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How Zara House Became a Non Profit Organization


Zara House was formed six years ago in West Virginia and it is a house and rehabilitation center for sex trafficking victims. Co founder Ariel is a leader, pioneer and making a difference in the world of sex trafficking.

LAS116: How Zara House Became a Non Profit Organization

About Ariel
“I am the oldest of 5 and grew up in the church. At fifteen I rebelled and that took me on a windy, long journey through abuse, partying, drugs, sexual abuse, etc. It was about seven years ago that I was able to escape my abuser. Walking through my healing, I had wished that I had a place to go to that was secluded in the mountains with sustainable and holistic living to work on my healing. The Lord placed it on my heart that it would happen and that it would be for the broken of the broken. A place for women that have escaped exploitation of sex trafficking. We are in the mountains of West Virginia and working on finishing up the house that will take care of these women.

How did sex trafficking get on your radar?
“It’s always been on my radar but about ten years ago a friend posted a fundraiser for children overseas in Thailand and Cambodia for child trafficking. I went to Thailand and got to go to the orphanages for kids who were rescued that were at risk. This organization would go into villages and interview children to see if they’re vulnerable to being sold by a family member. There’s debt and poverty taking place and family members will sell their child to someone thinking they will be housekeeping or helping to make money in an honest way when really they are subjected to sex trafficking. I heard heartbreaking testimony of a child named Nhu who was sold at twelve by her grandmother to a tourist for the weekend.

I knew I wanted to be rescuing these types of people so that they don’t ever see that kind of abuse. This issue is rampant in America and has been happening for years but it’s just now coming to light. There is a documentary done by Exodus cry called “Nepharious Merchant of Souls” and the documentary touches on sex trafficking and what it looks like all over the globe. It’s a brutal, hard pill to swallow but this is the reality of what’s happening.

William Wilberforce was quoted as saying, “You can choose to look the other way but you can never again say that you did not know.”

How do you get involved with helping the fight?
“Link arms with organizations that already help. You can spread awareness that this is happening and be a voice for the voiceless. We are working on a store to sell items that will help support Zara House. People can buy Christmas presents on our website and the money will go into our program and help someone who has been trafficked. We also have an Amazon wish list that is updated regularly for things to purchase for the house where the girls will live. People have been able to bless them with buying things from bathroom mats to dressers or mattresses.

What is your mission?
“A home that has a program set up for women that have escaped sex trafficking.”

How a woman comes to us:

  • A woman has been sold or has been trafficked.

  • She escapes and has to go somewhere. She will most likely go to a rescue house and she will be referred to a long term program.

  • We have built relationships with organizations that do that.

  • We’ll do a screening process where they apply because it’s a commitment. You have to want to walk through your healing journey. We’ll be digging in deep to the trauma you’ve endured.

  • Women will go through therapies, counseling, schooling (GED), basic life skills. We take pride in gardening. We are a sustainable and holistic operation.

Our organization is about getting into the dirt, planting seeds, and watching them grow. Not only is that an accomplishment for the women but what a picture it gives. Zara means seed in Hebrew . We’re all about planting seeds into the ground, watching them grow but also planting seeds into the hearts of women.”

The goal is to finish the house by January and to build up the staff after intense training. There will be house moms and assistants that work directly with the girls as well as a counselor, office manager and our overall director. Once the women go through the program they have the opportunity for transitional housing which takes place in central West Virginia. Right now the focus is in West Virginia because that is where the first home is going up, but the goal is to duplicate this everywhere.

How did you end up in WV?
“Where we currently are is a poorer area here and my parents were doing missions work here and helping in the area. They told me to come check it out. I came to see the area with our board and when I first pulled in I said absolutely not. I would come here to nothing in the middle of nowhere. The first year was hard and I lived in a classroom at a school. I helped a girl whose mom was a prostitute. Her daughter was out on the streets at nine years old. I helped another girl escape her abusive partner. I started to realize how hard it was and what a total culture shock it all was. And now our team has been built up and each person feels hand selected by God. We’ve grown so much and have many homes that we’ve been able to buy.

How do we stop sex trafficking?
“There’s a demand that we need to take out. How do we do that? By shutting down the porn industry. Porn fuels trafficking. What happens is that you view porn and your brain gets a high and needs more. Then porn isn’t enough and you go out and purchase someone that you can do these things with. When you’re buying it “you can do whatever you want.” In the industry turning tricks is taken quite literally because it’s a trick on your mind. The woman will turn into someone else to make that person think that they’re getting what they want.”

How many people recover? Can you make a full recovery?
“I don’t know if one ever fully recovers from that kind of trauma. However, there are a lot of organizations that have high success rates when it comes to survivors walking through their program and doing really well. You have to be willing to work through the dirty and the hard.”

Who is the most vulnerable?
“Human trafficking is the exploitation of vulnerability.”

Where are those spots? They could be financial, mental, or physical. A lot of people think they are taken against their will and although that does happen, it’s not a full picture of what trafficking really looks like. They can be lured by false promises. A quote from Amy Lober’s book Fallen coming from a chapter about pimps says, “I really want to control the whole whore. I want to be the boss of her life, even her thoughts. I got to con them that Lincoln never freed the slaves. A pimp is a master manipulator. People have even said the word pimp stands for power in manipulating people.” A pimp brainwashes you and makes you dependent on him. He is the universe. When you believe this, he’s got you. And then he wraps up the deal by beating you into permanent submission. You already love him and you won’t leave and he knows it.

What is so difficult about working with survivors is that you have to reconfigure their brains to realize that what happened to them was wrong.

Inspiration of Hope
Even though our doors aren’t hoping we’ve been assisting people still. Survivors have come to us that have needed help and we do what we could. One survivor was sold at four by her mom for sixteen years. The things that she endured has been one of the worst cases I’ve heard. She came to live with us for a while. There are physical traumas and mental and emotional traumas as well. She lived with me and our director. I would describe it as “walking through fire.” It was not easy watching somebody who is hurting so badly and continuing to walk through things because of all the abuse she’s endured. Months later and she’s been in counseling and seeing doctors but we were celebrating her birthday which happens to be within a few days of her freedom date(when she escaped). She wanted to sit around and worship and sing songs to Jesus because she was so grateful to be brought out of that horrible place. It was a beautiful time to see her in this place of peace for a moment. She came to me on Mother’s Day weekend and gave me a gift and asked if I would adopt her into her heart. The tears and the honor for me to even be asked. She’s doing very well and she’s living independently with a job.”

What book changed your life?
“The Bible but I just read The Holy Wild and it opened my eyes to the idea of rest and what rest really looks like. My 2020 word was ‘release’ because when you release and surrender, you’re trusting. When you trust (in God) you’re able to rest. I’m releasing and surrendering to God.”

What gives you confidence?
Knowing that I have the whole backing of Heaven. It shows in your choices and actions in the way that you live your life. You have a warrior’s heart.

We are a voice for the voiceless. And we need to raise our voices as a unit to spread awareness that this is happening.”

Where you can find Zara House:

Facebook – Zara House

Amazon Wishlist – Zara House

Instagram should be back up soon!

Working on Zara House store!

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Hello, I'm Jennifer Deputy

I am a writer, blogger, and traveler. Being creative and making things keep me happy is my life's motto.

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