Sunday, December 28, 2008

Domestic "Help"

A friend of mine sent an article tonight via email. This email deals specifically with children trafficked from Africa into the United States but it is a problem that happens everywhere. It is hard enough to read and imagine what this young girl went through but the close of the article made me physically ill. Her captors think absolutely nothing of what they have done and so continue.

Child Maid Trafficking Spreads from Africa to U.S.

This is a problem of culture, poverty and violence. It is an evil undescribable and people need to continue to arm themselves with knowledge. How many people saw this little girl in the kitchen window and "had no idea" ?

Proverbs 31:8-9

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Blessed Christmas

For today in the city of David there has been born
for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
~Luke 2:11

May you and yours be blessed this Christmas
May those who are far from family and friends be doubly-comforted by the presence of the One who came to give His life so we all may have life.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Just in Time for the Holidays

It never ceases to amaze me the creativity of the human mind. When it is used for good, it is often with incredibe results. When it is used for can sometimes feel like the good don't have a chance. A few articles I read this morning in:

The Jamaica Observer

Market Watch - Weekend Edition

AsiaOne News (Philadelphia, PA news)

And these are just a few of the articles a quick search on 'human trafficking' in Google netted me.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Monday, December 15, 2008

The SOLD Project

Another idea for your gift giving this season. I received this information in an email today from The SOLD Project. If you're still wondering what to give to someone, check out their site. If you want to have something physical in your hand to give someone, check out their online store for items made by rescued slaves.

This Holiday Season, give a gift in your friend or loved ones name! Gift giving this year is seeming to take a turn towards justice - people are simplifying, and asking 'what really matters?'. Consumers are demanding fair trade, and wanting to give gifts with stories. The SOLD Project recently launched our scholarship program in the northern villages of Thailand, which gives scholarships to children at-risk of exploitation.And so we ask you: This Christmas, what story will your gift tell?

$365 sponsors a child for a year of education
$110 provides school uniforms for a child
$50 buys a child their set of schoolbooks
$35 provides a years tuition to a child
$10 buys shoes for a student

When you donate online at, The SOLD Project will mail a custom postcard to the person receiving your gift, alerting them to your generous donation. Minimum gift donation is $5.

And don't forget to check out our store for crafts made by street children in Chiang Mai as part of their art therapy program!
Online Store

This year, you are giving more than a gift. You are giving a story, and changing the lives of children.With love, appreciation, and hope,The SOLD Project [for more gift ideas, you can also browse art donated to The SOLD Project by visiting our etsy store. all proceeds go to benefit the project]

Etsy Store

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Holiday Shopping

A friend of mine sent me an email today, reminding me about The Emancipation Network's site and store.

As an idea for Christmas shopping this year, check out the various websites and stores available. There are so many extraordinary and beautiful items for sale, made by men, women and children rescued from trafficking. Your purchase of these items goes directly to supporting those who were without hope and are now free. You help them earn a decent living, provide for themselves and their families, an independence they never thought possible.

So - when you are shopping this year, consider checking out TEN's site (Free The Slaves has partnered with TEN so their store has some of the same merchandise in it). They have some wonderful, handmade ideas for your gift giving.

You can also check out the International Justice Mission's Holiday Gift Giving Catalog. They're another option if you're looking for an unusual gift, a unique item that also helps those trapped in the slave trade.


Proverbs 31:8-9

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Coalition Update

It occurs to me we had a Coalition meeting almost a week ago and I haven't spoken a word about it in the interim. Of course, a short week at work (with a full week's worth of work to get done), Thanksgiving and piano lessons have about swallowed up every available minute since the meeting.

Hope you all have had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know mine was interesting. You can't have Thanksgiving dinner without having a few hiccups during the day and we certainly had a good one. Another entertaining memory to talk about as the years go by.

Coalition business. We seated our officers and passed our mission statement, action and strategy plans. We also discussed the possibility of hosting a Film Festival at area churches. I have asked anyone interested in helping with the Film Festival let me know two things. (1) By December 8th - any films you think we should use and if you are willing to help with the Festival. (2) By December 15th if you know of an available venue and what using that venue would entail.

