Monday, July 27, 2009

My Beautiful Challenge

This is big. This is real big. And I'm super psyched!

For the past couple weeks/months/years I've been toying with this idea that's been rolling around in my head. Forgive me if I've already mentioned this to you - I have a ridiculously bad memory when it comes to stuff like this.

Basically, I want to start some sort of organization to help victims of human trafficking. I'm thinking, like, real grass-rootsy. The main focus will be on rehabilitation - but we'll start small. A big house, people that have had to endure modern slavery can live there and our organization will help them figure out where to go from here. It'll be small enough that I can tailor the program to fit each person's unique needs. So, for example, one girl is a 18 year old from Ohio who just found out she's pregnant by her abusers. She can't go home for one reason or another. If she decides to keep the baby, she'll need Medicaid and prenatal care and counseling and a Drivers License and to be enrolled in a GED program so she can go on to college. Soon she'll need help finding childcare and money for school, etc, etc. Another girl is a 38 year old from Brazil. She needs a way to get back home - her kids, who are still in Brazil, were kidnapped by a trafficker. She probably needs counseling, too - but right now, what she really needs is a plane ticket and maybe some help in Brazil locating her babies.

This is what it looks like in my head. But, who knows how it will end up. All I know right now is that I have a deep sense that it's a God thing. A couple of weeks ago I was at church during service thinking about this beautiful challenge and my thoughts kept coming to Isaiah 61, I looked it up and what I read blew me away:

1 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,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,

2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called mighty oaks,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.

6 And you will be called priests of the LORD,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.

7 Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.

8 "For I, the LORD, love justice;
I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
and make an everlasting covenant with them.

9 Their descendants will be known among the nations
and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
that they are a people the LORD has blessed."

10 I delight greatly in the LORD;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness
and praise spring up before all nations. [TNIV from]

I've been praying and dreaming about a tangible way I can really dive in and help fight slavery and I think God is leading toward that. So, here we go! Phase 1 - The Research Phase. My friends: Jess H. and Priscilla and Mike immediately come to mind because their research skills absolutely dazzle me!

Ooh, speaking of amazingly wonderful people - We sang this song at church this weekend and I'd like to dedicate it to Andrea and Abi and Meghan and Amie and Jess and Jess and Priscilla because it makes me think of you guys and cry. :)

One last thing - calling all people serious about helping to build this dream. So be it!

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