A Sample Day in my Fight Against Child Trafficking in Portland

– I parked right by an Ambulance & walked over to the driver, told him we needed a medical emerg. person onsite and he wrote down GEORGIA with AMR (@ 793-8240) who I need to schedule that with – said she was great to work with, and to mention his name. He told me to tell her he said to give me a really good ‘deal’.

– Walked by 6 people in their 50’s-70’s who were standing in Pioneer Courthouse Square, holding hands, praying. I waited for the right time, and then offered them some postcards & said briefly what the Walk was about. They were happy to take them, & said they have been called by God to come to the Square ev. Mon & Wed. @ 12:10pm to pray for city and other things. And they told me they would pray for me, this event and the planning team too. I was so encouraged by this little group of faithful believers in the Lord. The leader told me he could tell I loved the Lord because he saw joy in my eyes. That made me smile.

– LM for Mayor Sam Adam’s assist. who I supposed passed it along to someone else in his office who called me back saying that she will begin looking into my two requests! This is great news for the homefront! :

1.) to help me find a highly visible place to hang a banner to advertise the Walk

2.) to set up a video recording of the Mayor saying something in support of SCTNow (since he can’t make it to the Walk)

– Heard back from a recycling receptacle co. who works w/the City (‘sustainability’?). Was referred to a very professional man who is in charge of providing these receptacles for non-profit events in Portland…and that this service including signs for these receptacles, is FREE. YEAH! I will call this Eric tmrw.

– LM to ask a friend to borrow his truck to transport all the tables, chairs and tents – ALL donated by City Bible Church (WOW) from their facility to the venue (may need to do this at like 6:45am Oct. 2nd).

– Rec’d approval for the 2 donated banners’ layout (3rd layout try). I’m HAPPY with both! So grateful. I was hoping for 6 weeks prior to the walk, but I’ll take 3 weeks prior. ūüôā It’s all free publicity. I do hope these two banners can be completed by this weekend – the 19th; I want to bring one with me when I speak Sunday at Horizon Community, & have it above my registration table. ūüôā

– Drove all the way across town to meet with an Artist from Granada, Joachim to exchange a painting of his for a tax donation-receipt re: out SCTNow Art Auction I’m thinking of naming, “Art in Action”. http://mcmillangallery.com/paintings.html … only to realize after waiting and not hearing from him that I remembered the date wrong – actually thought it was THURSDAY most of the morning. So felt pretty dumb. But at least we’re still going to meet … tomorrow!

I was able to make it back in time to hug my amazing son Braylon Emmanuel, at the bus stop.

It was a packed day, but still I have nagging thoughts of what things are yet undone. Maybe the small volunteer team can pick up where I left off on the route.¬†If I continue to return to all my to-do’s all day long, every day, I will break under the pressure and do what I usually do in those times – just sob. Or in worst cases, have a panic attack. Sometimes I have to force myself to push those thoughts out of my ever-spinning brain so I can have a good chunk of time & focused attention on my family..or on praying.¬†So many people I know of right now, need prayer.

I really want a date night with my husband, without thinking about this event. He’s never been busier w/his small business either. So we are in new territory – the both of us are up every night on our laptops til 12-1:30am. But there is always a light: We are both tryin to make sure we celebrate one day off a week…with no technology…no work…no TV & sometimes no cell phone…it’s usually Sundays. God is helping me to prioritize every part of every day. ¬†Again, new territory. I’ve always struggled with time management, but this is a whole new ball game! Ricky is so great about being there for me, being patient, and giving me gentle reminders. A couple times in the last few months, they were not so gentle. But for good reason. I was out of balance and his frustration was honest and well founded and helped me evaluate my schedule & make some needed changes…like: ¬†many days of the week now, I do not have my laptop to even be tempted to work during the day. I don’t watch TV (which I’m glad is not a temptation), so these days I basically force myself to do housework, make meals and (not force myself on this next one… but) spend some time on FUN activities with the kids like fishing, live concerts in the park, cheap¬†matin√©e’ movies, swimming or hot tubbing (like this afternoon with Braylon), going on a walk or out to ice cream…or watching his favorite show right alongside him.. tonight it was, the Discovery Channel’s Man vs. Wild! Or Angel’s choice yesterday was a movie, “Wild Animal Babies”.

I am planning a road trip for the 3rd weekend of Oct. for us 4 to drive down the Gorge & over to SE Washington … Walla Walla. Visit relatives, fish, roast marshmallows on an open fire pit, & just soak up God’s beauty – the beauty of a close knit family & of His nature in the fall. It is so amazing. I’m also planning on attending a live concert w/my mom, to see one of my favorite artists of all time, perform THIS month, on the 28th…Harry Connick Jr. I can’t wait!

I can’t believe the Lord is utilizing me the way has so far – and will be the rest of the year. It literally would knock my socks off if I had any on. He has opened so many doors for me in this new ministry to help put an end to child slavery & forced prostitution, to sing again -at church (after October, mostly but I am singing a solo Sept.26th already – a wonderful song of hope and vision-casting!)… and to just share about His goodness & faithfulness to friends. ¬†I’ll end this long-winded post with the lyrics to the song I will be singing. It really does encompass my whole reason for living right now. I long to have God’s kingdom come and his will be done right here in Portland, as it is in heaven…and I strongly believe in the vocal declaration of these things he has already said are his will – that are YET TO COME, YET TO HAPPEN – ¬†believing for them and rejoicing in them before they arrive and when they do, WOW. What an even greater story to tell, to brag on our Lord to everyone – yet one more example of His never ending love and faithfulness. CHECK out these lyrics below.