If you think your church would be interested in hosting a segment of the Festival, please go to whomever you need to talk to, find out if the space would be available either the weekend of February 13 or February 27.

Please don't hesitate to enlist your friends and family members as possible volunteers. We will need a lot of bodies to cover each church. Possible volunteer needs are: concession sales, merchandise sales, panel discussion member/leader, announcer/speaker before each film, clean-up, set-up, etc. I'm sure there will be more but that is what has come to mind so far.

Finally, please give serious prayer and thought to the Film Festival. We do not want to step ahead of God on this one so if we are not meant to be doing this, we want Him to close the doors. Any money raised will go to support the Coalition as it steps out in its business - specifics of that will be provided at our next couple of meetings as we round this out.

I'm sure I have forgotten a few things in this post so if something jumps out at you, please ask. Also, if you are interested in volunteering, please send me an email or leave a comment here with a way to contact you.


Proverbs 31:8-9

Friday, November 21, 2008

Shared Hope International

If you were unable to attend the Shared Hope International fundraiser dinner on Thursday, November, 20, 2008, I am so sorry. It was a wonderful evening of meeting fellow abolitionists and hearing the heart of Linda Smith. Above all of that, though, was the beautiful story of a young woman Shared Hope has helped restore.

To see this young woman, to sit across the table from her, hear her voice and her story you cannot help but be drawn in and then realize what you don't see or hear. You do not hear anger or bitterness or self-pity and as someone who was forced to work in a brothel from the time she was 14 until she was 17, you figure she has every right to feel that way. She does not.

Instead what you hear is her give all glory to God. She offers praise to Him with almost every word she speaks. She doesn't show any anger for her time as a slave, she instead shares grace and love and hope. All of which she found and knows because of Jesus Christ. She speaks of meeting up with the man who sold her into slavery (her brother, by the way) and the look of shock and fear on his face when he realizes who she is and then the abject relief he felt when she told him she would not do anything to him. That she had forgiven him. As she speaks you can see this picture in your mind and you are left speechless. Could I be so graceful? I doubt it.

It was all I could do to hold back the tears (the flood that is, a few did escape) because every time I looked at this small, beautiful child of God, I wanted to hurt the men who hurt her. Yet she spoke of forgiving them. I wanted to yell, scream and throw things because of those who are still being hurt. Yet she has gone right back into that world, serving the women who are still there. I want to wrap every woman and child who have been sold as slaves up in my arms and protect them. Yet she is going to school for her degree in Business so she can offer them specific, concrete ways to live independently if they are able to get free from their captors.

You can show me pictures of what is considered beauty. You can show me pictures for weeks or months at a time. It will not matter. Nothing, absolutely nothing in this world is as beautiful as the light of Jesus shining through, the picture of true hope and restoration. I have never in my life witnessed anyone as beautiful as that young woman from Nepal.
Linda Smith has written a book, From Congress to the Brothel and it is available through Shared Hope International's website. You can go here to order your own copy. When you get done with that, please explore Shared Hope's website. What they do, what they offer and what you can learn from them is amazing.

If you would like to learn more, please ask. Most people who know me know I can speak for a very long time on this issue and am more than willing to do that. Please do not let the information overwhelm you. As Linda herself has said (and I am paraphrasing here) - all you have to do is show up. God will show you the rest.

Have a blessed weekend.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I haven't been checking the news lately but this article was brought to my attention. It is from yesterday's Post Intelligencer.

All praise be to God these arrests were made. Now we should pray they are able to bring the perpetrators to justice.

How many "tanning salons" and "massage parlors" are there out there? Too many to count, I imagine.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Monday, November 17, 2008

MADE IN L.A. Pacific Northwest Tour


Organized in partnership with the Pacific Northwest Sweatfree campaign, the producers of Made in L.A. Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar will be screening their film in various cities in Washington and Oregon (November 17-22). All screenings are free -join us!

