Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Boy I Met at Starbucks


It was Tuesday morning and I did the same thing I always do on Tuesday's. 

I woke up at 5am, slammed my snooze button, dragged myself out of my warm sheets and got started with my normal-every-Tuesday-morning-routine. I drove to Starbucks, swapped the typical weather jokes with my favorite barista, ordered my grande coffee and bagel, and walked out the freshly decorated glass door.

What wasn't routine was the scraggly teenage boy I ran into on my way to the truck. He was asking for something and though I didn't clearly hear him, I assumed it was money. I said sorry, I didn't have any, and continued on toward the truck. 

He didn't ask again and he didn't pester. But something in my head did. Did he ask for money or food? I quickly spun around and asked, do u need food? His reply was so innocent and affirmative so I held out my goodie bag and said, here ya go, a toasted bagel with cream cheese made just for you. He smiled so big, I thought his lip ring was gonna pop out. 

I didn't think anything of it until I got in the truck and started pulling away. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the boy peeling open the cream cheese, so carefully and joyfully, like it was freaking Christmas morning. I drove to the office, weeping like a broken hearted mother. 

I didn't know this boy. I had no idea what kind of trouble or circumstances got him to the streets, but I do know that he is someone's son. And if my son were out on the streets, asking for food at 6:30 in the morning, I know I'd want that busy looking girl to stop and give him her bagel. ~


Friday, February 27, 2015

If We Were On a Coffee Date | No. 14




If we were on a coffee date, I'd probably want to meet you at a coffee shop towards downtown. There are so many cute shops here in Austin that I have yet to experience. Houndsooth, Mozart's, Cafe Java. Or we could to go TOM'S. It's my fave! 

If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you this month has gone waaaaaay too fast. I know it's the shortest month of the year but seriously, wasn't it just Feb 1st? 

If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask what the highlight of your month is. 

If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you the highlight of my month is watching people get excited about changing the world of some sweet Filipino girls! It's seriously blows me away at how people in this blog community have grabbed a hold of the fight to stop sex-trafficking. 

If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you I'm so anxious to see how much $$ was planted in the My Refuge House birthday month. !!! I know our goal was lofty ($2700) but I ain't neva scared. 

If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask what you're crazy passionate about in life. Like the kind of passionate you could just talk and talk and talk about for hours and hours. You know that kind? Is it writing? Parenting? Marriage? Chemistry? Counseling? Music? Non-profs or health? 

I'll run and get us a muffin and then I want you to tell me. Tell me everything! 

Original photo via

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Films & Books Talking About Sex Trafficking


"This list is not an endorsement of everything that is presented in these pieces—there is a great amount of nuance in such a complex issue. You’ll rarely find a full piece that uses your favored perspective, level of explicitness, or correct language. It shouldn’t stop us from coming together and being educated." - Love146.org


F I L M S
*Available on Netflix


B O O K S
It's easy to be overwhelmed when talking or hearing about such an atrocity as Human Sex Trafficking. But now is not the time to lose heart. That does nothing for anyone.

We must rise higher and take even just ONE STEP forward. They deserve it. Will you step forward with me right now?

We're raising $2700 in leiu of my 27th birthday, to support the education and restoration of 12 rescued girls in the Philippines. My personal friend and rockstar, Crystal, oversees this home and the stories she shares would blow. your. minds.

It's real. It's here. And you can do something about it! Got $5?

Plant your seed here.

G I V E
Click to give your donation of $5, $10, or $20 via My Refuge House's super secure and tax deductible site. (Make sure to use the provided link so we can track how much $$ raised.)

S H A R E
Know someone who is passionate and overwhelmed about this too? Tell them you found something small they can do to start with! 

G E T
Yup. We want to show you your sacrifice means the world, so we're giving you a little gem of music. A free download will be coming later this month! You're the first to hear about it!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

What I Want to Tell My Daughter About Sex Trafficking




Hopefully, if we do this generation right, nothing.
Hopefully, it will no longer exist.
Hopefully, it will be a horrific part of history she reads about in school.
Hopefully, it will be one of the biggest victories the Christian Church has seen to date.

When my girl comes home from school and asks why bad men take girls and do bad things to them, I hope that my generation did everything they could so we can say, because there is evil in the world baby. 

But we know God is bigger than that! And by His power, because He said with Him we can do anything, the people in our world gathered together and gave all they could to make sure it was stopped on our watch

I want to be able to tell her it looked impossible, but we did it.
I want to be able to tell her that while evil is real and dark and big, God is bigger and His love reaches into every nook and cranny of this earth. 

No parent wants their kid to experience fear.
(Maybe the fear of getting their booty swatted every now and then but you know...)

No parent wants to see terror in their daughter's or son's eyes when either they find out or experience how dark this world can be.

We want them to be free to be whoever they want to be, with no strings attached.
No fear.
No heartache.

Right?

