The Real Battle: followup post

Dear Readers,

I have gotten so much response and information related to the last post that I’m writing a followup post mostly comprised of all the links/books/info I’ve been given through Facebook/blog comments.

First off, some continued reading:

I found an article, “The Super Bowl Could Never Not Be Breeding Grounds for Sexual Exploitation,” written by the Chief of Policy and Planning for NYS’ Unified Court System, Judy Kluger. She is also the Executive Director at Sanctuary for Families, the leading nonprofit in New York State dedicated exclusively to serving domestic violence victims, sex trafficking victims, and their children. She wrote in response to several articles which said the hype about the Super Bowl being a “trafficking magnet” was not only overblown but was also potentially harmful to trafficking victims.

Then a friend suggested reading Half the Sky (the link is to its Amazon page) Without having read it yet (though it is now in my shopping cart at Amazon.com–my friend offered to let me borrow her copy, but I’m thinking I will probably want to mark it all up!), I can tell you that Amazon.com calls it “a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world” AND, only moments after my one friend posted the suggestion on Facebook, another friend called the book a “must read.” This friend should know, as she, with several of her friends, started the West Chicagoland Anti-Trafficking Coalition to inform and activate people about the issue right here in our area. While I’m on this topic, here is a link to the Coalition’s Facebook page and another to an article written about it.

And, on that note, more about this issue in my local area, the western suburbs of Chicago:

Over the weekend my husband forwarded to me a prayer email from New Name, a ministry of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL, (that’s my area) that “partners with local churches to reach out to and help walk along side the women who are caught up in these industries.” I prayed my way through the message (heartbreaking stories) and then emailed its sender, asking to be added to the list of people who regularly receive it. I mentioned New Name to my Anti-Trafficking Coalition friend, and she wrote back: “New Name is awesome!” She’s used its videos when she has spoken about trafficking in the West Chicagoland area. If you go to the “New Name” link above, you’ll find more information about it as well as a contact email.

Another friend mentioned A21, which is an official coalition partner with End It, an organization I mentioned in the last post. Both these sites have great information.

I’m also sharing the blog site One Small Voice–which I found through New Name’s prayer email. The blogger says this about the site: “My goal is to post information about global human trafficking issues as well what’s happening right here in the Chicagoland area including strides that are being made by the government regarding this issue.” Right at the top of the site is information about a forum being held this Saturday on this topic.

Lastly, I just want to remind all of us why we should care.

Many years ago, when I was a very young middle-school teacher with no children of my own, I sat in a meeting that involved a student, her father, and our team of teachers. The father was overbearing and belittling to his daughter, and we left the meeting feeling discouraged. One of our team members, the lone male on the team, father to a young daughter himself, was more than discouraged. He was angry. “Any man can be a sperm donor,” he said, “but it takes a real man to be a father, and that girl doesn’t have one.”

Most of the girls involved in trafficking have never had a true father, one who protected them, cherished them, and honored them. God longs to be their Father. He’s angry and sad they’ve never experienced true love, and He’s called us to have His heart for them. He says He “will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them” (Psalm 10:18), and He’s called us to enact that justice in the here and now.

Let’s pray for some genuine religion, friends.

And then let’s do it.

Thanks for reading,

Jen

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Great Eternal Father

Sometimes my praying is scattered. Some days my thoughts seem to jump and prayer gets lost. Not long ago I had one of those times. I was even using a verse to pray, thinking that would help, but I couldn’t get past the first line: “Great and eternal Father.”
I was about to go down my familiar road of beating myself up for being unable to focus on more, when I understood that “great and eternal Father” was more than enough. Those words—standing for the God they symbolize—gave me all I needed, both that day and forever. So I stuck with them and pinpointed my focus on my GREAT ETERNAL FATHER.
He is GREAT—all-powerful and all-good. My doubts don’t change God’s greatness. I can get hung up on questions or balk sometimes at “hard” passages of Scripture or cry, “Why? I don’t understand!” about injustices and pain, but all these problems—as I will see very, very clearly when my sight is enlightened by Glory—are with my perspective, not with God’s actions or character. Bottom line, He is great and good. No exceptions.
He is eternal. E-TER-NAL. I am fickle. My moods are upset by a headache; my values changed by circumstances; my commitments by my feelings.
He never changes.
He never will.
He is the same yesterday, today and forever. ETERNAL!
FATHER! How amazing that the GREAT, ETERNAL GOD has taken on the role of Father. He calls Himself “father to the fatherless.” He uses the picture of a mother hen who gathers her chicks under her wings to give us insight into Himself. He tells us He sings over us and holds us by the hand. He is immeasurably better than the best earthly father and so different from the worst that the word “father” is a travesty when applied to the human version. He even adds “Abba” (“Daddy”) to his title and gives us the incredible, unbelievable privilege of approaching him as a small child does a good father. In Christ He made the ultimate sacrifice so we could come to Him in this way.
GREAT and ETERNAL FATHER—that is a bedrock for my wavering soul.
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Happy birthday, twins! I can't believe they are 9! As they reminded me, this is their last year in the single digits. NOOOO!

Happy birthday, Jake and Maddie! I can’t believe they are 9! As they reminded me, this is their last year in the single digits. NOOOO!