Made in L.A. is an Emmy award-winning film that follows the remarkable story of three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles garment sweatshops as they embark on a three-year odyssey to win basic labor protections from a mega-trendy clothing retailer. In intimate verite style, Made in L.A. reveals the impact of the struggle on each woman’s life as they are gradually transformed by the experience. Compelling, humorous, deeply human, Made in L.A. is a story about immigration, the power of unity, and the courage it takes to find your voice. For more information and to view the trailer, visit

Olympia, WA
Monday, Nov 17th 2008 7pm
Screening of Made in L.A. as part of "Anti-Sweatshop Film Fest"
Traditions Café and World Folk Art
300 5th Avenue SW, Olympia, WA 98501

Seatle, WA
Tuesday, November 18th, 7-9pm
University of Washington, Seattle
Bagley Hall, Room 154
Organized by SweatFree Washington and the Student Labor Action Project (SLAP)

Tacoma, WA
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 6:30pm
Longshormen Hall
University of Washington Tacoma
1710 S. Market St.
Hosted by: Student Labor Action Project @ UWT, ACLU Student Chapter, Black Student Union, Latino Organization, HOPE Network.
Sponsored by: UW Tacoma Student Activities Board, UWT Arts and Lectures, Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, UWT Diversity Resource Center and AVC Cedrick Howard.

Salem, OR
Thursday November 20th, 6pm-8pm
Williamette University
900 state street, Salem, OR 97301
Room TBD (Montag Den or Hatfield Room)
Sponsored by: Alianza, the Lilly Project, Women and Gender Studies, and American Ethnic Studies.

Portland, OR
Friday, November 21st, 6:30pm
No screening this time: we will attend the celebration party (with dinner and entertainment) for Portland PDX Sweatfree Campaign. Join us as we celebrate the first sweatshop free ordinance in the Northwest!
AFSCME Building
6025 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97215 US
Location: AFSCME Building
For more info contact: campaign coordinator, Elizabeth Swager, or (503)236-7916 office, (503)784-1951
Hosted by: Sweatfree Northwest and sponsored by KBOO Community Radio.

Ashland, Oregon
Saturday, November 22nd, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Southern Oregon University.
Meese Auditorium, Art Building, Center for Visual Arts (click here for a map)
Sponsored by: Women's Studies Program of the Department of Social Science, Policy and Culture (SSPC), SOU Women's Resource Center and Jobs for Justice.

This is a film you should see, if you are available. It shares how labor slavery happens here in the United States, how those companies we so blithely hand over our money to are making enormous profits off of the backs of those with few choices.

...defend the rights of the poor and needy...
Proverbs 31:8-9

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you

A deep, heartfelt thank you to all Veterans today.

Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.

God Bless You.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Monday, November 10, 2008

And so the world turns...

How much will the financial crises sweeping its way around the globe help human traffickers? This is a question that has been on my mind almost constantly since "recession," "economic collapse," "stock market fell today," "consumer fears," "budget cuts" and other terms offering a window into just how tough things are started being fed to us by the media. People begin to determine what is and isn't important usually by how it directly affects them and their family.

One of the ways we start to see the crisis creep into those things that are of global importance but get pushed aside because of more immediate and pressing "needs" can be seen in this article:

How I pray they can "find" the funding to re-start this unit. We need as many people as possible battling this horror.

On the positive side, I found this article out of England as well:

We are not the only country struggling both with economic woes and human trafficking. We are also not the only people completely disgusted by human trafficking and what it does to our fellow human beings. For all that is ringing out around us sounding the "woe is us" bell, there is hope and there is dignity and there is a sense of right and wrong.

This is, I remind myself, God's work and He will take care of it - from finances to safety to burn out to bodies to do the work. We are in this together with Him and I pray that I never forget that, no matter how grim the news gets.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Linda Smith coming north - with an amazing guest!

Linda Smith, the founder of Shared Hope International, will be in Bellevue on November 20, 2008. There is a small fundraiser dinner to be held at the Red Lion - Bellevue beginning at 6:30 PM and ending at 9PM. The cost for the evening is $50 and that includes dinner. Linda will be traveling with a young woman Shared Hope rescued from India who will offer her testimony.

