God asks the same of me. To love Him and respond from what He's given. Among other things, I've been given the gift of words, an audience and a message. Even if you take away the 500 or so people who "hide" my posts (HA!), I can still connect with about 1000 people, just through facebook, not including Twitter or my blog. Yep. That's a gift. By using what I already possess, I have the potential to change the story of many lives, mine and yours included. I have to respond! And one simple way I can do that is with an invitation to you, my readers.
Today was designated National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. When I saw it posted, I remembered that I have been wanting to give away a copy of Priceless. It's a novel based on the horrific stories of young girls Tom knows in Russia. He uses real places and describes real circumstances many orphans in Russia have to deal with. They're lured with the promise of a better life, given new clothes, offered a job, put on a plane, and sold into the bondage of slavery—trafficked for sex. In spite of finding himself in life-threatening situations as he partners to rescue helpless girls, Tom's lead character, Stuart Daniels, discovers that he's stronger than he thought. In the process he leads us to see that "hope can be found in the darkest of places."
And he challenges us. He challenged me. In addition to the millions already held captive by trafficking, 1.2 million children are trafficked all over the world every year. That's a lot of kids walking in a darkness most of us can't fathom. With their identities stripped and nowhere to call home, they're lost. Not just in Russia or in cities somewhere other than where we live. But in our own neighborhoods. No kidding.
To help raise awareness of the magnitude of trafficking and to practice the art of giving from what I've been given, I'm giving away a copy of Priceless. Tomorrow, Wednesday, at 4:00pm, PST I'll choose randomly from among those of you who leave a comment on this blog or on the note on my facebook page. But FIRST, I'm inviting you to something more:
• Visit the site or facebook page of one of these organizations. I'm associated with several in one way or another.
• Pray as you go, asking God to show you what you have that you can use to change the story for just one victim of slavery.
• Then RESPOND. Maybe you'll post a link to an organization on your fb page or forward my note to your list or be nudged to give money or attend a conference.
In your comment to me, let me know your response or that you're praying about a response. I'm not gathering info, and I won't follow up with you unless you win (or want me to). I just want to come alongside you with what I've been given and pray.
Oh, one more thing! I'll send not one but TWO copies of Priceless to the winner. How's that? One to read and one to pass along to a friend. It will be good practice in giving away from what you already have!
Thank you for reading. I can't wait to see what God does with this simple response!