Sunday, December 12, 2010

Every Action Leads

On the third day of my trip in Greece, we had a five hour car ride to Sofia, Bulgaria. Our team was given a movie about trafficking to watch on the way that followed four common way girls are tricked or kidnapped.

It was nothing compared to what actually happens to women but it was disturbing enough that it broke each one of our hearts in a new way. It gave us a glimpse into how this crime operates and we realized what a perverted way the Devil is using sex to destroy millions of people.

What is commonly overlooked is the slow fade from "probably wrong" to pure evil. America is perfectly oblivious that R rated movies can easily lead to porn, porn leads to strip clubs which then gets boring and leads to prostitution. Then sadly, we don't realize that a brainwashed girl that has "chosen" to be a prostitute is a slave herself...

Please be mindful that choosing a life of purity may not be cool. Believe me I am often called too sensitive or a goody goody, but every action leads to the next action.

Rescuing one girl at a time from a strip club, motel room or brothel isn't enough if we blindly keep feeding the monster that is making this poison easy to swallow.

While in Greece we kept hearing that the key to freeing the women is changing the mindset of a culture that is comfortable with a perverted version of intimacy. It sounded a lot like home to me which fuels me even more to be opposite of what is acceptable. I would rather live by this:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Please join me in walking upstream. All the of the water is rushing one direction, but I have seen first hand where that water is leading to. It takes each one of us choosing to turn around and helping others to see that what they consider a harmless choice is engaging in an industry that brings destruction.

- Katy

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fact vs. Truth

It will take a couple of blogs for me to tell you about my trip to Greece, so I want to begin with a lesson that I learned about focus. It is important that our perspectives are correct when learning about human trafficking because of the horrific nature of the crime.

Being submerged in how a nightmarish crime works can feel so hopeless when you look at the facts and statistics. You look at the numbers as being overwhelming, the men who use women as animals and hate and anger are the first feelings that arise when you see the injustice. But none of those feelings are from the Lord. Those responses are not grace or love driven, so we have to stop immediately, and ask God "what do you say about this?"

I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

Isaiah 42:6-7

It is easy to see that the women in slavery are captives, but the people who trick women and children and kidnap them are captives too. A man that uses a prostitute is a captive and the pimps, madams and mob are captives. When we can stop seeing the oppressors as evil and start seeing them as the captives also, we are seeing the world through truth and not facts. We do not battle against flesh and blood so keeping our focus on the true battle is key in abolishing human trafficking. Perversion that Satan has injected into our cultures is the what causes this crime. Choose to hate the Devil, not the people he uses as pons to further his territory.

Fact - there are around 50 million slaves in the world today. Looks like a hopeless task.

But when I met six girls who were rescued and are now safe and putting their lives back together, it made that mountain of a statistic seem small.

In just two years A21 Campaign has had over 70 women go through their restoration program and have assisted another 900.

I want to encourage you that if you want to make a difference in someone's life, allow God to restore you first. Seek out classes and wisdom on God's restoration, make the effort to find inner healing, it will be the most important investment you will ever make.

- Katy

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The House That Built Me

Tomorrow I leave for my mission trip. I have been waiting for this trip to arrive for 11 months! I told Kyle last night that we could have had a baby quicker than this trip! But, the time has finally come and I am humbled to be on this team and have our church send us out to explore how we can better aid the women and children in slavery.

Last weekend were the final services in our church's current building. In worship this past Sunday morning, I thought about the day Kyle and I came to church here for the first time, Mother's Day 2006.

I remember clearly the conversation Kyle and I had after that service. I said "I have no idea what he was talking about." And Kyle said "Me neither. But I liked it." There have been about million times since then I have had that thought, and I am so grateful.

Kyle and I were raised in a church that laid a healthy and stable foundation for us. We were taught the truth from a young age and it gave us a solid beginning. Some would say a good foundation is enough, but God desires more.

Our next chapter was about finding out what we believed. Not leaning our parent's faith, but discovering a more personal relationship with God than ever before.

The house that raised us sent out with a big fantastic wedding.

And now the house that built us is sending me out. Not just for a 2 week trip, but to my destiny to free the captives. I feel overwhelmed when I think about it.

I am so grateful for both of these chapters, and I am excited about the new journey that is beginning at 3 pm tomorrow.

