Friday, October 19, 2012

Let's Be Encouragers

Today I am offering us all a simple way to take action against trafficking and slavery and exploitation. It might not seem like it's even related to some of you, but, in truth, it's the most important thing we can do.

  • Today, let's offer praise and encouragement to the young women in our lives who are most vulnerable. It can your daughter or you sister, your niece or your neighbor. But I also invite you to think outside the box a bit. 
  • Is there a girl at your children's school is especially smart and a little on the outside of the crowd? Can you drop of an anonymous note with a treat to encourage her in her intelligence and individuality? 
  • Do you know a strong, sporty girl who feels a little different from all the other girlie girls around her? Can you encourage her to embrace her strength in some way today?
  • Can you send some teenage friends a note on Facebook reminding them that they are beloved daughters of the King? 
  • Is there a single mom you know? How about swinging by with a pizza and movie gift card tonight and a note of encouragement? Or asking her if there is anything she needs to accomplish this weekend that you can help her with.
  • Is there a pregnancy center in your area? Can you drop off some notes of encouragement to the expectant mothers there with a small self-indulgent gift like lotion or fuzzy socks or nice tea?
  • How about a Boys and Girls club or YWCA in your area? Call and ask if there is some way you can offer encouragement to the girls there.
  • Is there a health clinic or WIC office in your area? What if you just popped in with packs of mints and a smile, some "Great Job" stickers, and passed them around to the waiting mothers?
  • Bake a girl cup cakes today. Your girl or someone else's. When she asks why tell her she is a daughter of the King and you wanted to remind her that she is a beloved and well-respected princess.
  • Want to help me here? In the comments below of via e-mail (I finally remembered to post my e-mail in the sidebar), send me a note that I can pass on to Maria at Salvando Corazones as she plans to head for her fundraising trip to the States, or to her first trafficking survivor who is currently living with her, or to a woman in my community I know could use the encouragement. There is a beautiful teenage girl in our church who suffers from severe epilepsy and seizures. She sings in church when she is well, but I have not seen her in a while. Maybe you would like to write her a note? Send anything my way and I will translate it and get it to a woman who will be blessed by it.
We reduce the risk of trafficking, slavery and exploitation when we reduce vulnerability. The surest ways to make a big impact are through providing education and work. But stepping into the lives of vulnerable women and girls and offering them hope and encouragement is certainly worth while. And cultivating a habit of doing it regularly, letting yourself be gently (or brazenly) by the Holy Spirit further and further out of your comfort zone may well turn into something much bigger than you ever imagined it could. Just like my little friend in Nicaragua.

And let's not stop praying together, okay? When we pray, we change our own hearts, so that when we act, we can change the world.

Thank you all for standing with me and for having a heart for the oppressed. The earth looks just a little bit more like heaven because of it.

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