Showing posts with label suburbia to the streets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label suburbia to the streets. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Weeping Of A Woman

I hear the weeping of a woman, a woman of many years
Her weathered skin is more than just old age, Her tears aren't of fond memories of days gone by
Each tear holds the name of a young girl she once knew,
I see each tear falling in slow motion to her tattered gown
It tells the story of a sister, a friend, a mother who lived their lives in fear
She remembers them so vividly, the hollow eyes gazing back at her
The girl afraid for her life and the lives of her children
The sister that died too young in the face of disease
The friend cowering in the corner, trembling after being raped
The mother who was burdened with no way to put food on the table
The babies left home alone  at night because there was no one there to care for them
While their mother looked for work on the streets, in the eyes of danger and regret

You see, this woman lived a full life, filled with happiness, she had what she needed
so it was easy to forget and close her eyes to the pain around her
Yet somehow she remembers vividly the pain of those, the lack, the hopelessness
The old woman looks to her lap, where a giant leather bound book lays
the pages falling out after being turned over and over throughout the years
One final tears drops to these words, and this tear, 
This tear, it holds the name of Jesus
"For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty, you gave me nothing to drink
I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you didn't clothe me
I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me."
Oh, these tears she weeps, these heavy breaths she breathes, she does with regret
She remembers each moment, looking into the very face of Jesus as he asked her
"Do you love me?" Assuredly, she answered, "Yes." And that was it.
She read. She spoke. She sang. But she never "did."

Now this woman looks ups from her lap and gazes into the eyes of Jesus, the empty eyes.
The empty eyes of her friend, her sister, her mother, her daughter... and the empty eyes
of the woman in the heart of her city or a woman on the crowded death laden streets
the other side of the world. That woman she never helped. That woman that bore the
eyes of Jesus, whom she said she loved.
And in her ears rang these words as the tears begin the brim her eyes again.
"Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."
This woman could be you. This woman could be me. But I do not want her story to be mine.
Her tears to be mine at the end of my life.
The tears I cry, I want to be with the heart of God, not just for the weak and the broken,
the addicted and imprisoned, but with them.

I was asking God, how do I put myself in these womens shoes. The truth is I can't. Because I have never been there. But I can put myself in the place of the woman who ignored the cries of others...
I am down to my final three days of my suburbia to the streets project.
Together, many of you have helped me raise money to help two of these precious women
off the streets and out of prostitution. I have 3 days left to help one more.
I have raised $950. I have $50 pledged. I need $200 more to help one more girl.
Will you give up your coffee today and help me, help them?
If so, click donate below...

These are the women YOU are helping...with your donations...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Happy Tears Today...

You guys, this morning I am a happy girl.
You know that feeling when you are crying, and you are broken hearted or devastated
at the pain another individual caused in your life. I know that feeling all too well
~yeah, not that.
This is an emotion almost exactly the opposite. These are tears because of the joy
that people have brought int o my life, because of the good of humanity,
the good of friends and the good of people I barely know and of people I have never
even met...
If you have a few minutes, I need you to hear this...
Exciting news!!  I just recorded it this morning..

The majority of my support and cheerleading has been through people I have never met,
or only have met online, have only met once or twice in real life, some who I have never
met at all, and people I haven't seen in 15-20 years. I've had complete strangers walk up to me and hand me cash when they heard about what I was doing
That is both awesome and crazy...the good of people that connect with you...

Monday, February 11, 2013

This Is My Husband, The Addict...

I have a confession to make. Hi, my name is Julie. And my husband is an addict.
A coffee addict.
This is Jeff. He lives I mean works I mean sits at Alterra...
and drinks lattes. Several days a week. At least 3 or 4 days a week.
Oddly enough, Jeff and I were never coffee drinkers until about 4-5 years ago.
And honestly, I still am not a coffee drinker. I will drink the occasional frappe,
but we are talking about his problem, not mine.

My husband, the coffee addict loves Alterra. If you follow me on Instagram,
you know this...Because almost every picture of him that I post is in Alterra.
yes, sometimes I follow him there. Otherwise how would I ever spend time with him?
I'm not kidding when I say sometimes he actually sneaks there. He will go to pay a bill,
or go to make a deposit...and I will say where are you going? He fully knows his
intention, yet he fails to tell me the entire plan. And an hour or two later, I figure it out.
At Alterra he sits, drinking his XL Iced Caramel Latte.
The workers there will actually start making his drink before he goes up to pay...
because they know.....just like I know...
we all know.

