Volunteer Spotlight: Sparrow House Live-in’s 

Author: Bailea Tayler

In 2021, our live-in’s completed a combined total of 11,232 hours of volunteer time. This is not only an incredible contribution to the work that NSM is able to do, but also an incredible sacrifice these two women make for the sake of loving survivors of sexual exploitation. Allow us to introduce you to these rockstar volunteers!  

Tolu first heard about NSM as a social work student and has been a live-in since the end of January! She has found great joy in being a part of the daily lives of participants. Hearing laughter drift downstairs to her suite has become a favourite of hers. Tolu finds passion in her curiosity. Curiosity about God’s love, and why and how he chooses to love us. “… Living together gets rid of the ‘me’ and ‘them’, which should not be there in the first place.” Tolu knows that women who are/have been involved in sex work have been stigmatized, and the more she understands God’s love, the more she understands it is for ALL of us. Tolu is an exception addition to the NSM team. She continues to serve with dedication, commitment, and authenticity.

A Story of Impact from Tolu 
One day I came back from work, and just one of the ladies was home at the time. I was heading downstairs to my suite and called out to say “hello”. I felt the urge to retrace my steps and go to her room to respond to her after she said “hello”. I poked my head around the doorway, and she asked if I could pray for her. I immediately dropped my stuff and knelt in front of her, and she told me some things that were going on with her. It was such a privilege to have been invited into her space and into her life in that way. We prayed together and then she asked if I’d like to watch a movie with her the next day, which I did, and that was lovely! 

Julia started as a live-in with NSM in February. When Julia was seeking a new vocational step, a woman at her church remined her of NSM. When asked what her favourite part about being a live-in is, Julia responded “Beautiful moments. Some of those have been doing late night devotions with a few of the women in the house. And sharing life together. Messy as it is.” Being a live-in is a major sacrifice on time and energy, it is hard – but it is rewarding. Julia is passionate about the messy beauty that comes in sharing life together. Which is part of what makes her an incredible Live-in.

Julia is passionate about sharing the Light that has found her in the darkest corners and crevices, where the enemy may have thought he had won. ‘The Spirit of God is upon me, to bring good news to the poor.’ This is a concrete truth in the way Julia approaches her role

A Story of Impact from Julia 
The other day, I found an illustrator on Instagram who is sharing a foot-washing series (@saltandgoldcollection is the Instagram profile) where Jesus washes different peoples’ feet. In the evening, myself and two women had a short time of reflecting on what it would be like for Jesus to wash our feet and those of people who have hurt us…it was profound and Spirit-filled.  

The Live-in volunteers at NSM are high-capacity individuals who are committed to doing the restorative work of healthy community. These ladies not only sacrificially give of their time, but do it with grace, humility, and loyalty to see renewal happen in the lives of the women NSM serves. We are so grateful for the willingness to build safe spaces in our home that each of these ladies demonstrate. This month, we honour and thank them for their immense impact.