Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Money is a resource. Girls are not.

Money is a resource.

Before money, we had trading. If I grew apples and you grew oranges, we could trade apples for oranges and we’d both have apples and oranges. The game has changed now.  

I have a bachelors degree in Psychology which allows me to offer a trade: counseling.  And I have a passion: freedom for girls who are victims of sex slavery.  

And you have a trade: (fill in the blank).  You make money.  Now, don’t get your panties in a wad just because I mentioned money.   

We’re still talking apples and oranges.  

Someone else has the apple tree now and the girls I work with still need apples. They need to eat.  And they need a place to stay.  And they need a doctor and a counselor and clothes and toothpaste.  You have your trade and I have mine. Let’s trade.  

Unfortunately, the wrong kind of trading has happened in these women’s lives thus far.  These girls needed apples to stay alive but they didn’t have oranges to give. They didn’t have anything. So someone decided to make them the resource. 

Will you help me buy their trust back? 

Monday, September 24, 2012

The first known human to die


The first known human to die. (Genesis 4) 

Mentioned in Hebrews 11, he left a legacy of faith.  As a shepherd, he gave an offering "some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions..." which God approved of.  We don't know for sure, but the keyword seems to be "firstborn." It was his first "paycheck."  Later, it cost him his life as well because of his brother's jealousy. Abel had faith when it cost him something.  

In 2 Samuel 24:24 we see another example of this kind of faith from David, "...I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings which cost me nothing." David had faith when it cost him something.

What is faith costing you?

Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice.”

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Faith Kind of Morning

What do all of these people have in common: Abel, Enoch, Moses' parents, Barak, Jephthah? I would like to affectionately name them the "weirdos of faith". The less heard about characters from Hebrews 11. I have to really think to remember their stories from the Old Testament... and when I do remember them, I'm reminded of the DC Talk song from way back in the day, "What would people think when they hear that I'm a Jesus Freak?" These people were weirdo's according to society.

I mean, come on, who actually puts their infant in a basket and sticks him in a river? Jechebed does. But who talks about Jechebed, besides my seminary professors? And back to the question: Who would put their 3 month old in a basket in the river?!! 

When did we get it in our minds that faith is easy or normal?  This morning I've been struggling with the fact that God called me to move into a safe house where literally no one knows where I am. I am completely "off the grid." Which means that I can't invite anyone over, don't have an address to give people for care packages, and live far away from everything fun that's going on in my community. And I was slapped with the insecurity that no one else in my world knows what that feels like. I've felt lonely and abnormal in this step of faith.

But God... 

-has called me here.
-knows where I am.
-saw Moses in the basket when no one else could.
-is always faithful. 

Challenge for you: Refresh yourself on the stories of Abel, Enoch, Barak, and Jephthah. :) 

Thursday, September 20, 2012


yes, physically.

Where did we get the concept of "personal space?" My first language was hugging and showing affection... before English. You can ask anyone who knows me well, and they will let you know quickly that if there is a choice in proximity, I want to be close. Not just holding your hand, and certainly not across the room, but perhaps in your lap or at least sitting close. If I can be closer, I choose closer. Don't get all inappropriate on me... I also see the need for boundaries and recognize certain relationships call for more physicality than others. I am just making the point that I like physical touch.

Did you know that psychological research has found infants experience something called, "failure to thrive" when they are not physically touched as babies? Check this out: They've tested two groups of infants- giving both groups equal amounts of food and water and diaper changes. In one group, they stroked the backs of the infants on a regular basis, in the other, they didn't touch them. The babies who were untouched literally had stunted growth, ate irregularly, and "failed to thrive." The group that was physically touched... they grew healthily!

But lately my heart has been shaken through daily interaction with stories of women who've been violated physically. These same babies that need touch and develop healthy trust through appropriate touch are being violated and abused through human sex trafficking.

Will you physically fight for them with me?

I am letting my knees touch the ground to pray on behalf of the 100,000 women being domestically trafficked through the United States right now. Will you do the same?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Transforming Hope

Throughout my life, God has extended to me the unconditional love of Jesus Christ and an incredible amount of grace.  Emma's Home will offer this unconditional love and support by aiding the parents and a select staff of teachers, counselors, mentors and healthcare workers to provide individualized care for each young woman in an effort to bring each child from broken to healed and able to live healthy, independent lives. While living in Emma's Home, the girls will be home-schooled, will participate in job-training, and extra-curricular activities that will aid in their development as healthy individuals as well as participate in individual and group therapy led by licensed professionals. Our hope is that each young woman will leave our home with the knowledge that she is deeply loved by God and has hope for a new life.  After they are able to live independently, Transforming Hope will be available for minimal, general support for as long as needed. 

If I have learned anything from these past two years with Campus Crusade, it is that having a community and team is vital to success in ministry and life! Transforming Hope is a brand new organization that could not exist without a community of people who love these girls and want to see their freedom as much as we do.  So I want to let you know of a few ways you can be involved:

1) You can join our prayer team! I believe that God is the only One who can create real and lasting freedom for these girls and we need a team of people committed to lifting them and us up in prayer.  If you would like to be added to our prayer team, please fill out one of our contact cards or go to our website at www.transforminghopeministries.org and sign up for the e-newsletter which includes regular updates on how specifically to pray for us.

2) You can become a part of our financial support team.  In order to house one girl, it costs Transforming Hope $5,000 a month and we have room for up to four girls.  This includes her healthcare, groceries, counseling, and the staff salaries needed to care for her.  We currently are in need of 294 monthly ministry partners to give at least $50 per month in order to be a part of our Founding Members team. You can join this team either by filling out one of the donation forms or again, visiting our website and clicking on "Donate". 

3) Lastly, you can become a part of our volunteer team. We are currently in need of volunteers to help with things like event planning for the girls, office administration, fundraising events, and social networking.  There is also a list of specific tangible needs for donations such as gift cards, hygiene items and cleaning supplies for Emma's Home and notes of love for the girls to be included in their welcome baskets. We have set up Emma's Home to be a safe home for these young women with as much consistency in their schedules and interactions as possible. Because of this, we do not allow volunteers to come into the home.  However, there are volunteer opportunities to interact with the girls off site.  If you are interested in this option, please note that when you contact us through our website.

Family of God, I want to thank you for being a part of my life and the ministry God has put in front of me. Your love, encouragement, and support has meant volumes to me as I’m learning to follow God’s and trust His goodness and provision. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Transforming Hope

Many of you have asked about the direction God has taking my life and I am excited to share with you my faith story of these last couple months!  As my internship with Cru was winding down, I felt that God was putting on my heart a desire to 
offer freedom to women who have had a past of sex-trafficking

I prayed about it and applied to a ministry in Asheville to work as a resident director, but didn’t get the position because they wanted someone with more experience or who was pursuing a degree in counseling. 

So, I decided to move to Raleigh to pursue a degree in Biblical counseling from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, in hopes that I could one day work in a home with these women.  Thinking that would take a while, I put the dream on the back burner in my mind and started job searching to make my way through graduate school.  That’s when I came across “Transforming Hope Ministries” in the career portal at Southeastern.  

Transforming Hope is a nonprofit organization designed to offer freedom to girls ages 12-17 who have a history of sexual exploitation.  In July of this year, "Emma's Home" was opened for young women who have been rescued from domestic sex trafficking.

Statistics indicate that there are at least 100,000 young American women who are trafficked throughout the US each year. 

Emma's Home is designed to be a place where these young women can experience freedom from their past, safety for their present, and hope for their future. And guess what position they were looking for? You guessed it... a resident director.  I applied for the position, and got it!  Thanks for praying with me  for these women.