This is what I get. A hot chocolate. Clearly far cheaper than the XL Iced Caramel Latte, right?
Not to say that I can't cut corners elsewhere. I'm sure I can. But I don't have a lot of wiggle room
in my budget for many treats for myself. Yet I realize how much more I have to give than so many
people in the world. My occasional frappe or hot chocolate... or Jeffs 3-4 XL lattes a week could do a lot of good to some one who needs real help. I mean, the money we spend on these things could really make a difference...

I want to say we probably spend at least $40-$50 a month on coffee shops a month. When we spend it little by little, $5 here or $5 there, it doesn't seem like a big deal.
But I can't help but wonder, can we lessen that at all...Can we drop that to 1-2 Lattes a week?
Or maybe instead of an XL latte, can we get a small this week?
I understand we all need a break in life and I'm all for it... a treat now and then.
But wouldn't it be great, if we can take $20 of those dollars just this month and help someone in need.

If I had come up with the name of the MOCHA CLUB, I would have called it the LATTE CLUB.
But the idea behind it is that not everyone has lots of money to give people in need. But we all have
the occasional extra $4-$5 to buy ourselves a coffee. So give up that coffee this week, this month...
and give someone else a new chance in life.
In case you haven't heard, I am working on a Project I call Surburbia to the Streets .
If I raise $800 this convincing people to skip a coffee, this week, or this month to help get women stuck in the sex workers trade, stuck by fear and poverty and lack of opportunity... off the
streets in Ethiopia. Then I will leave my suburban life and go out to the streets of my city and
help women on my streets...that need hope and courage.
Something I always wanted to do, but was afraid of.

Are you like us? Do you realize how much you spend on coffee shops a month?
Can you skip one or two coffees this month to help me reach my goal?
But more importantly, help two very precious women redeem their dignity and value and purpose.

If so, click on the button to donate to the Mocha Club. Help me, Help them...

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Women Who Are Desperate For Help...

In 1992, Serwwit "Cherry" Teketel had recently graduated from college and was searching for a job without any success. During her struggle, she felt God challenge her about the plight of women trapped in the sex industry on the streets of her city, Addis Adaba, Ethiopia's capital.
She thought "If I was struggling this hard to find a job with a university degree, how much more difficult, almost impossible, was it for these young women with all their brokenness and the lack of education?" This realization became an abundantly clear calling which was the start of Women At Risk. Cherry began meeting and teaming up with others with a similar burden for these vulnerable women. As a team with the same heart, they started looking closely into the issue, talk to people, read, pray and then go out on the streets to meet the girls.
What soon became apparent was that each girl was desperate for help and refuge to escape their current lifestyle.
This story reminds me of my own thoughts as I started thinking about these women,
and my own history of severe depression. They were very literally the worst years of my life
and had I not been a mother of 3 children, I don't know for sure that I'd be here today.
That was my thought process. I wanted to escape life.
Here I was a pastors daughter, a mom of three beautiful healthy children, a wife to a loving 
husband and I was suffering. I kept thinking, if I was suffering, in my mind...despite what was 
basically an ideal life, how much more pain and hurt and mental anxiety and depression 
could other women be suffering with that had none of the opportunities I had. 
And I wanted to forget about myself for just a little while, and focus on them...
Precious women like this beautiful face below...

This is why I stepped up to the plate so to speak, to take this month and dedicate what would
normally be a month about "me" because it's my birthday. And I wanted to focus on them.
Watch this video and let the compassion in your heart move you to do something great...

If you are moved with compassion  as I am for these women and want to help me, help these beautiful ladies and give them a new chance and life and freedom from the streets and addiction,
then you can read more about what I am doing and why I am doing it here IN THIS POST .
$800 will help TWO women regain their lives. I have raised $ 218 so far.
If you can help, please do so quickly. My goal is set for only the month of February.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Life Lately

Hey guys, lately my life has been full. Full of four things.

