[You can watch the other videos HERE]
This gave me chills once again. I just saw this beautiful choreographed dance piece in a different light. How amazing is it, that we can stretch out our hands, legs, and whole being, to reach out to the most insignificant and broken people – this being for those homeless, abandoned, and extremely abused children in Colombia. It is such a beautiful thought, a BEAUTIFUL thing.
Thanks to Lauren & Jerusha for the Choreography of all the dance pieces, for their amazing hearts, and for the dancers (Hannah, Caitlin, Sarah, Ashley), for their amazing hearts for God and for these children.
Here is an update on my work with the Open Arms Foundation (OAF), a non-profit working with the street children in Medellin, Colombia.
It has been an amazing experience working with OAF on their media needs. I’ve been working with them for over a year now, and every second has been a blessing. Before I started working with OAF’s media, I had gone to Colombia 3 times with different teams, one that I had organized myself. If you have been following my blog (and my old one, Simple Is Deeper Than Extreme), you know what I’m talking about. But for you who haven’t heard of my travels to Colombia, feel free to go read some stories, see some photos, and some videos from my past trips there.
Lately, I have been planning an event, or what I call a “Benefit Show” for OAF. This is an independent effort on behalf of myself and many others to raise awareness and funds for the street children who are in constant risk of being sexually exploited, pulled into using and abusing drugs, and the violence of gangs in their neighbors, as well as a slew of other heart wrenching abuses.
There are many more updates to come on these Benefit Shows, and that is why I have set up a website where you and others can visit and read the updates that are forthcoming.
Also, other updates – A new website is underway for OAF, web design by Jeff Andrews, and graphic/branding/logo design by Tyler Deeb. There is also a banquet on the 18th of this month at Perrow Church in Cross Lanes, WV. There will be a slew of great things happening that night, please come out and join us at 6:30pm! Many more things to come…
Thanks to all of you for your support of my work in Colombia, as well as my sister, Lauren. Please join us in supporting the Open Arms Foundation, and having open arms yourself to the street children in Colombia either from where you live or if you decide to go to Colombia (if you’re thinking about it, DO IT).
So yesterday I got a message on facebook from a friend of mine I haven’t seen in about 4 years, Brianna Goode. It was a support letter to help her get to NYC to work with a non-profit, called Free International, who works to find, rescue, embrace, and empower those who have been sold as sex slaves in New York City. It doesn’t surprise me that it would be a major industry in NYC… I’ve known about this issue for several years now, becoming more aware through my trips to Colombia the last few years.
The message that she sent me was one that broke the silence in my mind of this abusive industry, now the 2nd largest industry in the world. For a while now I’ve always wanted to be apart of the change in peoples lives who have been sucked into this industry, and I have in part with the Open Arms Foundation (and still am working with them). But I’ve always wanted to find out how I could help in my own country, and there are some things that are coming in the future, I hope and pray, that will use my love, compassion, and abilities to change people’s lives.
I believe Free International is doing an incredible thing, not only rescuing and restoring the people (80% women, 50% children) who have been abused in this industry, but those who are forcing these people into this trade, for the love of God does not stop at them.
I encourage each of you who read this to bring yourself out of the comfort that you have created, and into the uncomfortable, so not only these peoples lives can be changed, but that yours, through their change, will be changed as well.
Become aware of this issue, and help support Free International, and other organizations who are working domestically and internationally, to bring people out of this abusive industry and into a new life full of love and hope.
These are just some of many organizations that are working to end this industry. You know what to do. Just do it!