- Katy

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Red Lights in November

In two weeks I will be going on a trip with 14 other people to Europe where a large number of women and children are being trafficked for sex slavery. The team I am going with will be helping with an awareness day in the city, going to rescue centers and researching what our church can do to aid in the fight against modern day slavery. Currently, my church financially supports the organization that we will be working with, but it is our heart to do everything we possibly can to free the captives.

One evening we will be going to the red light district of the city to see the brothels, so I am asking you that during the month of November, every time you pull up to a red light, pray for us. It is a simple reminder for you that the red light districts around the world are growing daily and in November I need your prayers!

Two weeks from today I will be there. It is hard to prepare for this trip. I am very familiar with mission trips, but most of the time when someone returns, I hear them talk of poverty, illness and lack of basic needs. If I was going to a village in Africa I feel like I would know what to expect based on what I have heard from family who has been.

This trip is about witnessing a vile injustice, treating someone like an animal and forcing them into a life of slavery. I have no frame of reference or idea what it will be like to talk someone who has just come out of that situation.

The unknowns of this trip are what scare me the most. I am very excited as I know this will be absolutely life changing, but as it gets closer I am taken back by the gravity of the circumstances I will witness.

A few months ago someone asked me if I was scared to go, and I said "I am more afraid of not doing what God tells me to do." I truly mean that, so when fear tries to rise up, I will be remembering that the best place to be in the world is right where God wants me. And, for two weeks of November that will be on the other side of the world trying to live this verse:

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

- Katy

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fully Present

Yesterday morning I was about to do ministry in a small group when my thoughts started drifting to the next meeting I needed to be at, the emails sitting in my inbox and so on. My brain was a good two hours ahead of me!

When I realized that my heart rate was increasing just thinking about my day, I stopped and asked the Lord to help me be fully present in where I actually was (not all the places I could have been). It would have been all too easy to think about the items on my to do list while in the group instead of fully engaging in what God was going to do.

This train of thought lead me to wonder how often we are not fully present because half of our present is in the future. Am I only partly in the season I am in now because I am worrying about what may be ahead?

I realized that in order for me to be fully present in my own life I have to work at it. You would think it would come naturally to be completely engaged in your own life, but really many of us are so concerned about the next step that we are missing the places we are passing by now.

I don't know about you, but I want to BE where I am. Not DO where I am, BE. See the difference?

I will be praying this from now on whenever my mind takes a step too soon:

Lord, please help me live my life on purpose. Fully present, fully engaged and not distracted by my own thoughts and agenda. Oh, and when I am "falling asleep at the wheel" you have full permission to awaken my soul!

- Katy

Friday, October 15, 2010

Life for the Weary

I had the privilege of giving a prophetic word at a ministry night for women last night. Prophetic words are simply something that God tells you for to you share with someone else to encourage, edify and comfort them. (1 Corinthians 14:3)

As we were worshipping, I felt God wanted to breath new life into the weary places of the women there (and now the blogging world).

Everyone has places in their heart that is weary. Some from a healing that they need, financial difficulty, a broken marriage or weary from just being tired for a long time. You may be reading this and a specific area has come to your mind. Then allow me to speak this scripture over you:

Genesis 2:7 The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

The amazing, all sufficient, over the top, joyful, peaceful, healing, all powerful breath of life is in you. AND in every weary place.

- Katy

Monday, October 4, 2010

Caution: Construction Zone

I'm doing some processing.

Today I was thinking about destructive life patterns that sneak their nasty way into the back door of our lives, nest there until we can't even recognize them anymore, and cause us to think they are just part of who we are. I admit, that was kind of an intense sentence, but that is really what happens.

I was talking with a friend just this morning who told me to keep her accountable in the area of gossip. Now that is wisdom! Recognizing that you have something that needs correcting and asking a trusted person in your life to help you retrain your mind and tongue.

I want to be the kind of person that can receive the truth in love, and give the truth in love.

Wearing a mask so not to see your flaws is surrendering to a problem that you were not created to walk in. It is learning to live with your wrongful behavior, thinking "that's just who I am".

RED FLAG! That is not who you are! And when someone says "that's just who you are", graciously say that they are wrong and to not label you with ungodly character ever again.

Anywho :) I'm just taking some time tonight to ask the Holy Spirit to tell me what I am currently doing that is setting destructive patterns in my life. Whether it is having a judgmental attitude, gossiping, being quick to frustration or maybe choosing to be negative (yes, I said choosing because it is a choice) I want to be a work in progress kind of person.

Lord, please allow my heart to be a construction zone for the rest of my life.

- Katy