Sunday, October 3, 2010

Stop Child Trafficking Now Walk

This was such a great day! My mom, Melissa, Cynthia and I were the representatives walking from our friends and family. I was so blessed that they joined me and I know the more we all learn the more our hearts break for the innocent children enslaved in trafficking and prostitution in our own state.

After check-in we were welcomed and then had a few guest speakers, a representative from the Mayors office, a wonderful, passionate woman from Shared Hope International, Senator Wyden surprised the crowd. Apparently he is in campaign mode because there was a lot of yelling and promises to "crush" someone or something, I'm still not sure....but the best thing he said is that he was able to get $900,000 from the federal government to build a shelter/safe house for girls rescued from being trafficked. This is the most important thing that I have heard and read that is needed in Portland, so praise the Lord for this exciting news!! Melissa and I have decided we want to help in some way with the shelter....but what that looks like we are not sure yet, we will keep you posted:) But the greatest speaker was Jessica Richardson, who was introduced as a survivor of human trafficking, she made sure we understood that she was not merely a survivor but a conqueror! And there was wonderful music by a young man from Rwanda who lived through the Rwandan genocide and 6 years on the street post genocide. His music was beautiful, Enric Sifa is his name and I'm sure you could find him on the Internet and buy his c.d. Thanks so much to all who sponsored our team, we surpassed our goal and raise $430!!!

"He has shown you, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you, to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stop Child Trafficking Now

I will never forget the night I met Renu, I'll never forget her smile or the grace in which she told her story and I will never understand her capacity to forgive.  When she was just 14 years old Renu was drugged by a family member and taken out of her home in Nepal and sold to a brothel in India.  She literally woke up in captivity, her innocence brutally stolen, her story is one of pain, unimaginable horrors, rescue, love, and forgiveness.  Someone dared to rescue Renu, they showed up in her nightmare and told her about a man named Jesus, she listened and fell in love and accepted Him as her Savior, but she was still a slave, her body used by 20 plus men a day.  Outside she was dying yet her soul was renewed daily.  Through miraculous circumstances Renu escaped and upon returning to her native Nepal she came face to face with the man who stole her childhood, her dreams, her future.  She looked at this man and forgave him saying how could I, a sinner forgiven by Christ, not forgive him?  Renu changed my life in many ways but perhaps most importantly she put a face on international human trafficking and sex slavery.  
And then I read, Renting Lacey, which is about America's prostituted children and I associated a different face with child trafficking, my daughters.  Maybe you were like me and did not think this could happen here in our country but the truth is at least 100,000 American juveniles are victimized through prostitution each year!!  The book is horrifying in its true stories of girls that Linda has met with personally, stories so horrible you think they could not be true, but they are.  I am haunted by what I have read, which is why I am sending you this email.  Maybe you are like me and imagine that if you lived in times of slavery that you would have stood against it, I like to think that Angela Grimke and I would have been friends and fought slavery together.  And maybe you cannot comprehend that just 50 years we still had legal segregation and again I imagine I would have walked with Dr. King, I would have boycotted and picketed, I would have stood on the lawn beyond the Lincoln Memorial and believed in a dream.  And yet here we are, living in a time when, "more people are exploited in slavery today than were forcibly removed from Africa during 400 years of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.  Worldwide the total market value of human trafficking is 32 Billion"-IJM
Why am I telling you all of this?  This Saturday, October 2nd thousands of individuals in communities across the United States and Canada will participate in SCTNow Walks to raise funds and bring awareness to the issue of child trafficking.  You can join my team, Worship Defined, and come walk with me in Portland or simply make a donation at:

I know in many ways this is just a small step, a small donation against huge statistics, but my Bible says to "seek justice" and this is a tangible way in which to do that.
"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-- when you see the naked, to clothe him." Is. 58:6,7

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Worship For Haiti

I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to share about this incredible night. Worship for Haiti far exceeded my every expectation and I was overwhelmed by the response of our sphere of life to worship tangibly. We raised a little over $3,000 that night!!!

