(Written last week, posted this week… C’est la vie in transition!)
For a moment, a beautiful, awkward transitional moment, I close my eyes and purse my lips, and I’m back in Africa. I remember holding one of my girls as she sobbed in my arms– she’d been raped for a living and desperate for some love. Or I listen, almost holding my breath to determine the location of the bomb blasts of active conflict and I see the faces of my sweet boys who’ve gone from the front lines of battle to the front rows of a classroom.
Opening up my eyes it’s a different story though. The English country side. Scones and tea in the gardens of an old castle, as deer frolic past us and swans play in the brook. What?!
I hold the moment as there are few in this life quite like it. Straddling two completely different worlds, yet still having my heart forever rooted and grounded in the lap of my papa. It’s in these moments I feel the richest.
I left Africa last week, just as our first girl moved into Bella House. A girl who’s been sex-trafficked, oh how honored we are to be trusted with some of papa’s most absolute favorites! Out of respect for our girls, we don’t share too much of their stories on blogs but watching life play out, I feel SO SO privileged at who God has brought into our beautiful Bella House family!!!
I chat with my Kenya team frequently and my heart gets SO excited at all that’s happening.
Right before I left, our “Can’t be Bought Campaign” was launched. (YAY!) This is our prevention side to working in brothels. Yes, I absolutely ADORE Bella House, but reaching a dozen girls is a pretty small drop in the ocean. If we REALLY want to take down this giant of sex slavery, there NEEDS to be justice along with mercy. PREVENTION.
In the first week we reached several hundred kids and hope to be reaching a few thousand per week by the beginning of the new year.
With this campaign, our team goes into public schools and teaches kids about prostitution, sex-trafficking, their value and worth and that they are created with purpose and can truly change the world! It’s amazing, our first class I stood at the back taking pictures and almost cried as the kids rang out a cheer “I am not for sale… I cannot be bought! I’m valuable… I’m powerful… my body’s mine…” In a place where sex with children is normal, this felt ground breaking.
It’s been a journey… choosing to “see” can sometimes be the most difficult part.
Imagine being in the 5th grade and because you don’t sell yourself for sex, you are a minority.
Imagine wanting a snack during recess, so for your bag of popcorn it’s acceptable to find a man who will violate you for it.
Imagine growing up knowing if you don’t get the luxury of education, you will most likely be forced to sell yourself for sex.
And imagine knowing not much else. Your mom is a prostitute, your grand-mom is a prostitute and your aunty is now forcing you to be a prostitute.
This is the life of SO many in our community here.
It’s so… engrained in a culture, and we’ve had our shirts stained with too many tears of child prostitutes to do nothing about it.
With the curriculum of this campaign, we hope to use it as a foundation in brothels around the world. Entering public school systems and empowering kids to protect their body, stay in school and dream for a better future. I’m excited!!
So now I go from rescuing kids on the ground to being their voice abroad. (As of now, I’m officially back in N.America!) They say children exploited in sex-work or conflict are the most voiceless population in the world. So for my babies and family in another world—it’s time to speak up!!
Exciting times we live in! That we would get the opportunity to touch so many lives! Amazing really! Change the world, and now get hot showers too. Life just keeps getting better
If you want to join us in rescuing child sex slaves and hopefully, well, shutting down brothels : ) you can donate today and be apart of the journey of writing history! Donate