From their website: "For almost a decade, Shared Hope International has served the world's most destitute. We work diligently across the world, partnering with local groups to help women and children enslaved in the sex trade by providing them with shelter, healthcare, education and vocational training opportunities. Our three-pronged strategy—prevent, rescue and restore—is producing hope. We will not give up. We will continue going into the darkness, rescuing and restoring young women and precious children—one life at a time."

All that Shared Hope has done and is doing is too vast to share here. It is because of Shared Hope that I have learned so much about trafficking in the United States. Until I found them and read their Demand report, learned about their Defenders Project and other information through their website, I had no idea how big the problem is right here in the U.S.

If you are a part of the Western Washington Coalition to Combat Human Trafficking and would like attend this dinner, please send me an email (you should be able to get it from one of Sarah's lists) as soon as possible. It is a small fundraiser and I fully expect seats to fill fast.


Proverbs 31:8-9

Friday, October 31, 2008

Event at Northshore Baptist!

Dads and Daughters
mark your calendar and register for a special evening with your dad or princess
Friday, November 7th, 7-9 pm.

'Precious in His Sight '

is an evening of dessert, entertainment, dancing and pictures.
Whether your princess is 5 years old or 50,
it will be a night to remember.
Proceeds will benefit Safe Haven, Cambodia
and Havilah School, Nicaragua.
Pictures begin at 6:30 pm, so be sure to come early to preserve the memory.
The event takes place at:
Northshore Baptist Church in Bothell.
Cost is $25 per person.
You can register online at

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Cambodia Safe Haven, which will house at risk women and children, some of whom could otherwise end up caught in human trafficking.
If you would like flyers/posters for your church you can contact Stephenie Burke at

Proverbs 31:8-9

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Partnering Together to Change Lives luncheon

Saturday, October 25, 2008, I had the opportunity to attend a fundraising luncheon for the Tronie Foundation and Northwest Family Life.
First, Northwest Family Life and the Tronie Foundation are partnering together to open a shelter to house victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. What an endeavor! As of Saturday afternoon, they needed another $10,000 by Tuesday (today) and the shelter would be theirs. I haven't heard if they reached that goal with Saturday's donations but I have been praying they did!

It will mean a shelter in the Northgate/Seattle area and will be the second shelter in Washington State geared to assist those victims rescued from human trafficking. Rani Hong told her story and shared with us the video from her and Trong's appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show (Personal aside - it was all I could do to keep from monopolizing Rani Hong after the luncheon. How much I hope to talk with her about opening a shelter in the Everett/north area!).

What an amazing undertaking this is and I am still so thrilled to see how God is moving people to rise up against this issue. In addition to now helping those rescued from human trafficking, Northwest Family Life has been helping victims of domestic violence since 1989. They are unique in a couple of ways. First, they began and continue as an organization who assists Christian families deal with domestic violence. Second, they treat not only the victims but the perpetrators as well. It was wonderful to listen to the story of a woman who turned to Northwest Family Life and because of their help is still with her husband today, their family is intact.

I also had the privilege of meeting a few more SPU students who are part of The Abolition and speak to a young woman who is heading up the Washington screening tour of The SOLD Project. We hope to make The SOLD Project one of the films in our Film Festival. More details on that event to come shortly. One of the SPU students I met, Jennifer, performed a song she had written just two days before the event. What an incredible, amazing talent she is! The song was moving and thought provoking and I look forward to hearing Jennifer again.

Next up - Linda Smith of Shared Hope International will be in the Seattle/Bellevue area November 20-23rd. Stay tuned for specifics on her visit. As soon as I have them, I'll put them here.

Also - keep November 20th on your radar. That is the day of SPU's day of fasting and prayer and prayer labryinth. I will mention it a time or two more before it arrives.

That is it for today, I believe. Remember - comments and information are welcome here!

