THE SOUTHEAST OUTLOOK - OCTOBER 12, 2017

VOLUME 46, ISSUE 41 Outlook Connecting people to Jesus and one another OCTOBER 12 , 2017 Southeast team visits Kenya Page 14 No longer a slave St e p h e n P o w e l l / T h e S o u t h e a st O u t lo o k Southeast member Summer Dickerson has seen the chains of prostitution and drugs broken in her own life and in the lives of more than a dozen women. God rescues Summer Dickerson from life of prostitution and abuse By Bailey Foxworth | bfoxworth@secc.org M any regular attendees at Southeast Christian Church’s Blankenbaker Campus know Summer Dickerson as “the lady with bright red hair who is always in the baptistry.” To those who’ve met Summer, she’s a passionate advocate for women who are victims of sex trafficking and a woman whose God-given mission is to love peo- ple, regardless of where they come from. Dickerson saw the horrors of human trafficking for the first time when she ran away from home at age 15. She was kidnapped, raped, beaten and left for dead. “I didn’t get the kind of help someone who has been through that needs, so I became a really angry kid,” Dickerson said. By age 17, she was dancing in strip clubs and selling drugs. “I had someone tell me, ‘You’re so beautiful. You’ll make so muchmoney,’ and I believed them,” Dicker- son said. “I didn’t realize until I was in it just how constant the drugs and chaos were in the clubs.” A few months after she started danc- ing, Dickerson was pimped out for the first time. “He treated me like he was my boy- friend until he asked me to go to a hotel for him,” Dickerson said. “Honestly, I thought I was going to pick up drugs, but the man in the hotel raped and beat me. When I told my boyfriend what hap- pened, he beat me up, too. I quickly real- ized he wasn’t my boyfriend anymore.” Dickerson managed to get out of one relationship, only to find herself in another. “My second pimp was the worst,” Dickerson said. “He shot my friend’s head off right in front of me. He buried me alive, kept me in a box with no food or bathroom and little oxygen for days, pistol-whipped me and tried to break me down until I had absolutely nothing.” Over the next several years, Dicker- son was trafficked to Georgia, Florida and New York before she made her way back to Louisville. “My life was a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from,” Dickerson said. “I was strung out on drugs, had kids I couldn’t take care of and contemplated ending my life more than once. At this point, I had accepted that this was my life. I believed I wasn’t capable of being or doing anything different.” Because of her abuse, Dickerson struggled to understand God’s grace, so she rejected Him. “I thought to myself, ‘If He’s so great, why is he letting me go through all of this?’” Dickerson said. Though she was still working as a prostitute, Dickerson says one of her greatest bless- ings came before she knew Christ, in the form of her husband, Curtis. “I met Curtis when I moved back to Louisville,” Dickerson said. “He was the first man to really love me. Even though I fought and tried to flee, he never gave up on me and has always been patient with me.” Dickerson’s life took an unpredict- able turn when Curtis suffered a brain aneurysm in 2014. Though Curtis sur- vived, Dickerson said she was scared and angry that things were only getting worse, when God intervened in her life in an undeniable way. “It had been a year to the day that my best friend was shot and killed by a client with a .357 Magnum,” Dickerson said. “I went out on a call, and the guy put a .357 Magnum on me.” Dickerson was with a client when he suddenly became violent and drew his gun. Please See Summer Dickerson, Page 4 “ “ My life was a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from. 502.548.0589 13121 Eastpoint Park Blvd, Ste 1A • Louisville, KY 40223 www.eastpointaudiology.com We provide in-office repairs on all hearing aid makes and models. 13121 Eastpoint Park Blvd, Ste 1A Louisville, KY 40223 TINNITUS: Common, Constant, Incurable — but Very Manageable If you have been experiencing ringing in your ears or a slight loss of hearing in one or both ears, you may be experiencing tinnitus. Our office provides comprehensive solutions that can help keep you, your friends, and your family healthy and happy. “ Let’s have a conversation about improving your life through better hearing. Our patients are a special part of our family, and we promise to treat you with the kind of care you deserve. W ’re experts at helping your tinnitus and hearing needs.” — Dr. Melanie Driscoll, Audiologist/Practice Owner 502.548.0589 We provide in-office repairs on all hearing aid makes and models. 13121 Eastpoint Park Blvd, Ste 1A Louisville, KY 40223 TINNITUS: Common, Constant, Incurable — but Very Manageable If you h ve been experiencing ringing in your ears or a slight loss of hearing in one or both ears, you may be experiencing tinnitus. Our office provides comprehensive solutions that can help keep you, your friends, and your family healthy nd ha py. “ Let’s have a conversation about improving your life through better hearing. Our patients ar a special part of our family, and we promise to treat you with the kind of care you deserve. We’re experts at helping your tinnitus and hearing needs.” — Dr. Melanie Driscoll, Audiologist/Practice Owner 502.548 .0589 Melanie Driscoll, Au.D. Doctor of Audiology In honor of hearing protection month join us for a complimentary hearing screening & demonstration or 10% off of custom hearing protection for the mont of October. Offers cannot be combined with each other or any other offers. Expires 10/31/2017

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