I Stand With the Girls #voiceswiththegirls


[Trigger warning: Mention of human trafficking and sexual violence.]

I want to stand with the girls.

October 11 is International Day of the Girl. We have joined International Justice Mission, Canada this year to raise awareness around the stories and challenges of women and girls around the world and we ask you, our readers, to join us. #voiceswiththegirls

One cold Saturday night, I had a glimpse of what it means to stand on that edge between Light and Dark. I was volunteering at a coffee house in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and was asked to stand at the door and welcome people in. Inside it was warm, welcoming, cozy, friendly. Outside, it was mostly not.

I remember standing at the threshold and looking out across the street. A drug dealer stood 20 feet away and customers came up to him all night long. I remember thinking: He is standing there and I am standing here and I cannot leave my post.

I watched as life unfolded on the streets before me. People riding bicycles on the sidewalk. Friends laughing together. Couples arguing. Prostituted women, waiting to turn a trick and young people walking to the nearest nightclub to dance the night away. Light and dark. It was all there.

We don’t often live our life seeing Light and Dark in such stark contrast. But standing in that doorway, I could.

I had a profound sense of clarity: We are meant to stand at the threshold and point towards the Light.

I took deep breaths and stood in that doorway, like it was literally the threshold between life and death, light and dark. I may have been a little melodramatic, but I also knew a woman could be assaulted, someone on that street might overdose. A girl might be trafficked.

There are few times in my life when I have felt the veil between light and dark that profoundly.

I felt the urgency of standing in my place.

What would happen if we don’t? What if we don’t stand in our places, inviting others into the Light?
What if we don’t stand at that threshold and do everything we can, so justice may come?
What if we just don’t?

At the threshold of Freedom, is where I want to stand. This is where I need to warrior.

Standing here, means welcoming anyone with Love.
Standing here, means scoping out the lay of the land, becoming informed.
Standing at the edge of the Light and Dark, means watching and seeing and being ready.
Standing here, means praying and aligning my heart with the heart of God.

I drove home that night and the closer I came to my comfortable home in the suburbs, the more I felt the numbness set in. Like comfort, too, is a drug. Like busy-ness, too, is a distraction. I wondered: What do I sell my soul to?

I know our family is meant to live where we are, on our street, with our neighbors, in this city. But I am also very aware how easily I could sink into my couch and switch off the pain of the world. There are days to do that. There are days to rest and become restored. There are days to celebrate. Days to do the thing that is in front of us to do.

But that is not where we are meant to live our lives. Not now. Not yet. Not when millions of girls still get trafficked, when pimps and johns still get away with this, when kids still work long hours as slaves, when widows still lose everything when they lose their husbands in some countries. When my reality can be so different from other women’s realities in our world.

Today is my birthday and I would love for you to come stand with me at the door. Here’s how:

1. RAISE A RESCUE. I would love to “Raise a Rescue” for women and girls through International Justice Mission, Canada. My goal is to raise $3,500 to help fund a rescue operation for victims of injustice and poverty through IJM. It feels clear, doesn’t it? It feels SO SO big to me. Who am I to ask for this much? Will anyone care? But here’s the thing: I know I am not doing my part if I don’t show up at the door. If I don’t stand and if I don’t ask. So, I will keep asking and keep showing up and keep taking deep breaths and keep being the brave I need to be. This IS my brave. So, please would you consider donating here? Would you stand with me? Only together can we do this.

2. RAISE YOUR VOICE. October 11 is International Day of the Girl. On that day, I am going to share a white image only on my social media. In the write up, I will share the meaning of the day and the cause. We are using the hashtag #voiceswiththegirls. Would you join us? Together we will celebrate when more women and girls are rescued and set free and given the opportunity for a new life.

3. TELL YOUR WORLD. I’ve made a selfie video. Could you tell your world, please? Make your own selfie video and share it on your social media with the hashtag #voiceswiththegirls Or share my selfie video or one of the selfie videos you will find on voiceswiththegirls.ca (Site will be live soon.)

I am 46 today. This is how long Apartheid was legal in South Africa—from 1948 to 1994. This is how long people were legally oppressed and how long there was NOT freedom for everyone in South Africa. It astounds me that the length of my life is how long that was allowed to continue. And that is only how long it was official. So, do you see? I need to stand for Freedom. I need to stand at that door.

So, today I stand with the girls who don’t have Freedom quite yet. Today I stand with the girls.

Would you please join me?


Need easy access to that donation link, here you go: DONATE HERE. Our goal is $3,500 through IJM Canada. Canadians will also receive a tax receipt for any donation over $15. Thank you so so much!