We are Josh and Lauren Gaines and this is our Rapha story.
Lauren first encountered the issue of child trafficking in high school through a documentary about Rapha International called Baht. She said:
"I couldn’t believe that something like human trafficking and sexual exploitation was going on in the world. Nearly 15 years ago, it seemed like no one was talking about it. Even those who were aware of the problem seemed to dodge the subject or turn a blind eye. But I couldn’t put it out of my mind. I had to do something."
In college, I continued to research the issue with fellow students and leadership. Ending human trafficking and sexual exploitation became my passion project. I told my friends, family and anyone who would listen about what I knew. It was also in college where I met my future husband, Josh, and saw his heart to help the world.
Josh decided to research the issue of human trafficking and sexual exploitation for himself. He said, “I am very business-minded, and became convinced of the gravity of things through information from the annual Trafficking in Persons report. After Lauren and I were married, we went on a trip together to see the work of Rapha in Cambodia for ourselves”.
Together, we felt called to support the mission of Rapha International by engaging with our communities and also by becoming financial supporters. Two Bible verses were particularly impactful to us: Micah 6:8 and James 1:27. We were both mentored by David Peters, Rapha's CPO, who expanded our understanding of justice, and we knew we want to be a part of seeking justice, and caring for orphans. As our story transitioned from learning about human trafficking and sexual exploitation to advocating, we decided to also become financial supporters by giving to Rapha.
After becoming financial partners, we found out Josh’s employer has a Matching Gift Program for employees where the company will double the gift that any employee makes to an eligible charity. Rapha was on the list, and it was incredibly easy to get things set up. Now, for the past several years, all of our giving to Rapha has been doubled!
It’s such a convenient and effortless way many people don’t know about. It’s good for Rapha, it’s good for the company, and it’s extremely good for all nonprofit organizations!
To find out if your employer has a matching gifts program, just go to rapha.org/match and search for your employer. Even gifts that you have already given may be eligible to submit for a match!
Photo Credit: https://capturedgracephotos.com/