A Trip that Rescued a Life

Jen McMahen says it was emotional looking through websites for young women and girls offering their services to men in Las Vegas.

“For me, it was really hard looking at their faces, and some have their ages listed,” she said. “A lot of these girls are college age, the same age as my own daughters.”

Jen, a member of Central Baptist Church in Lewistown, Montana, was spending a week in Las Vegas serving with an organization that works to free human trafficking victims and help them get back on their feet.

On this particular day, they were seeking out young women, texting them to start a conversation. Then Jen and others would ask each one if she would like to be rescued and send her a number to call.

Jen McMahen and her husband, Lance (far right), spent a week in Las Vegas serving with an organization that works to free human trafficking victims and help them get back on their feet.

Jen McMahen and her husband, Lance (far right), spent a week in Las Vegas serving with an organization that works to free human trafficking victims and help them get back on their feet.

“Someone is always ready to answer that phone, and they are able to go immediately to pick up those girls and take them to a safe house,” Jen said. “It’s a hard thing to see, but they did receive a phone call and they were able to pick up one girl during the time we were there.”

It was “a really good trip,” Jen said, and Montana’s Touch Tomorrow Today endowment helped make it possible for her and another team member from the state.

Sharon Ellington, executive director of Montana Southern Baptist Women, said in years past, the state’s limited TTT funds had been used to purchase children’s Bibles and other resources, but after attending a national WMU meeting, she felt a burden and a new passion to use that money to send women on mission.

“Many of our churches are small—mine is 20 or 30 people in a town of 300,” said Sharon, whose town of Jordan, Montana, is the most isolated county seat in the lower 48 states. “People don’t have a lot of money here, and anything we can do to help women go was what we wanted to do.”

She and the leadership team for Montana Southern Baptist Women decided to start using their state’s TTT endowment for scholarships to go on missions trips. The first one went to a young woman headed to Brazil. The next two went to Jen and her teammate.

“It has really taken off,” Sharon said. “It’s still in baby stages, but people are excited and giving to the scholarships.”

Each state or regional WMU has its own TTT endowment, which supports the state WMU. Montana’s TTT endowment has grown to a little over $20,000, still shy of its $25,000 goal but definitely on the move. It is one of eight states still below $25,000.

“The scholarships are helping us reach our goal of refocusing on missions,” Sharon said. “We are excited about our scholarship program to encourage women to go be the hands and feet of Jesus.”

Visit wmufoundation.com/touch-tomorrow-today to learn more or to give to your state’s TTT endowment today.

Written by Grace Thornton.

Zachariah Seanor

Director of Mission Advancement