Monday, April 22, 2013

When the words won't come....

It's hot in here.

Seriously. I realize that some of you may still be experiencing snow storms (is Spring slightly confused this year?), but where I sit it is quite hot. I'm in front of my work station in my office. I'm seated on a tall bar stool in the furthest room South of the stairs. There's is something about these rooms...they are exposed to the sun and get really hot during the day. It makes me sweat as I try to write out some wisdom, but my son's snake seems to like the warmer temps creeping in this time of year.

It would be far more comfortable to go downstairs and plop the laptop in my lap while I slouch in the couch. That is, however, not conducive to proper posture OR a fruitful work environment for yours truly. I really just bought the laptop to be able to take it on mission trips and still communicate somewhat....I'm technologically challenged. :)

Today, I must endure the warmth to bring about a post that has been bothering the very fabric of my soul for quite sometime. While on my trip to Chisinau, Moldova I was blessed to meet many wonderful people. The culture there is different, but the youth are quite the same. They love to laugh and play games during church nights. They worry about the future while still trying to hold on to the growing pains of the past. They are headstrong, but impressionable. They are passionate and some are quite bold. They are the next leaders of a struggling nation.

Several of those whom I was able to spend time with have had vast experiences of neglect, severe trauma and even slavery. As I spent time with these beautiful young ladies, I was reminded of my own young lady. My daughter, Debbie, is right at 11 years old. Well, 11 and 1/2 if you ask her! She's the mirror image of her dad, but has inherited my outlook on life. She has the attention span of a young puppy (hello!!! totally me) and can get caught up in far too many things at once. I still have to remind her to look both ways when she crosses the street....

My husband and I strive to provide a safe environment for our children. I'm not just talking about the alarm in the house and working seat belts here, I'm referring to security in life. My husband and I made a pact to not yell (in front of or at the children...though nobody gets it right 100%) and we make sure to eat right and exercise so they know we are taking care of our earthly bodies so we stick around for a while. We are frugal with spending so that they learn about respecting money and not being ruled by it. And I share my experiences with them openly. I don't crack open the Bible and read aloud everyday, but I will share with them what I learned in quiet time or what God has been showing me in life. Safety and security are really all children want and need....

Unfortunately, there are those poor souls who do not have safety and security in life. There are some who are sold as sex slaves so mom can continue her pack-a-day habit. Others are forced into labor at a young age because dad is either too drunk to work or out of the picture entirely. Some of these girls have been lured into the sex trade by those who prey on low self-esteem and lack of self respect. Slavery is no longer a game for the brute and forceful. Modern day slavery hits where it hurts....our very sense of self.

A couple of the girls in the restoration home in Chisinau have babies of their own. The babies are girls too and it is overwhelming to watch the familial reactions between all of the girls. Every single girl there is a mother of sorts to these sweet souls. These 2 little toddlers are being brought up in a place of love and hope, but I have to wonder what will be there for them as they grow? Will the chains be broken? Will a culture be changed? Will Emma and Bianca have a brighter future in a dimly lit world? Will they be afforded the same safety and security that my daughter has?

My hope for Chisinau is that security will begin to become the norm. I pray that as the staff of BOL work to end slavery, doors will open for these girls and those at risk. It is my dream and calling to press forward with a Self Defense Training Center that will enable these girls, who have been victimized beyond our understanding, to stand and protect themselves and their loved ones. It is my full intent to equip them with everything they need to help prevent future trafficking attempts. These are real people. Real lives. Real bodies that have been beaten and violated, yet they cling to hope. They hope that there will be those who will come along beside them and lend a helping hand.

All it takes to start a fire is a small blaze. One seemingly small Self Defense center can begin to change the fabric of a nation. One girl who believes in her worth can begin to change the mindset of thousands. Change can happen, but the spark has to be started.

The question then lies, are you willing to light a small spark? Are you willing to stand for injustice? I stand because I hope for Emma and Bianca to have a life as good as my daughter. Are you willing to stand with me?


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