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.