I just got back from a last minute decision to go to Azusa to see my good friend Corinne!!! I was only there Monday and then came back today, but it was awesome! We drove down the coast for a few hours and walked on the beach...it was exactly what I needed...some 80 degree weather and to see the ocean! The drive there is roughly six hours long...can I just say, "I love my HONDA!" I got 42 miles to the gallon! I want to have it forever! On the way down I listened to my first book on CD...I think I am now addicted to it! From now on, every time I have a long drive I am going to get one!
The book was The Road To Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam. It is her memoir of her experience with human trafficking in Cambodia. She was sold into a brothel at nine years old...This topic is something very close to my heart. In June, when we first went to Crossroads, a girl asked me if I wanted to go with her to San Francisco...seeing an opportunity to make a new friend, I went thinking we were going to go shopping...instead we attended an informational seminar on human trafficking...at this time my eyes were opened wider than ever before to the world we live in...human trafficking in a sentence is modern day slavery...over 27 million people are enslaved right now and growing! Stats say that every 90 seconds someone is trafficked...These victims are forced into slavery, forced to do everything under the sun from cleaning and farming, to sex and prostitution...My heart broke completely as I watched a video at this seminar where a man in Cambodia payed only $6.00 for a nine year old girl...to have his way with her and then return her to a brothel...Can you even imagine it? I couldn't believe my eyes and ears as I watched...learning that in Cambodia...girls as young as 5 years old are sold into brothels...women are forced into prostitution and beaten...they are left empty, bleeding, and feeling like trash in the gutter...I was even more appalled to hear that one of the largest places in the world for trafficking is in San Francisco...and that even in Sacramento girls and boys are sold to work for unpaid wages and prostitution! Again I ask, Can you even believe it? Over the last few months I responded to a call and open doors to get involved in the effort to raise awareness on human trafficking...I was affirmed in this calling at the Women's Retreat in November...Joanne Lyon talked about trafficking and how World Hope is getting involved...She told stories of girls that had nothing...no education, no skill, no money, no family, no friends...just a torn up body and a traumatized mind. World Hope rescues these women and brings them to Christ...their lives change dramatically and a new HOPE is restored in them! After the retreat, God began to open the doors to get involved...Elizabeth Holmes, our pastor's wife, began to tell me that she too was called to get involved. I was asked to join the mission's team at church. I prayed about it, asking God if He wanted me to add one more thing to my already full plate...after a few days, I got this overwhelming feeling in my quiet times...I began to hear "How could you not get involved?...You have the ANSWER! You have the HOPE! I have great plans for you to reveal that HOPE!" So I attended our first meeting. After discussing the agenda, our leader at then end asked if there were any more comments...I felt an urge to share my passion for anti-trafficking...for victims in Cambodia and in the US...after I spilled my guts not sure if I made any sense at all, it was to my surprise that other's felt the same way! God had already prepared our hearts to get on board...we just didn't know it yet! So, we decided to start by hosting an informational night at our church (will be FEB 28 at 6:30 - everyone invited!!) and explored the possibility of going to Cambodia in November to work in the after care process with victims...since then, I have done a lot of research on the issue...some which is overwhelmingly heart breaking...last week I attended a meeting for the Sacramento Coalition of Resources to Stop Human Trafficking...it was inspiring to hear so many people speak (including the leader of the human trafficking wing of the FBI!), but so disappointing to hear of all the loop holes and lack of resources there are to help these victims...I am looking for open doors...to see where we can help and provide clothing or food or shelter...we are starting from scratch...taking on the world just one victim at a time! I am constantly bewildered...there are so many things on my heart and I ask God all the time, how is it all going to fit? I only have 90 years or so! ha He reminds me everyday that he makes a way...I can see it happening already, the trail blazed before me to follow His footsteps! You and everyone you know are invited to attend our informational night on Human Trafficking...we are having incredible speakers come and share ways that we can get involved to stopping something so evil...some amazing websites are http://www.love146.org/ (watch the video...it's amazing...) and http://www.notforsale.com/ and http://www.worldhope.org/
Thanks for reading another LONG entry!