MEET THE TEAM
We are advocates, innovators, prayer warriors and servants dedicated to restoring the lives of survivors of sex-trafficking; For Freedom, For Life, Forever!
Deb brings a wealth of experience and clinical knowledge to NSI. Deb started her career and spent 6 years working with survivors of sexual assault/abuse through the YWCA Sexual Assault and Counseling Center in Lancaster. After realizing that a large number of survivors were also battling substance abuse, she moved into the Drug and Alcohol treatment field where she has been for 26 years. She says “The dynamics of trauma and substance abuse are intricately intertwined and the evidence is clear that both issues need to be addressed concurrently and appropriately if healing and empowerment are to occur. Today, trauma focused treatment and trauma informed communities are gaining ground as crucial tools to support and develop resiliency for those affected by these issues.” Deb resides in Mt Joy with her husband. She is looking forward to serving the women at North Star and excited to see how she can use her gifts to bless the ministry!
"The LORD your God among you is powerful— he will save and he will take joyful delight in you. In his love he will renew you with his love; he will celebrate with singing because of you.” Zephaniah 3:17
Alicia is passionate to see each woman find their purpose as they find restoration and healing.
"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails" Proverbs 19:21
Emily has been involved with youth ministry for 7 years now and continues to work with youth and young adults at her home church in Lebanon County. She graduated from Lancaster Bible College with a degree in Youth and Young Adult Ministry and Bible. She had the opportunity to travel to multiple countries through YWAM Newcastle for 6 months evangelizing and sharing the Gospel. She has since continued to be passionate about discipleship and leadership development.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John 15:4
EDUCATION AND BEHAVIORAL SUPPORT SPECIALIST
Paula has a calling to see God glorified in the education of each individual, so each person may walk in fellowship with Him and be the person he or she was created to be. She is a certified school psychologist who homeschools her own children and teaches at Lancaster County homeschool cooperatives. She has also been an adjunct faculty for Harrisburg Area Community College within the psychology department. Paula first began supporting women coming out of trafficking by hosting for Women At Risk International and now supports women in their educational goals in her work at The Harbor.
"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." Philippians 1:6
Sheila served with Youth With a Mission for 5 years and continues to enjoy working with young adults in her home church. She uses her administrative and bookkeeping gifts to bless ministries, but her most valued time, if not in a good book, is with her husband and kids.
“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22
After raising her kids, Margie felt a calling to homeless and abused women. She spent the past several years as a Medical Advocate for sexually assaulted victims and serving the homeless in her community. Margie is also involved in a strip club ministry that encourages, supports and loves on local women monthly.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, and to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” Isaiah 61:1
Maria grew up in central Pennsylvania and has traveled to multiple country since she was seven. In the past, she worked at a safe house, managed a coffee shop for two years (she loves a good cup of coffee), and was involved in youth group and worship leading at her home church. Most recently, she moved to Lancaster for college for her bachelors in Social Work and Bible.
“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:17-18
Kerry has always had a heart for helping people. She did a study through Laugh Out Loud Ministries and rediscovered after years of being a Mom that trafficking was that “thing” she couldn’t stay silent about anymore. She has been working at the Harbor for a few months and finding it to be challenging and rewarding all at the same time. “I’m glad to be a part of this team.”
Janelle, born and raised in Lancaster County, carries a passion for the Lord and a heart to see women experience healing and freedom so they can walk out their God-given destiny. She has been involved in discipling and mentoring women and young adults through various capacities, including Cleansing Stream Ministries at her local church. One of her greatest roles has been over the past 20 years as a stay-at-home mom!
“Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock. My refuge is in God. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before him. God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:5-8
Jaleen, from Reading, PA, is a 2018 graduate from Millersville University, earning her Masters of Social Work. She has over 3 years of experiencing work with individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Lancaster County. She has a strong passion for working with youth and plans to begin working with homeless youth in the near future. Jaleen serves as the Full-Time Program Coordinator at Good Samaritan Service but also enjoys traveling abroad, cooking, and time spent with family.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Nancy has always had a heart for people especially women who have been through abuse and difficulties in life. She has served with several mission organizations, working with teenagers, international students and military personnel. Locally, Nancy has worked at Water Street Rescue Mission in communities ministries. One of her passions has been mentoring women through Bible studies the past 30 years.
"Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:38-39
"It is a great privilege to serve Him as a Board Member of North Star Initiative and I look forward to seeing His vision and purpose being revealed and played out in the lives of our residents."
"It is an honor to serve on the Board and see the LORD work out his mission and purpose through North Star!” "God's love is meteoric, his loyalty astronomic, his purpose titanic, his verdicts oceanic. Yet in his largeness nothing gets lost; not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks. How exquisite your love, O God! How eager we are to run under your wings...You're a fountain of cascading light, and you open our eyes to light." Psalm 35:5-9
"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." Galatians 5:13
“It is my privilege to make a small contribution to the sincere and strong team at North Star Initiative. I have responded to the Lord’s call on my heart to reach out to women whom are in need; to help speak the love and the truth of salvation in Christ into their hearts and to not only encourage them, but to equip and enable them to move away from the darkness of sex trafficking and into the light and joy of living as one of Christ’s daughters."
“I first learned of North Star at church during Sunday School hour. The need to help women who have been victims of sex trafficking is great. There is a mission-field in our own backyard, and I am humbled to be a part of it. I believe in the holistic approach at North Star, and that our God is our only hope for true redemption and restoration.” Psalm 30
North Star Initiative began in 2009 as a grass roots movement known as Lancaster Initiative aGainst Human Trafficking (L.I.G.H.T.), formed by Christians with a heart to combat modern day slavery.
During this time, Founder Jen Sensenig noticed signs that led her to believe that women in Lancaster, PA were being used for sexual services just miles from her home. Jen worked for the next year with an organized crime unit gathering observations based on her interaction with local women, their traffickers, and their johns. The investigations revealed that the women were involved in a large prostitution ring that extended to several states along the East Coast. Jen's ongoing interaction with one of the women in a massage spa was the catalyst for forming North Star Initiative.
"That was the point that human trafficking now had a face and name for me... it was no longer a statistic. Ever since, it has become about 'restoring the one.'" — Jen Sensenig
The women were "freed" from the prostitution ring and were not prosecuted or deported. However, the debate began if these women were willing prostitutes or sex trafficked victims in need of support and restoration. This series of events caused Jen to become aware that there was an enormous gap between freed trafficking survivors and the restoration aftercare they need.
L.I.G.H.T. then transformed into North Star Initiative, shifting its focus to the restoration and aftercare of trafficked persons with the vision of operating Lancaster County's first restoration home, The Harbor, which officially opened in the late winter of 2017.
North Star Initiative received its 501(c)3 non-profit tax-exempt status In January 2013, and is a founding member of the Lancaster Anti-Trafficking Network (LATN.)