A big welcome to our guest writer, Diane Harvey. She’s a super woman at placing herself in the proximity of renewal. She’s also our steady friend from Australia full of insight and encouragement.
I saw the movie,Trade of Innocents last night, starring Dermot Mulroney and Mira Sorvino, which focuses on the worldwide problem of human trafficking. It was powerful and distressing just like I thought it would be. It was a thriller. I felt my heart beating in some places, and spent most of the time with my hands gripping my tissue packet.
The movie is set in one community in South East Asia. The American husband and wife were played by Dermot Mulroney and Mira Sorvino. He was a detective and they were both trying to come to terms with the kidnapping and loss of their own young daughter in an idyllic American suburb.
There was resistance to the investigative operation. The police chief argued that the problem was too big to fix and that they were only after one man, that it was better to agree with the community who see and remain silent. We later found out that he was being paid off and was himself part of the problem as he was gaining financially by tipping the trafficker onto raids and turning a blind eye.
The disturbing trade is highlighted in the interaction between the American tourist, who appeared to be a married businessman and family man, but who wanted to use really young girls, and the brutal trafficker who agreed to supply ‘freshly picked flowers’ for him through kidnapping.
We got a glimpse into the lives of the women and girls who were already captive, in one scene we saw one lady physically, verbally and emotionally abused by the trafficker who later died of her injuries. The dialogue transitioned to unsubtitled Thai in this scene, which added to the viewer’s feeling of powerlessness, horror and fright.
In the quiet moments we were taken with the sweet American lady (Sorvino) who shared about her story of loss, and helped escaped victims tell their story and begin to heal as they woke up each day in a safe environment. When she began her work, they were wary of her. A local had said to her, “they don’t trust Americans. They come, take their photos and leave nothing (good) behind.”
I have been thinking about this topic for a while so I wasn’t being presented with this grimy reality for the first time. The thing that did shock me was the reference to the practice of sewing girls back up to make them appear as virgins. I knew that women sometimes do this before marriage in some cultures to appear virginal, but it didn’t occur to me that this was being done as part of this evil trade.
At the end of the movie we had various non-profit partners speak to us about what they do in prevention, rescue and rehabilitation and heard some stories of hope. We were encouraged to pray about what part we could play and encouraged that we can act both individually and corporately to fight this trade (which is larger than the arms trade and the drug trade). I signed a petition for our country to have a minister for human trafficking, gathered some brochures, a fridge magnet on a “Walk for Freedom” fundraiser and left with the determination to fight this evil trade.
Will you join with me in my fight to abolish modern day slavery?
Diane Harvey resides in Perth, Australia. She is 36, has been happily married for 6 years, and has two beautiful children. She has studied education and theology. Currently, she is on maternity leave and serving in her church in the areas of women’s discipleship and social justice.
New life emerges vulnerable. The loss of a new life is devastating. We can work together to ensure that more families do not have to endure such grief.
I am a Mom to two kids and one life lost through miscarriage. We all have a story to tell. Woman who give life through childbirth find themselves in a very vulnerable space, good maternal health care ensures the best possible outcome.
When we make maternal health a priority, Mom’s around the world receive a gift of hope.
Millennium Development Goal #5 is to improve maternal health. The MDG’s were designed to be reached by 2015.
The Global Newborn Health Conference will be taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa April 15-18. The world is joining together to reduce infant mortality around the world. The conference will be streaming live here.
These are simple ways that maternal health can be improved globally:
Helping Maternal Health through training programs that identify risks of pre-term birth such as high blood pressure and infection.
Sometimes I go through moments of serious doubt about myself. Confidence is not something I’m able to gather and hold onto for any extended period of time. Many times that occurs on the heels of comparing myself to someone else. This is not honoring the person God made us uniquely to be.
I also love the way The Message puts this, we have far more interesting things to do with our lives.
Girl Up a sponsor of the upcoming documentary film Girl Rising. Want to see it in Holland? Click here.
I know not everyone has a smartphone, if you do this is a great option for giving back. (PS My cell phone fell in the sink. I’m not encouraging you to drop your old phone in the sink, toilet, or other watery space… just saying sometimes rice does not work, at which time you will need a new phone possibly.)
This is the kind of motivation I need to tie those running shoes back on!
Save, Love, Give is an app that allows you to optimize your cell phone bill in a secure way. You are then provided with an option to give back your savings to micro-finance through the Seven Bar Foundation. You can choose not to donate, donate one time, or donate monthly.
We waste 50 billion dollars a year on unnecessary cell phone charges.
I love this concept of saving money and having the opportunity to give back!
My friend Mickie let me know about Save, Love, Give. (Mickie and I sit in each other’s cars every afternoon when waiting for our kids to get out of school. Those talks are a happy part of my day:)
Watch a video here of how much families saved on their cell phone bill, as featured on Good Morning America.