Teshuah Tea Co. Has Already Helped 63 Women and Girls in Asia Escape from a Life of Prostitution
PEORIA, Ill. — Brad Hopp of Lawton, Iowa, buys products such as tea, coffee and bracelets from women and girls at risk in Asian countries at whatever price they ask.
He then sells the products in his online store, TeshuahTea.com, and puts 50 percent of the proceeds into Teshuah House, a sanctuary for those rescued from sexual exploitation. The Hebrew word “teshuah” means deliverance. Women and girls who receive shelter at Teshuah House typically live there from eight to 10 years. They are often rescued out of karaoke clubs, a common location for sex trafficking, at ages as young as 11.
The two current locations house 41 residents, and the immediate cost for clothes, toiletries, food, and medication for each new participant is $2,000. The total cost for all residents is nearly $250,000 a year. Two women rescued earlier now work as assistant house moms.
The women and girls are provided multiple job opportunities through a teahouse that Teshuah House opened. Some choose to harvest the tea and coffee or to create jewelry, all of which is then sold on their behalf.
Since 2014, Brad has also been a member of Samaritan Ministries International (samaritanministries.org), one of the nation’s leading health care sharing ministries. Health care sharing continues to be a preferred option for many Christians as it allows them to help one another with health care needs without using health insurance.
“Members like Brad are what makes Samaritan so special,” said Anthony Hopp, Samaritan’s chief purpose officer (no relation to Brad). “People from all walks of life find that our unique, member-to-member sharing has many advantages, not least of which is how it strengthens their motivation to serve in other ways.”
Brad, who was a small-scale farmer and helped deliver firetrucks, got firsthand experience with receiving shares from fellow Samaritan members after suffering a broken pelvis in a tractor accident in 2017. He received a substantial discount of $130,000 for his medical bills, and the shares from other members helped him pay the rest.
“I really appreciated how Samaritan helped us negotiate the bills down and navigate the maze of hospital finance,” Brad said. “Another thing I really appreciate about Samaritan is how they ask to pray with you at the end of the calls.”
Brad and his wife, Megan, who have six children, were members of another health care sharing ministry but switched to Samaritan after learning that 11 out of 12 months’ shares “go directly to a member,” Brad says. “That was the biggest thing.”
As for the women and girls that he helps to rescue, “The thing that thrills me most,” Brad says, “is to know the hell and torture they went through is over and that they know the power of the Gospel—because they’ve seen it firsthand through the transformation in their own lives and of those in the house. They’ve experienced that dynamite power, and the power released on that country through these 40-plus women and girls is going to be amazing.”
The team also has also had the opportunity to lead brothel owners to Christ and watch as that impacts the women, girls, and other brothel owners in their networks.
For more of Brad’s story and how Teshuah Tea helps rescue women and girls from sex trafficking, see the Member Spotlight on the Samaritan website.
Samaritan Ministries currently has a membership of 284,062 individuals from 84,626 member households.
Unlike health insurance, Samaritan Ministries has no limited enrollment period. Government exchange-based health insurance requires signups to occur only during open enrollment periods unless one qualifies for a special enrollment period due to a “life event,” such as losing coverage, getting married, moving, or having a baby.
Samaritan Ministries health care sharingoffers several advantages:
- There are no network restrictions. When medical care is needed, Samaritan members choose the health care provider, hospital, or pharmacy that works best for them.
- The direct-sharing approach allows members to not only help fellow believers with their medical financial needs but also to pray for and connect with them on a regular basis.
- Monthly shares are hundreds of dollars less per month than the cost of health insurance premiums.