by Jennifer Earle Strickland
Kelly Diane Galloway, missionary, visionary, and trailblazer, is affectionately referred to as “mom” by nearly 300 orphans and street children who’ve found refuge in one of the orphanages she’s developed in India, Nepal, and Guatemala. They were once the innocents of a deplorable culture based in illegal transport, and total defiance of laws and considerations of child labor and sexual consciousness.
She was ignited to become an active agent in the quest to end human trafficking after viewing the movie, “Taken.” Ever since, she’s been on her mission to help victims of this offense. Her work began with children who needed restoration after their rescue from human trafficking. Describing all of her adventures as “blessings,” her journey has included living among the “broken,” in huts and tents; dressing in their culturally accepted attire; and enduring pestilences, including lice and fleas, and even an attempted kidnapping by traffickers. Her countenance shifts from joyful to solemn as she shares one of her most heart-wrenching experiences, when a desperate mother begged her to take in her daughters, who were being prostituted by their father in exchange for the best pickings from a garbage dump. The youngest child was just 4 years old. Thankfully, all are survivors, adopted, and safe.
While fulfilling her God-ordered assignment to serve others, she worked in a safe-house for female victims of the human trafficking trade. That’s where she met Ramona, a native of the Dominican Republic, who escaped what was meant to be the inevitable, and who always displayed hope, as a survivor. When Kelly Diane asked her what made her so happy; what brought her joy every day, she quoted a Bible verse, Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” From that moment, Galloway knew Mona’s House would be the safe place where human trafficking victims could be restored and made whole through holistic programs and services that foster the healing of the entire woman: emotionally, financially, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
It’s said that love is what love does, and Galloway says that “My way of
showing God’s Love is to serve them, love them, and to be light to them.” This describes the culture of her organization, Project Mona’s House, a safe haven for women, 18 and older, who have been victims of the heinous crime of human trafficking.
The U.S. Office of Homeland Security defines human trafficking as modern-day slavery that involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Annually, the ‘industry’ generates billions in profits, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable transnational crime.
2017 statistics reported by the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH), an organization funded by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, include 8,759 cases; 10,000 victims; nearly 5,000 potential traffickers, and more than 1,500 businesses involved in the buying and selling of ‘human resources. Eighteen percent were women and girls and 1,822 reported as African American and Latino. New York State’s data, through June 30, 2018, already reported 206 cases of human trafficking.
Kelly Diane’s journey to Project Mona’s House has been adventurous and
dangerous; rewarding and encouraging. Though her story seems like it’s encompassed her young 33 year lifetime, the Buffalo native and graduate of Hutch Tech H.S., and Liberty University, admits that it’s a bit less than five years since the onset of her pursuit to restore dignity and positivity to as many victims as she and her team of about 40 volunteers, both in Lynchburg, Va. and Buffalo, NY, can embrace.
Galloway’s experience includes being a youth leader in nearly every capacity at St. John Baptist Church, before moving to Lynchburg where she joined, and currently serves as an ordained Elder at The RAMP (Reaching As Many as Possible) Church International. As organizer of RAMP Global Missions, this devout servant’s personal mission is to preach the Gospel; do whatever she can to help the broken, those hurting, and those exploited by human trafficking; and to fulfill her Earthly assignment. Her social media profile plainly states that, “I’m just a girl that’s trying to share Jesus with everybody”.
Mona’s House is at undisclosed locations in Buffalo and Lynchburg, and its volunteers are committed to showering its residents with love, an experience that many are encountering for the first time in their lives. Women enter Mona’s House as victims; are transformed to survivors; and by the time they leave, they’re overcomers…”We have failed if we leave a woman in survival mode,” declares Galloway, “Our goal is to restore survivors to being happy, healed, and whole functioning members of society.”
Project Mona’s House has plans to expand the ministry to the Congo in 2020; to boost its active volunteers to 100; to increase numbers educated on human trafficking from 4,000, this year, to 19,000, and to have 19 new Mona’s Houses established by the end of 2019; to acquire property that will accommodate up to 50 residents; and a Mona’s House in every state over the next few years.
These efforts require both faith and funds, and while her biggest boosters are her parents, Warren and Lynette Galloway, who’ve made many sacrifices to support God’s call on Kelly Diane’s life (including becoming the guardians of her dog, Amen, during her mission trips), her faith cancels every obstacle that may attempt to hinder the success of Project Mona’s House. Kelly’s and her parents’ financial input, as well as that donated by supporters of her vision keep RAMP Global Ministries and Project Mona’s House, and its initiatives, operating as humanitarian services to so many.
On the Project Mona’s House website, Galloway states that “We must not allow ourselves to be found guilty of “waiting too long to care…”. Her God-given strength and tenacity empowers her to be a leader in the charge to restore all exploited victims, “until there are no more”.
Her greatest concern on her mission journey is that she avoids wasting time; that she gives her all to what God has called her to do. She doesn’t want His report of her life to say, “You didn’t do enough.” It’s hard to believe that could happen to this multi-dimensional woman and self-described “midwife” to dreams and potential, who is divinely-directed, and has countless testimonies of how her faith in God has carried her to and through so much.
Peace and Love!