven and hear Jesus tell some jokes. That would be amazing.

[00:41:52] Why did you really call them Sons of Thunder? Right. Probably farting around the campfire. [00:42:00] Oh, yes. Jesus, pull my finger. Oh, that wasn’t the Holy Spirit. Some people have like, checked out at this point.

[00:42:16] Oh, man. Love it. I’m so glad you’re gonna create a center as a goal in the future. After the show, I definitely wanna give you some folks to connect with that I know. I’ve got a lot of connections, but we have the Dream Center here in Phoenix.

[00:42:33] And I’ve gone to a few of their fundraisers and they’re an incredible place. They have the Center for Trafficked Women and Men. And we’re very close to Mexico. So we get a lot of trafficked people here in Phoenix and there’d be somebody to connect with for sure, because they could show you how to create the facility and, what not to do and what to do and what they’ve learned. They create like apartments for these girls.

[00:42:58] They’re like designer [00:43:00] rooms. They’re not just like bunks and, dorms and stuff. I’ve seen these rooms. They’re incredible. They treat the girls like they’re princesses. It’s really wonderful. And they do teach the skills of how not to go back on the streets and finding your worth in Jesus and your value.

[00:43:17] You’re not just a piece of meat to be used. You are a daughter of the King. And so yeah, I’ll definitely give you their contact information. Do you know Mark Sowersby? Oh yeah, he’s been on my podcast before.

[00:43:31] You may want to connect with him, he’s a survivor of course, big time. So, I know that we talked about a lot of different things was there anything that we didn’t cover today that you wanted to share with the audience?

[00:43:45] Well, one thing that we need to, if it’s okay to ask your audience this. We are itinerating. We are in need of raising our budget. So we can travel, can minister to [00:44:00] survivors full time, not just part time. And so when the Lord opens the doors for our own facility, we can get that off the ground and running.

[00:44:08] So we need that support if it’s okay. If Dave can share the link for Viewers to go on to if they’re if they feel led and just pray about becoming a faith promise partner and to support us the long term of faith promise will directly give us credit towards our budget actually being raised. Once we can raise our budget.

[00:44:36] In full, we go back to what they call the Go Conference, and it’s there where we do a little bit more training, and then there is a commissioning ceremony. So then at that point, we will be commissioned as fully appointed full time U. S. missionaries. So if the Lord is leading you and you feel like you like what we’re saying, support this [00:45:00] ministry and give us the opportunity and the tools to go out and reach more survivors of trafficking because we’re working in Chicago right now, and there’s a plenty of harvest there, but there’s also other places that we want to serve as well. You can go to partners.

[00:45:17] giftsforglory. com, and that’ll take you right to the AG website where our page is. And you can log in or you can sign in as a donor. And if you can do a one time gift, if you can do a monthly gift, or if you want to do the faith promise, which is just your promise between you and the Lord of what you’re willing to commit to support us, anything is going to help us get there.

[00:45:41] The website is partners. giftsforglory. com. And whatever the Lord puts on your heart is going to be well appreciated and it’s going to be used to serve many survivors. And part of what we’re doing is also doing podcasts because we want to raise awareness that this is an issue. [00:46:00] And we are hoping that between working with survivors, doing advocacy by going on podcasts or media, that eventually we’ll work ourselves out of a job.

[00:46:10] And that there will be no more traffic. There’ll be no more slavery. that would be the biggest blessing of all is if we could work hard enough and the world would move enough that we would see an end to it. Amen. Yeah. Even if you don’t have. The money right now to support Dave and Bobby, you can definitely share this episode, tell your friends about the ministry. I definitely have that in the show notes and we’re going to share the podcast episode like crazy and anything else you wanted to share?

[00:46:41] If you’re listening or watching, be sure to subscribe to the Wounds of the Faithful, check every episode out, and go back and see how much I’ve changed in the last two years since the first time I was on.

[00:46:52] Yeah, I’m gonna put the episode of Dave’s testimony, his story, in the show notes so you guys can just click on [00:47:00] that and listen to that. This was great. Had a lot of fun and laughter and learned some things and you guys are always welcome to come back on the show and give us an update, see how you’re doing.

[00:47:13] And when you open your center up in the future someday, then I’m going to come and cut the ribbon. Yeah, absolutely. I’ve been to Chicago a few times. It’s a nice city. So God bless you guys. And we wish you the very best. Thank you so much for having us.

[00:47:30] Yes, Diana. Thank you so much for having us. We love you and we love the show. Love you guys too.

[00:47:36] Thank you for listening to the Wounds of the Faithful podcast. If this episode has been helpful to you, please hit the subscribe button and tell a friend. You can connect with us at DSW Ministries dot org, where you’ll find our blog along with our Facebook, Twitter, and our YouTube channel links. Hope to see you next week![00:48:00]

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