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

Christmas 2008

From my journal on Christmas night:

What a Christmas vacation. Two nights ago we boarded a plane from Austin to Seattlecontinental airlines¬†(which was cheaper than tickets to Portland, even with a rental); drove south (Oregon bound) but only made it Olympia before the snow started comin’ down heavy – too heavyimg_0039¬†& sticky for our lil Ford Focus with lil bare tires. With the help of some of God’s angels, we made it to a Red Lion Hotel and only paid $89. for a great room with two queen sized oh-so-comfy beds. We had quite the view of a the swimming pool-ice-rink and at breakfast,img_0038¬†we sat at a table with huge windows overlooking a half-frozen lake and snow-blanketed trees all around, which made up for the suckie food. It was still snowing lightly when we looked at the freeway.

I-5 was wet & clear so we packed up & continued on, with 3.5 hrs of sleep, home-sick hearts and 3 refills of coffee as fuel. It amazed me how great we felt.

On¬†Christmas Eve, we made it to Sherwood, OR … no roadside assistance necessary, even¬†on the worst roads, Tualatin- Sherwoodme-n-ricky¬†and my family’s street, SW Houston. The Stewarts came down to the Bebb’s and we got to love on each other, have chicken divan &¬†Christmas cookies (wiener-dog shaped w/icing & sprinkles). Narnia and It’s a Wonderful Life played as the kiddos (Gabby 5, Jamae 7, Angel 2, and Braylon 6) ran around the¬†house. Finally, we gathered in the living room where I read a few paragraphs from new-jammiesLuke 2 about Jesus’ birth before

sleepy-angel¬†Bray¬†interrupted with, “can we open a present now?!” ¬†The kids¬†got one gift to open. We¬†set out three cookies and a small glass of milk on the piano. It was going to be two cookies, but Bray said that Santa (from the mall)¬†whispered to him that he¬†likes to have three.

At 10:15pm after everyone went to bed, I re-wrapped one present & wrote that it was from Santa…well, actually I wrote:

For Braylon:

Santa and all us elves wish you God’s very best! You were on his “good list”.

Love, Hermie (the Dentist-Misfit Elf)

 I messed up the car track in front of the fireplace, scooted a bench next to the piano, and made tiny arm & foot prints (the kind you make with the side of your hand) inside the dusty fireplace vent that opened wide. It would prove to be the perfect set-up.

Hook, line and sinker, baby. Two years in a row. After reading it, Braylon lit up when he thought it was amazing they knew him by name, and again when he remembered who Hermie was. He watched the old Rudolf claymation show last week.  Hermie and Rudolf were both misfits that became friends.

Bray opened up the gift & it was (by coincidence) exactly what he’d asked Santa for three days ago when Papa Rick, Granny & Deenie¬†took him to the mall ~ an mp3 player. What a convenient gift for our lil traveling buddy. Complete with a collection of the legendary sounds of Jonny Lang.

mp3-player

img_0051At 9am, we headed over to the Stewart’s place through the icy snow for a huge, yummy breakfast (including the traditional Santa-pancakes) and then back to Mom and Dad’s for presents.¬†After Stew and Rick helped my Dad get our rental out of a snow rut, we were packed up and were off again…another 280 miles south, to see the rest of the family this Christmas day!guitar

I-5 to Medford was wet & clear…even over the Sexton Pass (almost 2k ft). We made it to the condo by 6pm in time for some of Janis’s good ‘ol chicken spaghetti with the Reeves. We just hung out, caught up, laid back and relaxed in the presence ofclint¬†family. A sense of warmth and safety loomed. Braylon had a gift that he was just enamoured with ~ a small laser pointer. Someone asked him if he could give us a laser light show, to which he and his cousins all replied, “what’s a laser light show?” (What? You mean you don’t remember Pink Floyd at the OmniMax Theater?!) Well, after explaining it, we all took turns with our own unique designs on the ceiling. At one point, we all stopped to notice snow flurries lit by a parking lot lamp, out their¬†2nd story¬†window.

Bob (inside-jokingly) said, “hey, lets all go around in a circle and name something about our spouse that annoys us!” Referring, of course to Rick’s genius attempt in 2003 to simultaniously cure bordom, bring laughter and promote the expression of ¬†brutal honesty among family members). This time Rick replied, “How ’bout we name one thing we love about our spouse (or for the kiddos, ¬†a parent or sibling)”. Well, this generated quite the response. Love filled the dimly lit room. Rick said: “I love how she cares how she looks, but isn’t so into herself that she goes to extremes. She knows who she is.”

After we all answered that one, we kept the ball rollin’ with a few more…

“name the best material gift you could ever get”

“name an aspiration you would love to do or learn the art of one day”

“name one place you’d like to travel”

“name one fear you have”

“name one thing you use or have, that you take for granted on a daily basis”

and we finished the night with real stories of angel sightings. It was about 11pm…and about 10 minutes later, not a creature was stirring.

The next day was shared with the other link in our Russ-chain: Jeremy, Jamie, Tyler ¬†9, and baby Riley ¬†10 mo.s (who weighed in at appx.28 lbs!). ¬†We grubbed on Greenberg smoked turkey (sent from Gam, of course), green bean casserole, mashed taters & gravy, and warm rolls…oh, and three gallons of Tillamook Ice Cream with brownies made from scratch.

riley

sweet-angel

gamma

reading

grrrrick

sleepless

airport

de-icing-plane

Those few days were packed with blessings from my God. They were so much fun, and such a blur, that I just had to write it all down. Sometimes it can bring joy and comfort to be able to re-read and ponder the details of family gatherings such as these, for years to come.

g4

kissing