Sex Trafficking

It's what you CAN do

All too often, people look at issues like drugs, crime rates, sex trafficking, homelessness, etc. and get overwhelmed by all the problems bombarding them on the news. bigstock-overwhelmed-woman-on-a-chair-durring-a-storm

Maybe you don't, but I know a lot of people who do, so much so that even though they are so bothered by what they know happens in the world today and they really do want to do something about it, they're overwhelmed to the point of inaction. So instead of doing anything, they watch the problems on the news at night and become more and more disheartened about our world and how in shambles it is.

I admit that there isn't an easy solution to every problem in the world today, but here's the reality individuals together can create a movement of a better tomorrow. As Christine Caine says, "we cannot all do everything, but everyone can do something." Truth is, you already have something in your hand that you can use to become part of the solution, to help bring justice to earth. We could all sit around waiting for the officials to solve our problems, or we could take matters into our own hands and be part of the solution.

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Today, I get to start coaching for the Girls on the Run spring season! See, I'm super passionate about helping end human trafficking in our generation. I cannot stomach the fact that there are 26 million slaves in the world today, nor the fact that Minnesota is ranked one of the top 13 states in the nation for highest incidence in recruitment of children for sex trafficking. This issue is so multifaceted that it'll make your head spin thinking about all the systemic issues that allow this to even continue in this day and age. Despite its complexity, I've decided that one of the things I can do to help end it is to pour into girls at a young age helping them to know their true value and worth so that they can stand up to anything and anyone that would tell them otherwise. By being a coach for Girls on the Run, I will get to do this through a running program! So I get to combine my love of coaching, my passion for ending the sex trafficking of our children, and my love of sports all in one! My love for inspiring others and encouraging them to live out their fullest potential has collided with my love of sports so that I can be part of the solution to this massive problem. I simply am taking what's in my hand and putting it to use.

What's in your hand? What are you doing with it? Is our world getting better because of it?

You've Got Every Right to a Beautiful Life

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Kristie Kerr -- Worship Leader.  Author.  Speaker.  Co-Founder of Fourth Floor Ministries.  www.kristerkerr.com  I traveled with Kristie on my recent trip to Panama and wanted to share her beautifully penned reflections from our time there.

I’ve  just come home from a missions trip to Panama City. We hosted a conference for girls and saw over 1500 girls attend.

And the last few days, I’ve been asking God what I should specifically be praying over these precious girls. And the Holy Spirit has been bringing back to my heart the lyrics from a song my sweet friend Stephanie sang during the opener of the conference. It says this:

You’ve got every right to a beautiful life.

And that is what I have been praying over these sweet girls. That they would KNOW that they DESERVE an abundant, joyful and peace-filled life. Their circumstances scream to them that this kind of existence will never be a reality. The first night the altar call was for those who were facing some kind of physical or sexual abuse. I would guess about 75% of the girls came forward. One of the mothers collapsed in my arms trembling with fear as she explained the constant violence she faces in her home. My heart broke for her… and it broke even more as I looked into the faces of her 3 daughters standing next to her with blank stares on their faces.

They don’t know that they have every right to a beautiful life.

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Counting Down...

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4 weeks from today (July 30), I will be on a plane with 23 others bound for Panama City, Panama to meet up with 26 other Minnesotans already down there!  By then, so many more details will be hammered out and plans laid.

That week, it will be all about implementation.  We are expecting anywhere from 5,000-7,000 girls to attend a girls conference as part of the government's first attempts to deal with their human trafficking problem.  The Panama Canal is becoming well-known for its role in the sex trafficking industry.  This conference has the potential to create a movement of  governments worldwide being proactive about ending sex trafficking (the second largest global organized crime today) in their countries as well.

2 months from today (September 2), Go Life Church will be launched in Gothenburg, Sweden!  Go Life is one of EuropeAdvance's newest church plants.  Gothenburg is an urban harbor city. Inner city Gothenburg has a population of 500,000 and greater Gothenburg has 1 million inhabitants and is the 2nd largest city in Sweden.  The population grows by 2-3% each year! It’s a young and hip university city.  The inner city is home to lots of high tech, media and innovative companies, which is surrounded by bigger industries.  Gothenburg is known for companies like SKF, Volvo and Hasselblad.

The percentage of confessing Christians (Catholics, Orthodox, Lutheran and Free Church) in all of Sweden is 4%.  Sunday church attendance is 1%.  According to the “World Survey,” Sweden is the most secularized nation in the world.  In Sweden, more than one church is shut down a week!  But Swedes are more open than ever.  Gothenburg is strategically located between three capitol cities within only a few hours drive: Oslo, Norway; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Stockholm, Sweden!  The time has never been more right to plant a church in Gothenburg to reach the northern part of Europe!

There are some other exciting things in the mix, but I will save those for another time.  :)  I don't know about you, but there's just something about a countdown, about looking forward to something on the calendar, that's kind of a big deal.  For those of us planners, sometimes a countdown is one of our greatest motivators and 'energizers.'  But if we are only living for the countdowns, for the BIG events on the horizon, it can be so easy to miss what's in store for us today, and tomorrow, and the day after that, and all the other days before the big event.  Between now and July 30th, there are 28 days that hold the same potential as July 30th.  May I (we) wake up each morning with the same expectation for what today holds as we do the days that are circled on our calendars.  EVERY day is a gift.