~ Do it Lord ~

by, Tommy Walker

I see your glory, covering the earth Lord
Just as the waters, covering the sea
I see the millions, coming to salvation
I see revival, fire in the land
I see the lost, nameless ones remembered
I see the widows, shouting out your praise
I see the friendless, loved and cele brated
Orphans fullfilling Lord, your calling on their lives

Do It Lord, do it lord
Do it Lord we are praying
Do it Lord, do it
That your glory may be seen

I see forgiveness over taking hatred
Pride and prejudice, now giving way to love
I see depression replaced with joy and gladness
And Satan’s lies, now bowing to the truth

Do It Lord, do it lord
Do it Lord we are praying
Do it Lord, do it!
That your glory may be seen

This is our prayer oh God
This is our desperate cry
In these days that were living now
Let your kingdom come
Let your will be done

I see the brokeness of families, brought to wholeness
I see the prodigals, running home to you
Father’s hearts, now turning toward their children
And the children’s hearts, turning toward the fathers

I see your Church, all rising up in power
Laying down their lives in unity and love
I hear the sound of every tribe and nation
Giving glory to Jesus Christ the Son

Child Trafficking – a bigger issue than you think.

girl.sex.slave

In the last month or two, I’ve been moved and stirred up and curious about the issue of child trafficking. It started after Ricky & I watched Taken, then we saw a video about the reality of the crime in the US, while we attending a concert in downtown Austin. Then I read a blog post about it entitled “God of Justice…Or Is He?“, by Brad Ruggles.

FINALLY, I was invited to a Tea Party where the founder of Stop Child Trafficking Now, Lynette Lewis, along with an Austin PD specialist in this field &stop.child.trafficking 2 other activists spoke out against this crime & with ways to help stop it.

I’ve learned so much…like how children are lured & taken & held against their will, for years. I learned how this industry is growing fast in the US and that ¬†25-30% of all US cases are in Texas. ¬†All I’ve learned & more can be found at SCTNow.org.

Why should I care?

I care because I love children. Many people say that their innocence & childhood is being taken from them, but I believe they’re still innocent – they are not suddenly guilty. And¬†they’re still experiencing childhood, only filled with fear, abuse and manipulation. They’ve been tricked & not cannot escape. I care because God cares. He has unbelievable, impacting potential for every single person, and if a person’s life – her dreams, self-esteem, purpose, body image, emotional & physical health, etc. – can be sabotaged at youth, ¬†that amazing potential is never reached!! ¬†The way these children now see themselves, ¬†the world and their Creator is perverted. That intended potential will never be reached. This grieves me deeply.

I want to do something, even if it seems small to others, to help children remain safe from anyone who aims to sexually abuse & exploit them for profit. I want to…and I will.

Would you like to join me? If so, click here to help me reach $150, or here to register to Walk.

shattered glass

what happens when your world, as peaceful & good as you think it is, falls apart almost suddenly? what do you do when you hear the news – the kind of news that not just changes your year, but your entire life? you can try to move on, do your best to reconcile your feelings of disappointment & confusion. you may find it easier, in the moment, to skirt around the issue or even ignore it. have you ever had a child stand 2 inches from your face, staring at you? it seems impossible to not look back. ignoring never works. looking back is ok until we can say “i’m doing everything i can do to let God work.” looking back as a means of facing your own short-comings with humility & honesty so that you can learn from them, is different than “dwelling in the past”. looking back for short periods with a heart of thankfulness and self-examination is crucial. remembering triggers, thought patterns, habits & lures can be hugely instrumental in keeping us from making poor choices in the future.

and yet, even when we believe it’s been pretty well worked out, reminders have their way, don’t they.

my son helps with a few things around the house like dust-busting the kitchen floor, cleaning, and emptying the dishwasher. tuesday he was moving all the cups to the counter and trying a shortcut by stacking them. just as i saw him stack two glasses, i chimed in, “woah, there! you shouldn’t stack glasses!” quickly, he pulled the top one out of the other. “…they could br…” and it shattered. thin shards flickered all across the floor.

5 years. pornography and a messy affair threatened to obliterate our unity as a family. oh, that’s not how long it lasted. that’s how long ago it happened. both our lives were terribly affected by the lies. there is hope!! but trust is so slow moving. even after this long… after so many boundaries and kept promises, after our marriage has seriously grown, & we are restored, i can still step on a sharp piece of broken glass. it’s few & far between, but we still struggle. we haven’t done all our learnin’ just yet.

a strange text message or email, a late poker night with work friends…they can lead to lies in my head. those bastards (the lies) can stab my sole and make it bleed ’til of course, we talk it out like grown-ups. me & my husband…and me & my God. and i’m healed again.

trust breaks. it happens with abandonment, or the death of someone very close. it happens with verbal or physical or sexual abuse or when a parent lets you down. it happens when your son looks you in the eye & lies.

but i continually find comfort in this truth: His mercies really are new every morning.

have you ever committed to building trust again after it was shattered? how long did it take to restore? do those stupid tiny pieces of broken glass ever really go away…completely?