And while I do not live in a world of illusions, I know, because studies have shown, there are problems that plague humanity today that are utterly and completely mendable. Annihilable. Vanquishable. Vanishable. They can cease to exist. 

We just have to do something. Anything to cause a ripple effect.

I want to tell my little girl that the her doctor is a walking miracle.
Her teacher isn't supposed to be here.
Her president, that movie star, those astronauts, that police officer, business owner, CEO, worship leader, pastor, lawyer...

...they have stories that will blow her mind. 

I want so badly, for her to see the loving hands of God, through our obedience, weaving redemption into the fabric of this world at a pace never seen before.

Don't you? 


Here's 3 things you can do RIGHT NOW ||

G I V E
Click to give your donation of $5, $10, or $20 via My Refuge House's super secure and tax deductible site. (Make sure to use the provided link so we can track how much $$ raised.)

S H A R E
Know someone who is passionate and overwhelmed about this too? Tell them you found something small they can do to start with! We have custom Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pics just for you. 

G E T
Yup. We want to show you your sacrifice means the world, so we're giving you a little gem of music. A free download will be coming later this month! You're the first to hear about it!

I'll do my part, you do yours and together we can change the world. I promise. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Face of Slavery is an Innocent School Girl

*Please note the contents of this video may be emotionally disturbing and not appropriate for anyone under 13. But it's a little girl's real life story. Click the picture above to watch the video.


This is not okay. That's obvious. 

When I watch stories like this, something inside my heart begins to swell. First with anger and confusion, how could this really be happening?! 

Then sadness and grief set in, I want to hold that sweet girl and tell her I'm sorry and that she is loved, precious, and valued. 

Last, I feel helplessness, this issue is way too monstrous for a 27 year old girl like me to make a difference. 

But that's just not true. 
There is something I can do.

I can tell my little part of the world about this horrific form of 21st century slavery.

I can raise money to fund organizations that are preventing, rescuing, and restoring girls pulled, saved, and booted from this disgusting industry.

I can help prevent girls from desperately running into sex trafficking by teaching the ones in my life that they are valued, loved, and cherished as they are. 

It's not a lot. But it is something! And you can do something too. 


G I V E
Click to give your donation of $5, $10, or $20 via My Refuge House's super secure and tax deductible site. (Make sure to use the provided link so we can track how much $$ raised.)

S H A R E
Know someone who is passionate and overwhelmed about this too? Tell them you found something small they can do to start with! We have custom Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pics just for you. 

G E T
Yup. We want to show you your sacrifice means the world, so we're giving you a little gem of music. A free download will be coming later this month! You're the first to hear about it!

I'll do my part, you do yours and together we can change the world. I promise. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tried to Save Her Family and Ended Up Trafficked | Stories from My Refuge House

This post was written by my dear friend Crystal. Crystal is what I feel like Mother Theresa was like when she was in her 30's. True story. She is the Executive Director of My Refuge House, a girls home in the Philippines. (You might recognize the name because Becoming partners w/them!) The home cares for 12 girls who have been saved or rescued from sex-trafficking.   Below is a nutshell of what she does and why she does it. -JM


If you've become recently aware of human trafficking, you may be asking something like, “How do those kids get trafficked anyway?” 

And I would give you semi-cryptic answer like “Well, there are various common scenarios.” 

Unfortunately, that answer doesn't even come close to the glaring and horrific realities of sex trafficking. But I find often find myself resistant to creating stereotypes by explaining a common path, so I give a couple of fairly generic and common scenarios and leave it at that.

However, I can tell you this: Of the girls who have lived at My Refuge House, a full 95% were trafficked by someone they knew: a neighbor, a cousin, a classmate. (Click to tweet!)


And 100% of them were behind in their education and the majority of them were trying to  help supplement their family’s daily needs. (Tweet that fact!) 


Brave, Sweet Jacky* stood up at the blessing of our new home and told her story last month. 

Quivering chin, she read through the entire speech she carefully prepared. It involved dropping out of school because of poverty, trying to find work to help support 5 younger siblings, false representation about a job opportunity and isolation from anyone who could protect her.  

