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December 17, 2014

Alumna Turns Justice Week Focus to Human Trafficking Victims

March 24, 2014

Becky Dymond often hears the kind of stories that would bring the average person to tears. And she’s not immune to them herself.

As the founder and president of the Hepzibah House ministry for victims of human trafficking, Dymond tries to bring hope and comfort to women who have been freed from the sex trade.

Palm Beach Atlantic University alumna and licensed mental health counselor Becky Dymond, founder and president of Hepzibah House, speaks in the DeSantis Family Chapel on Monday. She is the guest speaker in chapel during Justice Week, presented by Campus Ministries. PBA is a private, Christ-centered college in West Palm Beach, Fla., USA.
Palm Beach Atlantic University alumna and licensed mental health counselor Becky Dymond, founder and president of Hepzibah House, speaks in the DeSantis Family Chapel on Monday. She is the guest speaker in chapel during Justice Week, presented by Campus Ministries.

Speaking to Palm Beach Atlantic University students in chapel on Monday, Dymond recalled a time when, after hearing a particularly harrowing tale from a former prostitute, she began to cry. Dymond said she later apologized to the woman, whom she determined to have been a victim of sex trafficking.

That evening, the woman sent her a text message saying that no one had ever cared enough to weep for her story, Dymond said. The woman went on to say that she hoped to be healthy enough someday to weep for someone else’s story.

Dymond, who earned a master’s degree in counseling from PBA in 2011, is the guest speaker for Justice Week today through Thursday in chapel. The week will include a screening of “The Shadow Industry,” an award-winning short film on human trafficking, at 7 p.m. today in the DeSantis Family Chapel.

On Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the chapel, students are invited to a presentation on “Minors in the Crosshairs: Understanding and recognizing trafficking strategies that target minors in our communities and beyond.”

During Monday’s chapel presentation, Dymond shared another time when she was moved to tears. It was after she read a book about a 13-year-old who had been tricked into sexual exploitation by an older man. “I couldn’t stop crying,” she recalled.

In an effort to pull herself together before seeing patients that day, she began to listen to worship music. The lyrics of one particular song she heard were based on Psalm 84:1-7, she said.

She began to reflect on the psalmist David and his understanding that “God is safe,” she said. The enemy wants people to think that He is not, she said.

“It doesn’t matter what your story is. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. It doesn’t matter. God loves you,” she said.

She also reflected on the verse that speaks of passing through the Valley of Baka, or the valley of weeping. Suddenly her tears ceased, she said.

She said she was reminded that going through hardship helps to build confidence that God will be there the next time challenges arise.

Also, as a mother of three, she said that children sometimes view things as punishments that parents know are best for them in the long run, she said.

“It’s His goodness that leads us through the Valley of Baka because He’s a good dad, and He really has our best interests in mind,” she said.
 

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