My sweet Mom, selling cards and pictures that were donated...100% of profits went to Haiti!!

My Hopey with pictures of Pastor Lavaud's ministry in Haiti in the background.

We also had t-shirts donated at cost by Ken Perkins with 100% of proceeds going to Haiti

Bud and Cindy shared about their trip to Haiti and Starfish Kids

Typically our goal is to raise awareness of an issue that God has laid on our hearts and to offer tangible ways to be a part of the remedy, but there is nothing new for me to tell you about Haiti’s earthquake and the devastation that followed, we have all seen the images on tv, we have heard the numbers, and watched in horror as the dead were buried in mass graves. You all know what Haiti looks like today. But the truth is Haiti needed us long before January 12th. Pre-earth quake Haiti was the 4th hungriest country in the world, the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Home to over 200,000 orphans living in institutions. 40% of the population was under the age of 15 and 70% of Haitian people live in poverty with an annual income of $400 per year. All this and Haiti is located just 750 miles of the coast of Florida. It is neighbor to a country that is home to us, the American church, the richest church in the history of Christendom.

When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law of the Prophets.” Studying this verse the first question is always the same, who is our neighbor. Jesus was even asked this question to which he answered with the story of the good Samaritan where we learn that everyone is our neighbor, even one who does not share our faith. But sometimes I think we spend so much time defining the word neighbor that we forget to look at the end of this passage…you shall love your neighbor as yourself. As yourself. How do we love ourselves? What does that kind of love look like? Personally I don’t go to bed hungry. I don’t go to bed thirsty. I have a roof over my head, running water in my house. I have more clothes and shoes than any person needs. What would our lives look like if we truly loved others as we love our selves? What actions would it spur? What would we do if we grieved for the Haitian whose house was ruined, who lost a child or spouse, whose business was destroyed the way that we would grieve this loss in our own life? What would that grief look like if it was our own? Better yet what would our actions look like if it was Christ Himself who was hungry or thirsty?  In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus tells the parable of the sheep and the goats, Richard Stearn's, President of World Vision, paraphrases these verses for today's reader;“For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger and you wanted me deported. I needed clothes but you needed more clothes. I was sick and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison and you said I was getting what I deserved”  This is an incredible portion of scripture, one that our family has realized over the last few years that we need to take more seriously. The implications of this passage are astounding at the least.
Tonight is personal for us, we are raising money for our daughters first family, the orphanage that cared for Hope until she came home. We are raising money for Remy and Erlande's orphanage. And for Pastor Lavaud who continually shows us what it means to love his neighbor as himself. A few of us have been wiring money to Lavaud and in one of his precious emails he said this, "Thank you so much! We already did donations with this money. This morning, I gave some money to buy medicines for some people who were victims in the earth quake. I know you give it to me for my sake, but it is healing others as well. God bless you !"

Maybe we should let Pastor Lavaud be our example tonight, his business is ruined, his daughters are scared to sleep indoors, his country has been victim to numerous natural disasters and unstable corrupt governments, he is taking care of more than 40 people in his home and when given money he is giving it away. We know that God loves Haiti, that He is bottling the tears of His precious people there, that He is longing to see His church respond and to be His love to Haiti.

THANK YOU to every person that came that night, as a mother it meant so much to me to have my friends come and support us as we worshipped the God who uses us to bring healing to Haiti.  We were able to give each of the organizations $1,000!!  And special thanks to Pastor Bruce and Church on the Hill North Campus for generously letting us use their sanctuary and sound equipment, I am continually blessed by your view of the Body of Christ.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Getting Ready for Worship for Haiti...