1) Lots Of Alterra, Jeff's favorite Milwaukee coffee shop (yes a post is coming about that this week)
2) My birthday. Celebrate! I turned 37! 3) Lots of church this week. I've been there 9 times this week alone.We had a series of amazing meetings. One of the speakers is friends with the Beibers.
So my girls thought that was pretty cool, when he shows us pics on his cell phone.
4) My project to reach out to 2 women in Ethiopia and get them off the streets and give them hope. Read more about that HERE. And please help if you can in any way. Only 26 more days to reach my goal! 
What have you guys been up to lately??
Haning out with my hubs on my birthday doing some selfies...

Playing a weird game that Jada made up for me to play on my birthday.

One of my favorite places in Milwaukee, Comedy Sportz, of course, for my birthday.

An afternoon hanging out with mommy and where else, but Alterra.

My cup runneth over. My kids giving me homemade gifts on my birthday

I took Wesley skating for the first time this past week. He loved it so much after he got over the first tantrum when he fell.

Hanging out after dinner on my birthday at a coffee shop in Milwaukee.

My sister preaching in church about what Love Is. She rocked that message.

Sleeping on Daddy's shoulder in church.

Getting some pretty snow finally.
Most importantly, more than my 2 ladies the hope of freedom from a life on the streets.
Link Up Rules:
Follow your link up hosts via GFC
Follow your link up Co-Hosts via GFC
Link up your Life Lately Posts or ANY post about life!

Friday, February 1, 2013

My Suburbia To The Streets Project

If you know me or have read my blog at all for any length of time,
you know that my heart is deep for helping the broken, the hurting, the destitute...
and those stuck and bound in lifestyles and addictions they so desperately need rescue from.
Whether it be depression or drug addiction, whether it be poverty or human trafficking..
I have always wanted to see people through God's eyes.
When I was nineteen years old, after coming home from a missions trip to Albania, 
I remember coming arcross a man walking along the street who wreaked of alcohol, 
who looked skinny and lost in his world of addiction and he looked hopeless, 
even though he may have not even realized it.
My heart broke that day. I start sobbing to my mom. And it was then that I cried out 
and asked God to give me His heart, a heart of compassion.
Today that heart has brought me to do something I have never done before.
I have started a project of my own for the month of February called
Suburbia to the Streets Project.
If you would take a few minutes to watch my video, I will explain a little more about my 
personal project and how one day I came across an organization called Mocha Club and 
decided I wanted to help.

Between my personal facebook account, my blog readers, email contacts, twitter followers...
I have well over 2500 people. If only 80  of those people could give
 at least $10 to help rehabilitate one precious woman and give her a fresh start, 
that would cover my goal for the month of February,  the $800 
 I need to help TWO women off the streets.
This is my birthday wish this year.
160 people give $5
80 people give $10
40 people give $20
20 people give $40

I have confidence that together we can help two women and give her & her family a new
chance at life and love and caring for her family.

Things I want you to know about Ethiopia:

Understanding the Sex Industry in Ethiopia:
In Ethiopia, the sex industry is often linked with deep levels of generational poverty and
financial hopelessness. Lacking meaningful resources and a sense of hope, many young women
and ever girls, resort to becoming sex workers as a means of supporting themselves and their
families. These women are often desperate to leave the sex industry but remain trapped by a
lack of opportunity and rehabilitative support.

*ONE of NINE women are trapped in the sex industry in the capital city of Addis Adaba
*THREE of FOUR contract HIV/AIDS
*Children are endangered and left home alone at night

Here are the details of the care they will receive:
*Individual and group counseling
*A twelve step addiction recovery program
*Pre- & Post HIV Counseling and testing
*Daily Devotions and Bible Studies
*Skills training and job placement services
*Day Care Services
*Tuition & schooling for children's education & many more programs that
address the unique needs of rehabilitating the women.

I will be running this campaign, the Suburbia To The Streets Campaign though the
month of February as 'My Birthday Wish.' Anyone who wishes to help me make a
difference in the life of TWO WOMEN, can do so by clicking on the donate
button any time this month. This will take you to the MOCHA CLUB where
all funds raised through me will be totaled!

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When I reach MY GOAL of $800 at the end of February, I will join a 
Milwaukee organization called The Inner Beauty Center  that promotes value and love
 in our own streets with our own women.

***If you can help spread the word by tweeting about it, blogging about it, grabbing
a button or allowing me to guest post THIS post on your blog, let me know!


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