Proverbs 31:8-9

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In the Seattle PI

In today's Seattle Post Intelligencer:

Proverbs 31:8-9


A powerful video. Thank you for telling us about it last night, A.

The artist is Mr. J. Medeiros.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Monday, October 20, 2008

October 20th Coalition Meeting

Tonight's Coalition meeting saw many new faces and a healthy agenda! It is tough to start something new when you only meet once a month, your "core" group isn't completely formed as yet and there is just so much that you need and want to get done. Sarah took us through a good portion of the agenda and a lot was discussed.

A couple of events were added to our list:

(1) November 20th - A day of prayer and fasting at SPU. A prayer labyrinth in Welter Hall on campus from 7:30 to 10:30 PM. They will end with a time of corporate prayer at 10PM. For more information, go to

(2) November 7th - A Dad/Daughter Dessert (...and dance...) fundraiser will be held at NorthShore Baptist from 7PM until 9PM. Go to for more information.

(3) November 20th: Details to follow - Linda Smith from Shared Hope International will be in the Bellevue/Seattle area from November 20th - November 23rd. More information to come!

As I mentioned before, a lot was discussed. That will have to come in another post, after I have had a chance to put it together cohesively.

Let me know via the comments section if you have any questions! Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you.

Be blessed.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Friday, October 17, 2008


If you have just recently heard about Fight4Freedom, welcome. I am very glad you're here. I thought I'd outline just a few things I hope to accomplish here and let you in on a little bit about me, too.

Human trafficking was first brought to my attention almost six years ago now. It was round-about, the way I learned of it but there is no surprise in the idea of learning about one horror in the world bringing other horrors to your attention. That's what happened with me. I was in church listening to a sermon on what happens to school girls in a country in Africa and the humiliation they are forced to endure and when I started to research that further, I stumbled across human trafficking. The vileness of it sickened me and I simply could not believe that people were actually doing this to other people. I turned everything inside of me and I had to figure out what to do about it. This sermon, by the way, happened just a few weeks after I had prayed asking God to break my heart with those things that break His heart.

For five years I spent my time reading everything I could find regarding trafficking and when I first started doing that there wasn't a whole lot offered. Now there is so much a person can feel overwhelmed. The only thing I can say to you in that regard is... don't. Please don't.

The enemy would love to have you languish there - in overwhelmed-ness (I know, it's not a word but it works here) and do absolutely nothing. Please don't allow him to paralyze you that way. Each and every person can and does make a difference in this fight to end slavery. If you feel you can't contribute "much" it is your little that tells a victim they matter and that turns your little into something huge.

This blog is a journey and I hope to eventually share authorship with others. I also hope you leave comments in the comment section of a post if it strikes a chord with you. I will ask that you keep your comments clean, honest and above all else - respectful. If someone says something you disagree with, please do not attack them. I hope people know they are welcome here and come here to find information and a good, safe place to ask questions. I also hope it serves as a place our Coalition can "meet" in between Coalition meetings.

If you live in the greater Seattle area and are interested in possibly attending an upcoming Coalition meeting, please let me know or check out the various "what's happening" posts. I will update them as often as possible. Additionally, if you know of an event that is happening, please don't hesitate to let me know. I hope to eventually set up an events page but in the meantime will update via posting.

One last thing before I close - the signature verse on every post is Proverbs 31:8-9 and those verses read:

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Those are my life verses.

Thank you for reading and I hope you come back often.

Blessings to you!

Proverbs 31:8-9

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Partnering Together To Change Lives

The Tronie Foundation, in partnership with Northwest Family Life is planning on opening an office in the Northgate Mall area. Their goal is to work toward opening another shelter for rescued human trafficking victims in the not-so-distant future.

To help fund this new office, the Tronie Foundation is hosting a "Partnering Together to Change Lives" event on Saturday, October 25, 2008. It will be held at the Space Needle from 11AM until 2PM. The cost is $35 per person and that includes lunch.

Deborah Horne, reporter and producer for Kiro News Channel 7 will be Master of Ceremonies and Roni Hong, a human trafficking survivor, will be the guest speaker.