God has been orchastrating some awesome stuff for the upcoming Worship for Haiti on Feb. 18th!!  Here is a rundown of what we're working on & what you can be preparing for:

 YWAM will be traveling to Haiti to help at the Danipaf Children's Orphanage and help groups of refugees surviving in a town outside Port-au-Prince.  We have the WONDERFUL opportunity to help YWAM collect some greatly needed items on the 18th for them to take to Haiti.  The most needed items are:

cooking oil
canned tuna
laundry soap
body soap
gently used children's clothes & shoes (summer season style)

Parents - this would be such a good opportunity to take your children shopping and talk with them about who will be using these items and why you are donating them.  These items will go directly to the Haitian people who need them.

We also will have some really cool t-shirts available for sale and you can pre-order them now!  They will be white shirts & will have this on the front of them:

The t-shirts have been generously sold at cost to Worship Defined so that 100% of the sales can go to Haitian Christian Ministy, God's Littlest Angels & A New Arrival orphanages to assist in their earthquate recovery.  How cool is this!!!!!!!! 

The cost is $20 for one or $30 for two
Mens sizes:  S, M, L, XL
Womens sizes:  S, M, L

Pre-order now by sending us an email at to assure we will have your size available!

Please contact us if you have any questions.  There is more in the works.......and we hope to see you on the 18th!  To God be ALL the glory!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Worship for Haiti

Coming in February, we will let you know as soon as the date is confirmed. We will be taking an offering that night as we have heard the best way to help is to get money to the smaller organizations and orphanages, so start saving now.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Worship for Orphans

There are an estimated 143 million orphans in the world today, 143 million. If we gathered all of these orphans together they would make up the 7th largest country in the world, right behind Russia.

James 1:27 says Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. The adoption community has taken this verse as their motto, as well they should but my challenge to you tonight is that this verse is for all of us. It is for the high school student, the young family, the empty nesters as well as the retirees. The question then is what does this verse mean for you? The need is the same, 143 million orphans, yet the call to meet these needs will be different for all of us. For some it will be foster care, for others adoption and for others orphan care.

I believe that from the beginning of time Hope was meant to be my daughter, that God knew that late one night in October of 2001 He would lead me to a photolisting of children in Haiti and whisper to me that I had a daughter in Haiti and that someday I would need to go and find her. I do not believe that Gods plan for the world would leave children as orphans, that war, famine, and disease would rob children of their parents. That mothers would be put in a position to place their children up for adoption because they could not afford to feed them, this is the reality of a fallen world, but Psalm 68:6 says, “God sets the lonely in families”. I believe that in His sovereignty God knew that Emilia would not be able to keep Hope and so He placed her in my heart, to grow as my child and in His perfect way and in His perfect timing He brought Hope home to her forever family. Adoption is not saving a child, it is not a mission or a cause, it is the way that God has chosen to build families, it is a reflection of Him choosing us as His children, Ephesians 1:3-8 says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ.” Maybe you are here tonight and God has already begun to plant the seeds of adoption in your heart, if that’s so we have information in the back from a few different adoption agencies and Jen, Melissa, and I would love to talk and pray with you afterward.

Our goal for tonight is simply to make you aware of the orphan crisis and that you would leave here knowing that you must do something. We have a few tangible ways for you to be involved tonight.

We have an offering jar at our Maria’s big house of Hope table which is the video that you saw earlier, this big blue caring facility is a beacon of hope to the people of China and the world. It is located in one of the poorest provinces in all of China. Please grab a Rice Bowl on your ways out to collect spare change to help feed the orphan. These are just a few ideas of ways to help, there are many other ways, if there is a country God has laid on your heart I am sure there is an opportunity for you to support an organization there, google it, I promise you will find something.

143 million. I want to ask you to imagine these children but I know that that is impossible, it is truly beyond our comprehension to do so….so then what do we do with a number so great. A number that numbs our senses, that removes the faces, names and stories of the children it represents. How do we fight a statistic that we can’t wrap our head around? We give the statistic a face, we find out their story, and we call them by name.