Thursday, November 1, 2012


 This is me on the plane this morning. Self portraits don't look so good when you get up at four in the morning. Please give a tired girl some grace. Besides, the lighting was terrible - that's why the bags under my eyes look so bad. :)

Here are the ladies I am working with this week.  From left to right we have Lisa, the Wisconsin state representative for FREE International. Then we have Kristina (I may have just butchered the spelling of her name), Jacki, and Sarah. They are a great group of women that are passionate about God's love and about helping women trapped in the sex slave trade and other seemingly hopeless situations.

We landed safely in Vegas about a half an hour before our scheduled arrival time. 
We definitely hit the ground running. 
The weather is beautiful, the city is vast and bright and there is so much to see around every corner.
I would sum up today with one word: education. 
We talked to a lot of people who are fighting human trafficking and learned a lot today. Plus, there is a lot more to come.  I'll share some of the things we did today more specifically later, but since I woke up at 4:00 this morning and it is already 12:15 at home, and that's the clock my body is still on, this girl is going to get some sleep. We have another big day ahead of us tomorrow. 
Below are some of my thoughts from earlier today while I was on the plane. 
I hope you enjoy them. Keep praying fellow warriors. God is at work already on our little trip and I can't wait to see more.

Gazing out of the window of the airplane I can see mountain tops. Given the direction I am flying they can only be my beloved Rockies. Isn’t it funny how the snow covered peaks that have loomed high above me and made me feel small, are now the thing that looks so small from where I rest high in the air? They are still majestically beautiful. Even from this height, they stretch across the continent farther than my eye can see. I wonder, based on our flight pattern, if I have ever driven through this particular stretch of the Rockies. I wonder if I have seen some of the roads and paths that snake in and around the mountain peaks that I am so quickly flying over the top of. I have to admit, the mountains are much more alluring to drive through than fly over. How can a different perspective make something so grand come across as relatively unimpressive?
I am so thankful that has never happened with God.

Already on this mission trip I have seen Him intervene and show up. Even in the little things. I may have had to spend $8 on Afrin, but it was there and I can breathe easily through the altitude changes, not suffering from severe sinus pain that this head cold is trying to inflict on me. And who knew that airlines overbook their flights consistently? I have never flown on a plane that was completely booked before. But this one is.

Now give me a minute and allow me my provincial moment. I was feeling a little like the hick from the sticks this morning. Here’s the story:
Please remember, it has been quite some time since I was on a commercial airplane. Thinking back I’m having a hard time remembering when the last time I flew was. It has to have been over 5 years ago. Anyway, in all the wonderful e-mails the airline sent me regarding my upcoming flight, I missed the part that told me I could check in online 24 hours ahead of time. Showing up at the airport over an hour before your flight and checking your bags in, apparently doesn’t guarantee you a seat on the plane. Who knew? No worries, I did get on my flight; however one of the women traveling with me only made it because someone volunteered to give up their seat. Now, explain this system to me: Sell out more seats than you have on the plane. Then hope some people don’t show up. But if they do all happen to show up, you let people volunteer to wait for the next flight and you give them a free airline ticket to use at a future date. However, if my travel companion had not been able to make it on the flight, and I wanted to stay back with her so that she wouldn’t be alone, I would have to pay for another ticket. ???? Does this make sense to anyone?

Anyway, God is good and thanks to a couple of guys who wanted a free flight at a later date, we are all on the plane flying over the Rocky Mountains destined for Las Vegas. Maybe I’ll call Troy and tell him I am volunteering on the way home if the opportunity arises. I wouldn’t mind a free plane ticket. We’ll worry about that later though. There are probably not going to be as many people trying to fly back to Wisconsin as there are flying to Vegas anyway.

Reader, in case you aren’t aware, I am on my way to Las Vegas for a mission trip with FREE International. The plan is to learn more about human trafficking right here in America and make some contacts with women who are in the profession of prostitution. There’s going to be a lot going on that I don’t even know yet.

Let me tell you, when I prayed and asked God to let me go on a mission trip this year, this is not the one I had in mind. I was thinking I might take my oldest son on a trip onto South America or the Dominican Republic to work at an orphanage or something. I really want to expose my children to life outside the United States and to missions on a first hand basis, but that is a topic for another time. Anyway, God has a sense of humor, this I know. You see, I have a genetic predisposition to having wanderlust and a love of traveling. Because of that, when I have an opportunity to travel, I don’t like to go to the same place twice if I don’t have to. So God, being who he is, and having the sense of humor that he does, and loving me the way he does, answered my prayer with a yes. Only he is gently reminding me that his ways are better than my ways and he has a greater plan than I do. So he answered my prayer and my desires all in one trip. I am traveling to a place I have never been and I am serving God on a mission trip.

Maybe I shouldn’t say it, but the irony is I have never really wanted to spend any time in Las Vegas. Oh, I’ve talked about driving down the strip just to see it (I kinda want to see everything), but I’ve never wanted to spend any time there. And I wanted to go on a mission trip serving God with the gifts he has given me, only this trip is far beyond what I could have imagined for myself. I would have to admit that God has me moving way outside of my comfort zone on this one. Not only will I be spending time in “sin city” but I will also be spending time immersed with the people participating in the ‘sin’. I’ll be in the shady parts of town meeting women I would never have had the inclination to meet on my own. Now listen up, I don’t think I am better than the women who make a living out on the streets or in the Brothels, but for reals, I am scared of them and their lifestyle. I have no way to relate. No idea what they go through, no idea what to say, no idea how to act. People remember, I don’t watch the local news because I don’t want to hear about the evil taking place around me. I’m not comfortable with nudity in any way. I have probably been called a prude more than one time in my life. And I have a hard time relating to people that are different than me when it comes to our core beliefs. I also don’t know how to make small talk. Like, I’m really bad. And, I am a really bad faker. I am like a fish out of water on this trip.

But that’s okay.

You see God has brought me here. He has paved the way, and he will see me through. He has placed me in the perfect position to stand aside and watch him do his thing. Will he use me? Of course he will. But there will be no doubt that whatever is accomplished through my time here is done by his hand. I will leave knowing that God is great and I am not. So will everyone that I encounter in the next 4 days.

So even though I will no doubt be uncomfortable at times on this trip, I am just where I want to be:

In God’s hands.

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