Teshuah Tea Co. Has Already Helped 63 Women and Girls in Asia Escape from a Life of Prostitution
December 27, 2021
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 make it to Teshuah House typically stay 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 current location houses 41 individuals and the immediate cost for clothes, toiletries, food, and medication for each new participant is $2,000. The overall program, run by the first two women rescued, costs nearly $250,000 a year.
The women and girls are provided multiple job opportunities through a teahouse that Teshuah House opened. Others choose to harvest the tea and coffee and that Brad sells on their behalf or to create jewelry.
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 self-employed Christians as it allows them to focus on their areas of ministry without worrying about benefits traditionally gained through employment.
“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 other members’ gifts 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 to know the power of the Gospel—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 this 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 282,201 individuals from 85,402 households.
Unlike health insurance, Samaritan Ministries has no limited enrollment period. 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:
- No network restrictions. When medical care is needed, Samaritan members choose the health care provider, hospital, and pharmacy that work best for them.
- The direct-sharing approach allows members to not only help fellow believers with their medical financial needs but to pray for and connect with them on a regular basis.
- Monthly shares are hundreds of dollars less per month than health insurance.
Samaritan Ministries gives people of Biblical faith an effective, Bible-driven health care community in which approximately $30 million in medical needs is shared person to person every month. Over the past 27 years, Samaritan Ministries members have shared more than $3 billion in needs while also praying for and encouraging fellow members through personal notes, cards and letters.