Saturday, March 30, 2013

In The Beginning

Two years ago, I sat in my office in the Howerton Building, where I worked for the State, reading a bill on human trafficking for a fiscal note.  I am embarrassed to say that I couldn't imagine why our legislators were wasting precious time on a bill that didn't impact us when so many other more important bills were not being read. 

How naive.  How uninformed.  How sad.

I had no idea then what it was about, nor did I have any idea that one day that very topic would mean so very much to me.

A little over a year ago, one of Hayley's friends had a vision.  She wanted to bring human trafficking awareness to California.  Rather than do 30 hour famine, she asked our youth pastor if we could do a human trafficking weekend.  I thought it was a good idea, but I didn't really want to give up 30 hour famine.  After all, it was about feeding those who didn't have food.  Or clean water.  What is more important than that?  Why are we wasting time on an issue that isn't ours when we could feed the hungry.  Still naive. Uninformed. Sad. 

I participated a little during the weekend, but couldn't participate in the whole thing.  I saw a glimpse of the horror.  Just a glimpse.  And that glimpse changed my perspective.  Human trafficking was real.  It was really a problem.  Here.  In Missouri. 

I read up on it a little and signed up to get a newsletter from A21 Campaign, but was still naive just really what it all meant, why it mattered.  Then in July I went to Chalfont St Peter, UK, to participate in a Run the Race event during the Olympics {loved it!!} and one of the night events was a Stop the Traffik (misspelled on purpose) night.  I heard more about human trafficking.  The speaker talked about a book called Trafficked by Sophie Hayes, a British girl who was trafficked by her best friend and sold as a sex slave to many men each night.  I was stunned.  I was ashamed.  I was addicted.  I started reading everything I could about this issue.  I signed up for website after website and newsletter after newsletter.  I didn't still do anything other than read about it and pray about it sometimes.

In November 2013, I went to a women's retreat and again, human trafficking was mentioned.  That is when I said, "Okay, God.  I hear you.  You have placed this issue in front of me three times in 8 months.  I ask that you show me what you would have me do about it."  For the last 4 months I have continually asked God to show me what my role in the abolishment of slavery would be.  I asked a few people to also pray for me.  I was not sure whether I was supposed to just spread awareness, get a job in the fight, a mix of both, or be a prayer warrior.  I told God that I would do as He asked if He would just let me know what it is I was to do.

I began posting human trafficking information on my Facebook page.  The more I learned the more I wanted to share.  I wanted others to see the suffering so that we can end this.  I made it my goal - no, my commitment - to post or share at least one thing about trafficking every single day.  Some days I flood Facebook and/or Twitter with images, stories, and facts.  Other days I only have a brief note.  Some days I am ready to tackle this and the next I am completely overwhelmed by the magnitude.

It is on those days I have to remind myself that God is still sovereign.  He is still on His throne.  And I have to remember that I don't have to tell God how big the problem is.  He knows.  He put this in front of me continually until I got it.  I am a little slow at times. 

That leads me to the month of March.  A beautiful friend of mine asked me to do a {short} presentation on human trafficking at her women's conference at her church.  Apparently regardless of my height, I don't know what short means.  I researched and read; studied and wrote.  Satan tried to thwart this presentation, but he is a punk.  My God is bigger.  Once I began talking, it felt like home.  It felt right.  Not only was I spreading awareness about this issue, God was revealing to me His plan.

How is that for a cliffhanger?  Okay, it isn't a nail-biter like a season finale of NCIS, but I hope you stay tuned for "the rest of the story".

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