If you listen closely, you will hear the heart’s cry of singer/songwriter Lisa Mitts as her hands move across the piano to “Where Has Love Gone.” Her lyrics tell a story close to her heart; one of human trafficking and slavery. While Lisa has never experienced this herself, she is a champion for victims of these unfortunately common crimes, bringing their unvoiced stories to the forefront and working towards the opening of a home that will bring safety, healing and stability to many.
I had the privilege of speaking to Lisa Mitts for a phone interview about her work and passion. As an artist, music has been a primary part of her life. She was raised playing the piano and was a music major at the University of Florida. She studied broadcasting and journalism, and later married and had four children. She indicates that when she met the Lord, her life changed dramatically because it no longer became about living for herself and family but seeking His will for her life.
After spending four years in Israel, traveling and recording professionally, Lisa released her third album in 2011. It was at this time that she and her husband heard a song called “Our Silence is Shameful,” by Luke Dowler and were shocked to the core about human trafficking. Like many people, Lisa knew human trafficking and slavery existed in places like South East Asia. However, that it was happening in the United States was stunning to her.
At the time, the Mitts had two daughters, the youngest of whom was eleven – not far from the average trafficked age in the United States. She and her husband felt they had a responsibility to do something to protect not only their children’s future, but also the future of girls they might never even meet. They quickly took action by shooting and dedicating a video to the Defender Foundation and then opening the Defender Foundation chapter in Seattle. Their primary interest was to support an organization – until they had the idea for Destiny House.
After supporting organizations that combat trafficking and slavery, Lisa and her husband realized there was a real need for a home that took care of women and girls from the start of their liberation until the end of their healing process. At the time, there were very few homes in the U.S. like this that existed. Although she knew it was a huge undertaking, Lisa and her husband stepped up to see the work through.
Hence Destiny House was born. It’s purpose is to provide safe and effective programs for the healing of victims of trafficking. The enormity of this healing hits home when one realizes that most victims of trafficking and prostitution come from abusive homes. Therefore, many women and girls are not just overcoming the brutal selling of their person. Sometimes they are experiencing love for the first time. According to Lisa, this requires a comprehensive program. Their vision is to have a 9-12 month program with check-ups every 60 days to see where the girls are emotionally, physically and educationally. Once the healing process has made headway, seeking jobs and a new life becomes a focus.
It is very important to Lisa that the program is measurable. As a survivor of a brutal sexual assault herself, Lisa recognizes that a program that loves, heals, teaches and then brings back to give to the community is the only way for true healing and meaning to occur.
One of the primary obstacles Lisa faces with Destiny House is solid commitment for the long term. People want to come alongside immediately because they are stunned and think trafficking and slavery are horrible. However, as time unfurls, many people become weary, distracted, and fall away.
Consequently, when asked what her greatest needs are for Destiny House, they really fall into finances. Although they still need to find an ideal location, she indicates this is easy enough with the right funding.
When asked what the “average” person can do to help end trafficking, Lisa expresses her own needs for someone who will be running a home for women and girls. She says that training is often the first step so that one can understand the nuances of the problem. Additionally, anyone can offer to do something from giving music lessons, jewelry making and cooking classes, and teaching gardening, to creating websites or offering benefit dinners at home.
Lisa and I finished the interview with me asking her if she could tell someone about human trafficking, what would it be. She says: “Human trafficking is not some far off movie, superhero dad kind of fantasy. It’s a reality that’s in your backyard. Maybe we can all make a difference where it doesn’t have to be that way.”
You truly can make a difference. Just do what’s in your hand.
To find out more about Destiny House and their needs, visit Destiny House Restoration Center
To find out more about Lisa Mitts and her personal story as well as how to order her music, visit her site