The Shire and Australia

The Shire and Australia

Something you probably don’t know about me is that I’m constantly writing unpublished blog posts. Sometimes I think they’re too personal or reveal too much of me. Being known by others is TERRIFYING. Am I right? Thus, most of my … Continue reading

Living by Faith

3 years ago I went on a 20 hour road trip to South Dakota. I know . . . crazy.

Roadtripping like bosses

Roadtripping like bosses

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It was fun and exhausting and definitely not at all like I thought it’d be.

Meeting Chris August

Meeting Chris August

Pretty sunsets in South Dakota

Pretty sunsets in South Dakota

While there, Christine Caine, an evangelist and founder of The A21 Campaign (an anti-human trafficking organization), spoke about justice and how we as Christians are called to be a light in the darkest places.

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Now, I had heard about human trafficking before, but something really hit me that day. As she told a story about a girl who was rescued from a brothel, my heart broke and shattered all over the South Dakota floor. I had to keep myself from bawling like a baby as she talked about the 27 million slaves still in the world. I remember thinking I could never have a normal job after her talk — I needed to be an activist for this issue. I told God, “Send me. This is a cause worth giving my life for. This is a cause worth sacrificing my dreams for. Please, God, send me. Help me to do something, anything.”

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This was three years ago and God has led me on a very unexpected journey towards freeing the oppressed.

So far, I have volunteered at events raising awareness about the issue of human trafficking. I was able to meet several people who have actually rescued sex slaves. I have spoken to strangers about this issue. I am now even sort of interning for IJM, a non-profit human rights organization.

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Representing Cru

Representing Cru

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END IT MOVEMENT

END IT MOVEMENT

iEmpathize event

iEmpathize event

The founders of iEmpathize

The founders of iEmpathize

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Somehow, and quite miraculously, God has opened countless doors for me to share my heart on this issue. I haven’t had to bang them down like I have other doors in the past — it’s something that has come easily to me.

Now, as I ponder what I should do next year, I think about this ever looming opportunity. Should I continue in the fight against injustice and try to find my place in it or hang up my coat and call it a day? Should I try to get a “real job” or continue following the Lord’s crazy, rollercoaster of a ride call? I don’t even have to think about it, of course. I know what God has already said. I know what I was made for.

But as I think about what I should and was made to do, instead of being overwhelmingly excited about it, I feel something unfamiliar — fear. It would be so much easier if the stories I read about human trafficking stayed stories. It would be simpler if I could spend my days watching this astronomical issue play out on my TV screen than actually dig my hands into the dirt to end it. It would be easier if I didn’t have to sacrifice my comfortable, suburban lifestyle in order to go to the darkest places.

Seeing is way easier than doing. Talking is way easier than walking.

And then I read 2 Corinthians 5:7: “For we live by faith, not by sight.”

I still have absolutely no idea where I fit into this fight. I’m just a college graduate with a degree in film and creative writing. How could I possibly make a difference?

But, I’m trying to actually live the “faith” thing (Lol because my name is Faith). Faith isn’t feeling sorry for the girls and boys who are kidnapped and abused. It’s not enough to feel sorry. Feeling sorry doesn’t do anything. I have to live out my faith. We have to live it.

As I continue wondering where I should go, I know I don’t even have to ask God because He has already declared,“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow” (Isaiah 1:17).

So now, I look towards the future and pray I will never read this verse in regret. I pray no matter how difficult it seems to end this issue, I will keep fighting with enthusiasm and fervor, living out my faith, never forgetting the words I once prayed as a college sophomore in South Dakota, “Help me to do something, anything.”

Hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to look back and know that I did.

Faith

“Why should I care?” – Thoughts on Social Justice

When I was in Kindergarten, I watched a commercial which set to launch children to social activism. The promotion would highlight a certain child who was making a difference in their community. This stirred something in my heart and made me want to be like these children. So at 6 years old, I went out on the playground and tried to clean it up. I’m not even joking. I remember me picking up trash and putting it in the rubbish bin all by myself, just because I wanted to make a difference in my community. If the jungle gym was covered in sand, I would sweep off the sand with my hands, desiring to see a clean play area. Some kids even joined me.

As time went on, I became overwhelmed with the task of cleaning the playground. There was simply too much to clean. So I stopped.

I may have stopped cleaning up playgrounds, but I cannot say I no longer have the desire to see change. When I hear a story of a girl being sold into sex slavery, forced to sleep with up to 15 men a night, I want to see that problem change and the girl to be freed. When I hear of someone being bullied, I want see the change in the bully’s heart and for them to stop their oppression. When I hear of rights being taken away from poor people, I want to see a governmental system change into one that helps rather than mistreats.

Overall, I don’t think this world is all that great and certain things in society need to change. So what does this have to do with me cleaning up playgrounds? I’ll get to that in a sec.

This past week, I was able to participate in International Justice Mission’s orientation week.

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Representing Cru

Representing Cru

IJM is a human rights organization that rescues victims of violent oppression, sets them in safe aftercare programs, and seeks to prosecute their oppressors. It is a really awesome, professional organization that does really awesome things.

But coming back from my little trip to awareness has been difficult. Because as much as I desire to see change in countries where some police officials are corrupt and easily hurt the helpless, it doesn’t seem like a lot of people do. It doesn’t even seem like I do. And why? Because it’s easier to say we care than actually care. Why should we care anyways?

Why is evil rampant in our society? Edmund Burke said it best: “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” We let evil happen because we do nothing about it. In turn, we should care about how others are treated because we are letting it happen if we do not stop it. It could happen to us and (shoot!) it probably does. If you want to know why we should care, we should care because whatever you do for the least in society, you do for Jesus. We should care because “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

But when you care for someone, you can’t just say it . . . you have to show it. Words are cheap. And you know what? I care, really care, for those slaves out in the world. But it doesn’t matter to them how much I say it. They want to know what I’m doing about it. They want to know if they can be free.

I don’t know how to give my gifts of writing and film to this cause, but I know I can’t just sit and watch. I can’t be one of those people who only criticizes people who help and does nothing. Because honestly, this whole slavery situation has been sitting in my pocket for far too long and it’s causing me to have anxiety. Literally.

So, here I am. Starting from the bottom of the playground, trying to figure out how I fit into this world that seems far too big for my small stature. Already, I feel overwhelmed with the need, but let’s hope that this time it doesn’t cause me to stop.

Faith