She began with, "I hope you will find meaning from my story."  You will. I promise. 
She continued:
When I was a child, I’ve been through a lot of challenges and problems. I have so many siblings who never had the chance to go to school or finish our studies.  I came from a very poor family and my parents didn’t have enough money to send us all to school. I stopped my studies when I was in grade 3 and my parents didn’t search for a way to re-enroll me, so I never went back. Over the years, I witnessed poverty in our very own home and so I decided to find a job myself.
One day, a woman came to our place and offered me a job to work in Manila as an internet café attendant. We were promised it was a good job in Manila and they left money for my parents which also motivated me to work and take advantage of the job opportunity. All I was thinking about at that time was that I will be helping my parents and somehow, someway, will save my family from poverty.   
I told my parents to use that initial payment that they gave us for my sibling’s schooling and they agreed– as long as my siblings had the opportunity to study, I was happy.
We stopped first in Cebu and we were about to leave for Manila, but I was very shocked because there were policemen all over the place asking us about our trip and our purpose of going to Manila. I just told them, “I will work in an internet café there”. All of a sudden, they escorted us, gave us food and brought us to Social Services.  
I was really afraid and scared that time that I might not be able to see my family again. Then I learned it was a rescue conducted by International Justice Mission (IJM).
After we stayed at Social Services for few weeks, our Social Workers brought us here at My Refuge House. This is where I experienced studying again after a very long time of being out-of-school. I am very happy because after 2 years of staying here, I am able to finish my elementary through the Angelicum Home School. Now, I’m in my 1st year in High School and I am hoping to finish my studies here.
November of 2012, I received a very shocking bad news. My mother died because of pregnancy complications. She died without me by her side. I was confused what to do that time. 
We went to the public hospital and I saw my mother’s dead body lying on a bed. I didn’t know what to do when I saw the nurse covering my mother’s body with a white cloth. I was crying all the time with my father. I really felt that God wasn’t there or if He was, he wasn’t that close to me. 
I questioned Him why of all people He gave that challenge to me. This situation was very sad for me and for my family but it didn’t give me the reason not to know Him better. After a while I realized that God won’t give me problems I cannot solve or carry. I learned not to give up. I went back to My Refuge House and continued my studies.
I’ve been here for 2 years and 4 months and I learned to know more about God. I am very grateful because through our spiritual activities I have deepened my relationship and faith in God. I realized that the job I was hoping to have in Manila wasn’t right.  I used to regret being trafficked and rescued  but now I realized that because of that event, I was brought here to My Refuge House. That event made me the person I am right now. I was given the kind of love, care and provision that I haven’t experienced before. My life has been changed and I will always be thankful for that. 
- - - - - - - - - -
Jacky is one story. One girl. A real girl whose broken life was made beautifully mosaic by the love and grace of God, through the hands and feet and hearts of the men and women who built and live within the walls of that home.

That's amazing.
"I hate, I despise your feasts, and I will not smell a savor or take delight in your solemn assemblies. Though you offer Me your burnt offerings and your cereal offerings, I will not accept them, neither will I look upon the peace or thank offerings of your fatted beasts. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice run down like waters and righteousness as a mighty and ever-flowing stream."
Amos 5:21-24

 - - - - - - - - - -
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people involved in this story.

WANT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT HUMAN TRAFFICKING? This month we are planting two specific seeds of faith. It's the easiest first step. Will you plant with us?
  • THE GIVING SEED
Click to give your donation of $5, $10, or $20 via My Refuge House's super secure and tax deductible site. (Link provided)
  • THE SPEAKING SEED
You have a voice. A powerful voice that has been given powerful tools in this decade. We need you to talk about this to your peeps. Tell them you found something small they can start with to change the world!  
We have custom Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pics just for you over here. 
- - - - - - - - - -
If you want to get more involve or more info about My Refuge House, visit their website or send Crystal a tweet!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Humans are NOT 4 SALE

Sunday was Freedom Sunday. As a nation, we talked about, cried about, and shed light on the subject of modern day slavery in human trafficking. Sex trafficking to be more precise. As you know, this has burdened my heart for the past two years. 

I've said A LOT on this subject this month, so I won't be a broken record, but I will give you some real life statistics:


  •      27 million people around the world are currently (right now) trapped in the sex-trade
  •      Girls, as young as 7-9, are being forced to have sex as much as 50X's a day (Every 15 minutes for 12 hours. Not. O.K.)
  •      This trade brings in over $32,000,000,000 a year (2nd in the world, only to drugs)
  •      2 children are sold every 60 seconds (it will take you longer than that to read this post)
  •      Superbowl Weekend is America's #1 sex-trafficking revenue. 
  •      In some countries, girls escape and their police bring them back to the pimps
  •      In our country, they're called "strippers" and "prostitutes"
  •      The pimps hang out at our students' high schools and "groom" our girls

This is a stoppable slavery. It CAN be abolished. But we need help. 

I urge you to do something. Anything. 

It feels too big, but it's not. 

Our God is bigger. 

So, what can you do right now? ---

L E A R N
Read up on the issue. Educate your children, educate your teens, educate yourself.

G I V E
Click to give your donation of $5, $10, or $20 via My Refuge House's super secure and tax deductible site.  Give what you can towards destroying this slavery. (Make sure to use the provided link so we can track how much $$ raised.)

S H A R E
Take a picture with "NOT 4 SALE" written on your body and post it on my Facebook page with the rest of ours. Let's tell the world that this is not okay with us. Talk to everyone about it. Let's continue to shine light on this issue so it can no longer hide in darkness.  Together, we can be a very, very loud voice

G E T
Yup. We want to show you your sacrifice means the world, so we're giving you a little gem of music. A free download will be coming later this month! You're the first to hear about it!


^^^Opinions, two-cents, questions and ramblings are welcome. And go above. Go ahead. Try it.

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