>>>Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to volunteer with Because Justice Matters, a non-profit that strives to reach women vulnerable to exploitation and human trafficking. The mission of the organization is to end injustice by taking a stand against modern-day slavery, domestic violence, discrimination against immigrants and economic inequality. I’ve blogged about my interest in human trafficking before; highlighting The Daughter Project and my friend Amy who wore one dress for SIX months to raise awareness. On Saturday, I specifically worked at a women’s outreach event to teach women about ways to relieve stress and just to honestly be friends to them for the day. To listen.
>>>San Francisco is home to 43% of all trafficked women entering California. The average entry age into prostitution is 12-14. It is estimated that 27 million people are enslaved in the world today. This. needs. to end. I had the opportunity to talk to a one woman on Saturday that really touched my heart. She was raped at the age of 13 and had a child at 14. She was physically abused by her dad and mentally/emotionally abused by her mom. She has been poor her entire life. She currently is living in a rough area of SF and last summer, her apartment building burnt down from a fire. You know what struck out about her though? Through all of this, these words rang in my head:
“I am blessed. I may not have a lot of money, but I have a lot of love and strong friends. I am happier than most people I’ve met who have all the money they’d ever want. I have hope that things will be better. What I have here on earth is not everything. ”
>>>Insert moment where I was slapped in the face with perspective. To the world, this woman had nothing. To her, she had everything.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy. -Matt. 5: 1-7
>>>Today I want to encourage you to reverse the way you think. To think outside of yourself. Think of every single thing you have in life right now and every single event or situation that has happened in your past. Can you look someone else in the eye and say “I am blessed” ? Speaking with this woman reminded me that no matter what happens to you in your life, you can be restored strength and dignity. I want to challenge you to remember the brokenhearted that need bound, the captives that need to be free, the prison doors that need opening. That you can make a difference by spreading the word. That’s our job.
He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To comfort all who mourn, to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
>>>I pray that none of you have had the traumatic life that the woman I met has had. I also pray that you and I both start living with eyes wide open – and start embracing the same mindset: I am blessed. I have love. I have hope.