“Rewriting the narrative surrounding sexual abuse and exploitation is critical in the Christian community. Hidden abuse left unaddressed in churches and other Christian environments destroys individuals, families, and whole congregations. We each have a story to tell. It is time for the church to listen to the stories of the wounded so we can shine a light on these sexual issues that impact us all.”
– Trish Propson
Where Pain and Passion Collide
Compassionate, bold, and a little dangerous– I have been called a lot of things in my life. I hope people remember me best for being a devoted Christ follower who passionately helps people find hope and healing in their sexual brokenness.
God got a hold of me in 1988 and transformed me instantly from atheist to devoted Christ follower. As I began to sort through the rubble of my own sexually broken life, I experienced a renewed sense of longing to use my story to help others. I began sharing my life experience with people publicly in 2003. Terrified of public speaking and certain no one wanted to hear what I had to say, I listened to the still small voice that told me to grab the microphone and step into the ugliness of life with others.
“That is when the concept of Illuminate was born– A calling to use the pain of my own past sexual abuse and exploitation to shine light on this issue to help others find hope and healing in churches and other faith communities.” – Trish Propson
The journey from darkness into light, from despair to hope, and from pain and sorrow to forgiveness and healing is a lifelong process for sexual abuse victims. That has been my case as well. In each stage and phase of my life, I have healed a little more and it has made me realize unequivocally that most sexual abuse and exploitation victims, never truly erase the crimes done to them, but they can learn to manage the wounds and walk in the freedom that Christ offers. Sexual abuse and exploitation know no bounds. I have worked with women in every stage of life, who have survived inconceivable assaults on their personhood. And just like me, there comes a time when they are ready to face what has been done to them.
A holistic approach that ministers to sexual abuse and exploitation victim where they are as they are foundational to what Illuminate is all about. The church has a critical role in helping them navigate a biblical path towards healing.
My calling and passion are to help others find the hope and healing I have found in Christ. I do this through counseling, advocacy, crisis response, and training up faith leaders. Our suffering may never be completely gone, but we can trust God’s mercy and compassion to offer freedom from the bondage of sexual abuse and exploitation.
Statement of Faith
I believe the Holy Bible is God inspired and holds final authority for Christ followers.
I believe in one true, living, and eternal God. God the Father is the creator and sustainer of all things. God loved the world he created. He sent His Son Jesus to die in the place of sinful man. Whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. They will be forgiven of their sins and granted eternal life.
I believe Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth as a sinless human to save the world from sin. I believe He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. He was crucified and buried. He resurrected and rose from the grave on the third day. Jesus ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father. I believe He will return to earth to establish the kingdom of God among men.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, who convicts the world of sin, judgment, and righteousness. The Spirit lives within Christians providing power to live a godly life.
I believe man was created in the image of God. Sin came into the world through Adam separating man from God resulting in Spiritual death. Man cannot come to God without being born again through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
I believe Christians are to be active, surrendered followers and Disciples of Christ. Disciples surrender their life to Jesus, trust Him for salvation, and receive His grace. They confess Him as Lord and Savior, practice living as He lived, and actively share His truth and love with others.
Trish Propson is a California native who now makes her home in Central Virginia. Growing up in a broken and abusive home, she lived in a volatile world of anger, sexual abuse, and atheism. God saved her at the age of 25 and she has devoted her life to serving Him since the hour she first believed. She is passionate about knowing God and helping others find healing and purpose for their lives.
Trish has two adult sons, two adult daughters, a son-in-law and two grandsons. Trish is an ordained Crisis response Chaplain and Certified Biblical Counselor. She holds graduate degrees in Biblical Counseling, Pastoral Counseling, Chaplaincy, and Christian Ministry Leadership, and is currently working on her Doctorate in Strategic Church Leadership as she tackles sexual abuse and exploitation issues in the church and other Christian communities.
Trish has published three books, Raising Little Women of God: A Discipleship Journey for Mothers and Daughters(Two-book curriculum) and Connecting with Christ at Passover: A symbolic Seder Experience. She has also co-authored books for Bethany House, Baker Publishing, and Guideposts.
At her core, Trish is a teacher, and she enthusiastically shares that gift as a trainer, conference, and retreat speaker, and discipleship mentor. She brings animated and inspiring teaching to topics that people long to hear and devotes many of her speaking programs to the area of life dear to her heart – illuminating the issue of sexual abuse and exploitation.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7