Bringing HOPE and FREEDOM
Torella McAlister-Minor is the founder and director of Mollie’s House, a safe haven for sexually exploited girls. Her love for people and passion for the rescue and restoration of sexually abused youths through the love of Christ compelled her to open Mollie’s House five years ago.
Torella McAlister-Minor is herself a survivor of sexual abuse. After going through the trauma of abuse and negative emotions of depression and feeling that she had no worth or purpose, God told her why she had experienced those things. “God just put a deep passion in my heart for young girls, to teach them the importance of who they are in Christ and who Christ is in them, the importance of remaining pure and holy before God,” McAlister-Minor says.
She began to learn more about Jesus and fall in love with Him, and when her relationship with Him was where He needed it to be, He led her to ministry.
At first, Minor was involved in Lady of God Ministries, which taught young girls about purity, abstinence, healthy sexual relationships within marriage, and how to set boundaries to protect and safeguard themselves from sexual abuse. Her first conference had almost two hundred girls, and after the conference they had a ball. The girls came in white dresses, escorted by their fathers or father figures, and they all took part in a pledge commitment ceremony and received Promise Rings. “It went over well,” says McAlister-Minor. “About seven years after that, He laid sex trafficking on my plate.”
The name for Mollie’s House came from McAlister-Minor’s maternal grandmother. “She was a true virtuous women,” says McAlister-Minor. “She loved the Lord, and lived out His calling on her life.” She would bring less fortunate children in and give them shoes and food, often refusing to eat until all the children had been fed. “She didn’t get the accolades that she should have gotten for all that she’d done for the community, so I wanted to live out her legacy and keep it alive,” McAlister-Minor says.
Sex Trafficking Epidemic
“It’s huge,” says McAlister-Minor. “The sad thing is that the age is getting younger.” It affects the whole community, because the victims are not from one particular class of girls. While many of them are homeless or from the foster care system, some of them are also from good family homes, and they just got connected with the wrong friends. “However, I will say that we have probably the best human trafficking vice squad with Fresno PD in our country,” says McAlister-Minor. “They are very on top of it, and the traffickers know that now, so they are moving girls quickly out of Fresno now.”
Getting Into Mollie’s House
“Most of my girls I get are through probation, and some of them are through CPS as well,” says McAlister-Minor. She’s even gotten referrals from the FBI before, when they’ve had young ladies who needed to be out of their own cities and someplace safe during trial processes. She also occasionally gets calls from a parent who suspects that their daughter’s boyfriend could be a trafficker, so they ask McAlister-Minor to speak with the girl and asses her.
McAlister-Minor contacts her girls almost immediately upon getting up. When she wakes up, she stays in bed and thinks about her day. Then she gets up and does a devotional, prays, and reads her Bible. Then she calls Mollie’s House and makes sure that all her girls are still there and still safe.
Advice to Her Younger Self
“Know who you are,” says McAlister-Minor. “Don’t let someone else define your identity. You define it in God.”
McAlister-Minor’s passion is her girls. “I just love them so much,” she says. “They come to me broken, battered, all types of abuse. To watch them start coming into themselves, that just motivates it, it drives me, it’s my passion, it’s my joy.”
McAlister-Minor recalls the story of the adulteress from the Bible. She was brought before Jesus to be stoned, but instead, He forgave her and invited anyone who was without sin to cast the first stone. “That’s how I feel Mollie’s House is for these girls. They come in downtrodden with no hope, thinking that this is just it, not even knowing what Mollie’s House is there for, and then they get there and they feel loved and nourished, and it’s sincere love,” says McAlister-Minor.
The girls live in Mollie’s House for about a year or two. For the first few months, they must strip off the trauma they’ve been through and recover from substance abuse. “Substance abuse is a huge piece of sex trafficking,” says McAlister-Minor. “A lot of girls took drugs to numb themselves to be able to work, and some of the girls were forced to take drugs because that’s the trafficker’s way of keeping them dependent upon him.” When they leave Mollie’s House, some of them go back home, but most prefer a fresh start somewhere else.
Books That Made a Difference
Other than the Bible, one book that changed McAlister-Minor’s drive was The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. It set a fire in her to find out what God’s purpose was for her life, and then to live that purpose every day of her life.
How You Can Help
Mollie’s House needs volunteers to come and teach the girls how to sew, knit, crochet, cook, and bake, and to do Bible studies and prayers with them. They also have financial needs.
“Our therapeutic services are paid through our donations,” says McAlister-Minor. “When we get financially sponsored and donations come in, it allows us to continue the therapy side of our treatment.”
Every girl comes in with only the clothes she’s wearing, so they also need to provide clothing, shoes, and hygiene necessities.
“I’m humbled that God even entrusted me to do Mollie’s House,” says McAlister-Minor. Mollie’s House is the only such home in central valley, and can only hold six girls at a time. McAlister-Minor gets about ten referrals a week, but she simply can’t take them all. “We want to expand,” she says. Their goal for the next five years is to open up a facility for emergency placements. So on January 13, 2018 at Tornino’s, Mollie’s House will be holding a masquerade ball fundraiser with the theme Unmasking the Face of Trafficking. There will be a survivor there to tell her story, as well as a live band, live auction, and silent auction.
Contact Mollie’s House and Torella!
Give McAlister-Minor a call at 559-425-6885, visit the website, find them on Facebook, or send them an email. Come to Tornino’s for the fundraiser in January and help Mollie’s House open an emergency placement facility.