Please consider attending this event. Tickets can be purchased through The Tronie Foundation website,


Proverbs 31:8-9

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Upcoming Abolitionist Events

Sarah was so wonderful in forwarding a list of upcoming abolitionist events. I thought I would add them here:

1. Sept. 18-Nov. 20: Community Awareness Class on Human Trafficking, Thursdays, 7PM at Mill Creek Foursquare Church. Go to for directions. Classes are free. It's not too late to participate!

2. October 8-9: Not For Sale Campaign Advocacy Days in Washington, DC. For more information go to

3. Oct. 9, 13-16: Premier of Call + Response documentary (see trailer at In Seattle at the Metro Theater (4500 9th Ave. NE, Seattle, 98105) - 7 & 9 PM shows. If the showing goes well, the film will be expanded to include the AMC Loew's.

4. October 16: Re.member Tour (open to the public) - presentation by Roni Hong from the Tronie Foundation. First Methodist Church (7PM) - across from Seattle Pacific University. Sponsored by the abolition, an anti-trafficking group of college students and Fi:ght (Freedom Initiative (contact: , a coaltion of local abolitionist university students. (Awesome young people, by the way!!!! I am so excited by the enthusiasm and brilliance of the young people I have been blessed to meet as I start working more and more with human trafficking. They motivate me to work harder, too!!!)

5. October 20: Western Washington Coalition Against Human Trafficking (7PM) meeting in Mill Creek, WA. If you would like more information on where this meeting will be held, please leave a comment with a contact email on this blog.

6. October 23: "Stop the Demand for Trafficking in Women & Children," a presentation by Roni Hong (trafficked survivor from the Tronie Foundation) - 7-9PM at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish Center (15236 - 21st Ave. SW - presented by the Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center. Contact - 206-223-1138; open to the public)

7. October 25: Stop Exploitation Now is holding a Celebration of Inspiration event. The information I received reads "This will be an inspiring event where we examine the work of four women including CNN Hero, Somaly Mam, who are bravely working to stop sexual slavery and implement our projects in SE Asia." Tickets are $75 each and you can get information on purchasing those tickets from their website,

8. November 14-15 - Shared Hope International is celebrating their 10th Anniversary and is holding a "Sharing Hope Anniversary Event" in Washington, DC. Please go to for details and to register if you are interested.

9. January, 2009 (last two weeks) - Free presentations in the Seattle area given by Jane Tafel (Hagar International Executive Director USA). If interested in setting up an appearance at your church, school or community organization, please email Jane @

10. May 8-9, 2009: Unbound Conference at University Presbyterian Church (sponsored by Fi:ght). If interested, please leave a comment here (with an email contact) and someone will get in touch with you.

11. David Batstone (from the Not For Sale Campaign) & Brant Christopher Road Show - "A Backyard Abolitionist Tour" - dates and cities TBA (watch for information on

This is just some of what is happening in the Seattle area. Awareness is the first step in eradicating slavery. I pray that you and all of those around you will learn as much about human trafficking as possibe. There is someone living in slavery near you. I guarantee you that. They shouldn't have to - with God's help, we can put an end to it. We are His hands and feet.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Friday, October 3, 2008

It Happens Everywhere

So many people think trafficking happens "somewhere else" - usually overseas. It's happening here. In the United States. In Washington (and all the other 49 States, for that matter):

Proverbs 31:8-9

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Call + Response

"Never forget that justice is
what love looks like in public."
~Dr. Cornel West
(quoted from Call + Response)

On October 9, 2008, a documentary called Call + Response will open in 20 major cities around the country. Seattle is one of them. It will open at the Metro and will run for one week only. Please tell anyone and everyone you know.

Head to the official website,
and check out the trailer.
It's powerful.

Tickets are $10 per person and if you would like to be part of a group, I am going to shoot for attending the film on Wednesday, October 15th (probably the 7PM show). If you would like to be part of my group, leave a comment on this site with a means of contacting you.

If you would like to attend on your own, tickets can be purchased through the website:

See the movie. Hear the facts.