Terri Stipanovich had told her powerful story of her personal pilgrimage – her testimony – in an earlier interview still available on www.haroldhendrick.com. With the encouragement from her basketball All-American husband Steve (second in the NBA draft that year, then star of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers), Terri was to take her transformation further. In teaching a Bible study on the book of James – with its emphasis that saving faith is expressed in good works – she felt a calling to help the homeless … and, with it, a burden to help girls trapped in sex trafficking. That calling led her – from her affluent West St. Louis (MO) County neighborhood – to visit alone “Tent City” in St. Louis, where homeless people gathered. Then there was the yearning to help girls trapped in sex trafficking. This process gave birth to a ministry named Faith That Works (www.faith-that-works.org). Their ministry has partnered with Pat Bradley – St. Louis businessman, former alcoholic with a broken marriage who was dramatically transformed by Jesus, now leading a ministry International Crisis Aid (www.crisisaid.org) to “third world” countries – to sponsor Mercy Chapel in Ethiopia to help starving girls often trapped in sex trafficking.
“I (Terri) first went to Ethiopia last Feb. of 2010. It changed my life. The things I valued here at home no longer seem significant to me. I cried harder, laughed louder, and experienced more joy in Ethiopia than I could have ever imagined. The only thing that compares is the deep satisfaction I have experienced with my family … Steve, Katie, Kelli, Sadie, Hannah, Emma, and Luke.
“Since my visit to Ethiopia with International Crisis Aid, I have been determined to help the faces you see to the right [pictured on their website]. Each of these beautiful young girls has so much potential, but they do not have the opportunity our children have here. Zanabech, (lower right) was near starving when I met her. She and her family are now supported by Faith that Works and we look forward to seeing her in the coming months to check on her progress.
“The other issue these girls face is horrific; sex trafficking. Over and over you hear the story; poverty, no way out, starvation, abuse…young girls are FORCED to sell their bodies just to survive another day.”