Confidant, Friend, Cheerleader, Disciple: The Role of a Residential Technician
The survivors of sex trafficking at Hope Center Indy all have a number of volunteers, prayer warriors and staff in their corner, but their most ardent supporters just might be the residential technicians that spend each day with them.
Residential technicians eat meals with the ladies, accompany them on field trips, attend worship with them, swap stories, and often just chill together.
Jen Norton, who has been a residential technician since the spring of 2023, views her position as several different roles.
Walking alongside them
It takes a great deal of courage for survivors of sex trafficking to come to Hope Center Indy and begin their healing journey. They often feel anxiety, fear, and hopelessness when they arrive.
“Every night I pray for them before they go up,” says Jen. “Their journey is so much on my heart. Life is hard and their journey is hard. I’m not just somebody to push them in their journey or point the way. I literally walk beside them and say, I’m with you, you’re not alone, we can talk about things.”
Being a friend
“There’s a natural bonding and connection of friendship,” says Jen. “The smiles, laughs, and tears; all the ins and outs of their day.”
Like any friendship, it’s about finding common ground.
“I tell a lot of stories and they tell a lot of stories. I mean, one lady played the trumpet in band, and so we talked about that cause I was in band, and another lady that came the other day, she played the trumpet. It’s just about finding common things that are kind of benign but fun to talk about.”
Celebrating their progress
Recovery is often slow going, but residential technicians know the Take Heart Residential ladies best and see even the smallest of improvements in them.
“I said to a lady the other day, Hey you’ve come so far. Do you remember how much you were struggling last month? You haven’t been there in a while.”
When the resident responded, “well I thought of it”, Jen replied, “But you haven’t been there!”
Showing Christ love Jen, who has a degree in theology, also enjoys the discipleship role of being a residential technician.
“They love to ask me questions,” Jen says. “We’re nerding out over Ezekiel right now.” As the residents recover from past trauma and begin to imagine a new life for themselves, it’s important they know that above all, they are beloved by our heavenly Father. Being an example of a good Christian is a powerful example for these ladies.
“I don’t have the answers to all of it for sure. But I know who does. I know who they can carry all their things to.”