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Archive for August, 2010

Book Recommendation: SOLD by Patricia McCormick

sold

“You can’t unknow what you now know.”

A friend reminds me of this truth regularly.  When my dear friend Rachel began ministering to women trapped in prostitution in China, she began a journey into a world I knew nothing about.  “Blissful ignorance” is the phrase that best describes. Today, Rachel is gearing up to move to Cambodia to work full time with women and children exploited by human trafficking and sex tourism.  Along the way, she and her colleagues are traveling the US, sharing the story of the estimated 10,000 to 20,000 women and children trapped in the sex trade in the city of Phnom Penh — and the good news of Jesus Christ to redeem even the deepest wounds with His healing and love.

Rachel recently sent me the Patricia McCormick book SOLD, which follows the story of a twelve year old Nepali girl sold to a brothel in India.  The book was written for a young adult reader — the content is quite a bit milder than you might find in an adult book on the topic.  I read it in one day, hoping against hope that the next page would be better than last.  The story is heart-breaking and terrifyingly real.  According to the US State Department, nearly a half million children are trafficked into the sex trade annually.  SOLD opens an unforgettable window into that world.

Unlike any time before in human history, we can know for sure about grim realities faced in other parts of our world.  Wilberforce and his abolitionists had eye-witness accounts passed from one person to another, Europeans heard rumors about the Nazi death camps, Americans saw footage of the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide — but today, human trafficking is as easy to witness as a google search on the internet.  Blissful ignorance is no longer an option.

Read SOLD.  Follow Rachel’s journey at http://graceandpeacegals.blogspot.com/.  If you are in Richmond, come to hear Rachel and her colleagues speak at Stony Point Presbyterian Church the morning of September 18.  Pray.  Ask God to reveal the part He wants you to play in serving as His hands and feet on behalf of the half million women and children trafficked this year.

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Blueberry Bliss

Just fun pictures from today’s great trip to a local blueberry farm — for you Richmonders, Swift Creek Berry Farm “U Pick” blueberries for $2.09 a pound!

Our great pickers - over 20 pounds in the buckets and lots more in the tummies!

Our great pickers - over 20 pounds in the buckets and lots more in the tummies!

Zach's favorite food is blueberries -- he's pretty sure a taste of heaven can be found in Mosely, Virginia for a few weeks this summer

Zach's favorite food is blueberries -- he's pretty sure a taste of heaven can be found in Mosely, Virginia for a few weeks this summer

Joyful Noah

Joyful Noah

Sweeeeeet Mia

Sweeeeeet Mia

Happy Hannah

Happy Hannah

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Seek the Peace of the City

And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace. Jeremiah 29:7 (NKJV)

Ah, Richmond.  My hometown.  The city that loomed large when homesickness hit hardest.

I’ve recently joined the Board of the Richmond Christian Leadership Institute (http://www.rcliweb.org/), whose “goal is to empower a network of young Christian leaders to serve and influence Metro Richmond across racial, denominational, geographic and socioeconomic lines by aiding people in social and spiritual need, healing community divisions and extending the Church’s influence on the culture.”  In pursuit of this goal, we strive to understand and appreciate the rich history, both glorious and broken, of our city.

Hannah reaches out to the embracing figures at the Reconciliation Memorial

Hannah reaches out to the embracing figures at the Reconciliation Memorial

This morning, the kids and I set out to work on that vision, by following the infamous Slave Trail of Richmond, from the slave ship docks to the notorious prison nicknamed the “Devil’s Half Acre” to the new Reconciliation Statue, one of three duplicate memorials at the vertices of the triangular slave trade.

Zach discovers an old iron hook used for tying slave ships to the dock

Zach discovers an old iron hook used for tying slave ships to the dock

Thankful for educational historical markers along the way

Thankful for educational historical markers along the way

Down the slave trail - captive Africans were taken down this path only at night to protect the sensitivities of local residents

Down the slave trail - captive Africans were taken down this path only at night to protect the sensitivities of local residents

The infamous slave jail, currently under excavation

The infamous slave jail, currently under excavation

Mom, trying to hold it together at the site of the Lumpkin Slave Jail

Mom, trying to hold it together at the site of the Lumpkin Slave Jail

Engraving on the Reconciliation Statue

Engraving on the Reconciliation Statue - the inscription reads: Acknowledge and Forgive the Past/Embrace the Present/Shape a Future of Reconciliation and Justice.

Zach contemplates the triangular trade route at the Reconciliation Memorial

Zach contemplates the triangular trade route at the Reconciliation Memorial

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