Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What comes next

When you prepare to leave a place, people naturally ask you what you plan to do next. Very few of my friends have asked me that, however, because I've been dead-set on grad school since November, and they had no reason to believe that plan would ever change.

It has.

In January this year, I attended a conference about human trafficking and modern-day slavery. During the conference, I begged God to tell me how I could be involved, what role I could play in changing the world. I started working on the only thing I knew I could do well - writing lesson plans. I felt like I was being called to mobilize the next generation to go out and make a difference, and I was genuinely excited about coming home and teaching my little unit on slavery and calling it a day.

Fast forward to June; I attended another conference with the same nonprofit, Not For Sale. This time, with the encouragement of my friends, I anxiously approached the president of the organization and politely suggested to him that they needed to provide more resources for teachers who wanted to get involved. He told me he completely agreed - then asked me to write all the resources. K-12 curriculum. Me.

My pastor asked me shortly after if I could be interested in directing the first Not For Sale Teacher Abolitionist Movement. Although I wouldn't be in Korea much longer, I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do, so I jumped at the chance. For the last two months, my team has been discussing programs and curriculum formats, and we're hoping to have all the resources finished, tested, and published by the start of the next school year.

But I'm pretty sure this isn't going to stop there.

I've always wanted to be involved in something bigger than myself. In college, I went through a phase where I was pathetically grumpy that I hadn't been born during the Civil Rights Movement because I thought I had "totally missed out" on fighting against injustice.

That fight, while it has changed opponents, is still very much going on. And I'm going to join it.

Depending on what research you read, there are anywhere from 27 to 100 million slaves in the world today - more than any other time in history. In fact, if you check out slaverymap, you can find documented cases of human trafficking in your city. This isn't a "somewhere else" problem (as though people in other countries aren't "people" after all) - this is a problem in your backyard. And it's not going to stop until enough people stand up against it.

Therefore, when I get back to America next week, I'll be packing up my bags and moving to Colorado Springs to study at a Justice & Mercy Discipleship Training School with Youth With A Mission. I'll be learning about fighting injustice from a faith-based perspective for three months before I head out to an outreach country to work with local organizations who fight against trafficking and slavery every day.

If you are feeling called, I really could use some financial support on this endeavor. Although I made enough money in Korea to pay for it, that money was supposed to go to my student loans. I technically have enough in my bank account, but the whole goal of coming to Korea was to pay off some of my loans, and I won't be able to do that if I use all the money on my DTS. My birthday is coming up soon; if you'd like to donate to my program as a gift, I'd be forever grateful.

Additionally, I'll be discontinuing this blog when I leave next week. I know a lot of people have enjoyed reading it this past year, and you have no idea how much I have appreciated knowing that people cared enough to keep up with my life. This new step I'm taking is going to be a drastic turn, and the content of my writing is going to shift greatly. I've already begun a new blog, and it's taking shape as a deeply personal account of my heart as I learn about injustice and human trafficking. I thought I was going to keep the blog just for me, but friends have already been asking to see it. I'm going to keep it password-protected for now, but if you're interested in following me as I stumble around in this new battleground, let me know. As long as you promise to pray for me as you read it, I'll give you the password, but be forewarned: it won't be nearly as funny as the stories you're used to reading. Slavery is a whole different ballgame.


  1. Praying for you as you transition... both back to the old culture, and also to this new chapter of your life. I'd love to read the new blog. :)

  2. I can not wait to see you to tell you to your face how proud and thankful I am of you. For the woman you have become over this last year, for the heart that God has given you, for making hard decisions, for taking the unexpected path, but the path that God is directing you on. I of course will continue to pray for you as you go on your next journey and am so excited to see where God takes you. I would also love to be able to read your blog so I can be specific in my prayers for you.

  3. I happened upon your blog by accident several months ago when I was looking for blogs by local (Greater Cincinnati) people around my age. I've loved following your journey, and I'll be sorry to see this blog end. I'm immensely proud of you for the work you've done so far, and I'm sure I'll hear great things about you in the future.

    I'll be praying for you during your final days in Korea and as you start this next stage in your life.

  4. I want the blog address and password...I am so thrilled to see where God is going to take you on this next step in life. I know He has big things for you...I am praying for you and thinking of you often. When I seen Nancy, you were one of the top questions I asked "did Nikki turn in her application?" I miss you woman!

  5. Hey Lady,

    I know I will see you in a few short days but wanted to tell you this before I forget. I have some friends that live in Colorado Springs and work for Children's Hope Chest. The wife, Amy, has a blog They both have a heart very similar to yours and especially Amy has a heart for human trafficking. I would love to introduce you guys via email and I am sure when you are out in Colorado Springs they would be a friendly face to help you figure out the town.

  6. Nikki, I met you more than a year ago in a Community Group on injustice, with a pretty heavy focus on human trafficking. It is so amazing and inspiring, a regular privilege, to see the ways that you are allowing yourself to be used by God. Good luck and you are absolutely in my prayers.