Eden: a sex slave’s story

Originally posted on Investik8:

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Wearing just their underwear, the girls line up with their backs to the wall, arms by their side, heads down, frozen to the spot. They dare not move.

Their captors walk up and down the line – picking them seemingly at random and tapping them on the shoulder – ‘You, you, you and you… come with me’.

In the back of a warehouse truck, they are driven for miles across the scorching Nevada desert until they reach a hotel. There, they are forced to have sex with up to 25 men one after the other.

This was life for Korean-born American Chong Kim who, at 19 years old, was sold as a domestic sex slave in 1994 to Russian gangsters and held captive for more than two years.

“The clients never came to the warehouse,” she recalled “That was just where we slept. There was nothing there but bed mats…

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Slavery in Today’s World

It’s here, it’s real, and it will only get worse if we don’t start fighting!

Human Trafficking

I had several interesting conversations today about this horror that plagues our world…our nation…even our own neighborhoods.

It even showed up in a TV episode that I was watching while trying to write this post.

Human trafficking is everywhere and we can NOT ignore it any longer! It’s not just something that happens in other countries, or in big cities. People are pressed into slavery in, and trafficked through, the most innocent looking places.

“”Because of Interstate 5 going through [Whatcom] county between Vancouver B.C. and then Seattle and Portland, we are a corridor for trafficking that we don’t necessarily see or hear about, but it’s traveling right through us,” Sue Ann Heutink””

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“Every year, over 100,000 American children are trafficked for sex: stalked by pimps in their schools and neighborhoods,brutally exploited in a $9.8 billion a year industry. Children. Their average age is 13. They are lured away with promises, and coerced with threats. They are starved, drugged, imprisoned, beaten, tortured, gang raped. They are sold—filmed and photographed; rented by the hour for sex; sometimes killed. And it’s happening in the Pacific Northwest.” (Read more here.)

What is human trafficking?

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From the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime website: “Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”

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How is it possible that this is happening right under our noses? How can we be so blind to the plight of those around us?

What can we do to put an end to human trafficking? We need to spread the word and tell people the facts.

Educate yourself. Do a search. Read the data. Learn what you can and share the information you find!

Here are a couple of great documentaries that I highly recommend watching.

Nefarious: Merchant of Souls

Volviendo

Get involved. Find out what others are doing in your area. I’m running a 5K in May to raise money and awareness in the fight to end this injustice.

There are organizations and groups out there that need our help.We all have to fight before any kind of major change will take place.

Here are a few links to help you get started in your search:

Abolition International

Shared Hope International

Washington Engage

Let’s stop being naive and take a real look at what we can do to put an end to human trafficking. It’s up to us.

(Pictured statistics taken from Abolition International)

New Year, New Blog Post

It’s been almost a year since my last blog post. Ha ha! *cough* Sorry. That is going to change! The last year has been full of many changes. My computer died. I switched jobs and apartments. Went from regular internet access to buying coffee and borrowing a friends computer when I desperately needed to email anything longer than a paragraph. (Smart phones are only good for so much.) I just bought a new (refurbished) computer and my friend and I are sharing internet…one of the many perks of living next door to one of your best friends!

This year contained several other significant changes. Like I said, I changed jobs. I found my perfect play job! I get to cook at a place where I have the opportunity to spend my free time hiking during the summer and snowboarding or snowshoeing during the winter. Pretty much perfect! My co-workers aren’t half bad either. Actually, they’re pretty awesome :-)

Other changes… One of my best friends had a BABY and I moved next door to her and her adorable little son. It’s so much fun! Because my work takes me out of town all the time it is incredible to know I’m coming home to two people who are always excited to see me.

Work has been crazy busy this year and since two of my jobs take me out of town pretty often, I haven’t been able to make it to my home church regularly. That’s been the hardest part of my “perfect job”. Thankfully, when I’m traveling for my catering job, I am able to go to my parents church or some other church in the area where I’m working! I’m pretty sure I’ve been to my parents church more often during the last few months than I have to my own church. I’m extremely thankful for a church family that calls to check up on me when they haven’t seen me in a while! I’ll be there this Sunday!

Here’s to friends, and church family, and family family. Here’s to change, and new beginnings, and fresh starts. Here’s to a whole new year!

Rainy Day Creations

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New cover for an old journal

This is what happens when I’m in a funk and need to distract my mind with something creative and cheery!

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The back

All you need are some old magazines, a glue stick, some scissors and something made of thick paper or cardboard to cover with your creation.

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Make a pot of your favorite tea, put on some great music and start creating…

Mission like Jesus

Wow! What?! It’s been how long since I’ve posted? Sorry friends… I’ll try to do better…

One of the things that’s been distracting me is a great book by Tim Chester called  A Meal With Jesus. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to be inspired by the way that food and christian fellowship can change lives, as well as  to anyone who wants a little insight into the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

I love the following part of the introduction:

” How would you complete the sentence: “The Son of Man Came…”? The Son of Man came… preaching the Word… to establish the kingdom of God… to die on the cross.

…..There are three ways the New Testament completes the sentence, “The Son of Man came…” “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45); “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10); “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking…” (Luke 7:34).

The first two are statements of purpose. Why did Jesus come? He came to serve, to give his life as a ransom, to seek and save the lost. The third is a statement of method. How did Jesus come? He came eating and drinking.

The Jews of Jesus’ day would have said the Son of Man will come to vindicate the righteous and defeat God’s enemies. They didn’t expect him to come to seek and save the lost. And they would have said the Son of Man will come in glory and power. They would never have said he would come eating and drinking.

….Jesus spent his time eating and drinking – a lot of his time. He was a party animal. His mission strategy was a long meal, stretching into the evening. He did evangelism and discipleship round a table with some grilled fish, a loaf of bread, and a pitcher of wine. “

 

Don’t you love it? I get chills every time! (Maybe I’m just a big food nerd…)

My mission for you is this… Find this book! Read it. Live it.

When I Like Rain

I don’t (as a general rule) like rain. I am a sun person to the core! (Weird how I ended up in NW Washington.) There are, however, a few exceptions to the no-rain rule. My favorite rain of all time happens in the desert in the middle of summer and is ideally accompanied by thunder and lightening. Any summer rain beats winter rain in a heartbeat.

And right now… tonight… I love the rain that is falling outside. Keep it up a few weeks more and I’ll be sick of it. But for now… I am content.

There is something so completely refreshing and cleansing about getting done with your job in a hot kitchen and stepping out into the dripping pouring dusk.

I love driving in pouring rain just as it’s getting dark. Add wind and I’m not as happy, but rain I like. Everything looks so dramatic… Black roads cut only by shining beams of yellow lamplight. The mist that covers the far edges of the fields makes it easy to imagine that ghosts exist. I can see a softly glowing figure walking alone in the distance with trailing hair and dress.

The rain is coming down and most of my car windows are fogging up and I smile as I near the well known spots on my drive home that are sure to capture extra water. Water that will tug my car to the right and surge over my tires. It’s fun when you’re prepared for it!

The spray from the road combines with headlights to create a friendly yet visibility destroying glow around each passing car.
For now – I like rain.