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Pathfinder Center for Human Trafficking

We needed a Miracle

love answered

Our Story

By: Lisa Heth, Executive Director

In late March 2015, I received a phone call from a man who was asking about a particular building in Central South Dakota; he thought our agency owned it and was looking for more information. While visiting, he proceeded to talk about a motel that he currently owned. My spiritual ears perked up; however, I thought to myself, “Why would I consider going to see a motel?”  


I found myself making an appointment to look at this motel the following day at 10 am. As I thought about this, the ideas ran through my mind. Maybe it could be transitional housing for victims of domestic violence. Later that evening, I went to a church service. I spoke to Pastor about the meeting at the motel the following day. We prayed and left it to God as I wasn’t sure yet why I was taking the time to seek out this motel; however, I knew God had put this on my heart. I asked Pastor if he would come with me to look at the motel. He agreed. 


The next day, I drove to the motel, praying to God the entire drive. I shared my concerns with God. I pleaded, “God we don’t have any funds for another building. Please help me understand why you have me doing this today”. I asked for God to “show me his plan and to have his way with me”. 


Pastor and I met with the owner and we followed him to the motel. We had a complete tour of each bedroom. From the top to the bottom, I was able to see almost every inch of the motel. When we got to the last motel room, I had a thought; “What about serving human trafficking survivors”. 


There are not many human trafficking refuges in the United States. South Dakota doesn’t have one and most domestic violence shelters have a 30 day stay limit. Most victims of human trafficking relocate for safety reasons; they try to move away from the person or people who they were trafficked by. These victims often need long term housing and an array of services to help them remove layers of trauma and to start the healing process. 


Pastor and I sat down and asked for God’s direction. As Pastor began to pray, a number amount flashed in my mind. I heard God’s voice; “Ask him how much he wants for the motel”. I proceeded to ask. The owner shared that he wasn’t sure the amount that he would ask for the motel as it wasn’t for sale. He eventually came up with a dollar amount. I had two weeks to make a decision. 


After leaving and while driving back to Fort Thompson, I prayed. Suddenly, God reminded me that I had prayed a few weeks earlier. I was in my living room, praying and I asked God “What next do you have for me, Lord?” I heard God’s voice as he softly stated, “This is what’s next”. I began to weep. I kept saying, “This is huge! God would you trust me with something this huge?” God showed me how much he cares for victims of human trafficking.  I could feel God’s love for victims of human trafficking and felt the grief that God is feeling.  


Creator God truly needs people to be a vessel to serve those who are less fortunate; those who are lost; those who are wounded; those who are broken; and those who have been victimized.  While praying that day, I said to the Lord, “If you want this to be your will, I will need money and grant funding”.


When I returned to the office that very afternoon, I sat down at my desk feeling humbled. When I sat down to check my email, I got a notice about grant funding that would serve victims of human trafficking. 


Wow! Another sign from God. 


After applying for the grant and waiting patiently, our agency was blessed to receive the funding. As the two week point was getting closer and closer to make a decision on the motel, I moved forward to talk to a loan officer at the bank. We needed to put 25 percent towards the motel. When I got off the phone, I said to my assistant, “We need a miracle”. 


I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down the amount we needed. I realized that this was exact amount that God flashed into my mind when Pastor and I were at the hotel. 


I spoke with the owner of the motel the following day over the phone. I made him aware that the bank wanted 25 percent down. “We don’t have that kind of money, but I know that somehow, God will come up with the funds”, I shared. The owner told me that he already spoke with the bank and that he would be willing to put up the 25 percent needed down and that we could work out a payment plan. 


When I got off the phone I started to shake and cry. I said, “God, this is scaring me and it’s moving faster than I had expected”. On May 28th, 2015, Wiconi Wawokiya, Inc. signed off on the loan for the motel.  


The motel now called Pathfinder Center. The name “Pathfinder” came from God, not me. All the glory goes to Creator God. He showed me that we would help women find their path, become self-sufficient, and find their destiny.  Every child has dreams of what they want to be when they grow up and Pathfinder will assist women to heal, grow and become who God created them to be and find their destiny.  Pathfinder Center will be a place of refuge where women can stay up to a year and the process of removing the layers of trauma that they have endured can begin healing.


Pathfinder Center will serve women and their children who have been victims of human trafficking throughout South Dakota. 


Won’t you please consider making a donation to a much needed worthy cause and

let victims of human trafficking know that there are people out there

like you and me who care about them and their future?

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