Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Getting the word out about Women of Purpose

I am happy to announce that our Women of Purpose Group has been chosen to be the featured charity at the Girl Power Hour event on January 17th at Solo bar on lower Queen Anne in Seattle! We will be selling necklaces made by saved women at the event! All proceeds acquired by the necklace sales will be donated to the micro loan program! Any women is welcome to attend. The cost of the event is $10 and there will be a guest speaker. Please check out the invitation for more details. I am so happy to announce this great news! Every little bit of exposure helps create awareness about our cause!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tronie Foundation Serves Trafficked Women Locally

Hi Ladies!
Have you read about the Tronie Foundation lately in the papers - or seen Rani and Trong on Oprah and PBS? Well, they are from our own backyard! They have an amazing story, both being victims of trafficking and are now working in Washington state to fight trafficking and also to provide shelters for trafficked women. I spoke with Rani by phone and she is excited to find ways our Women of Purpose at Overlake can partner with them. She is also available to come to Overlake sometime to tell her own story. She is currently doing some speaking with Sharon Cohen of IJM. How do you feel about serving victims of trafficking right in our own backyard?!! Check out the link included here to the recent Seattle Times article on the Tronie Foundation and their story :(

Looking forward to your thoughts at our next meeting!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Our Microloan Sales!

Hello Women of Purpose Ladies!

Well, I am not exactly sure where we are at with sales, but my estimations are that we are at around $2000 to $3000!! That means that we could be helping as many as 30 women start their own businesses! I have not heard from very many of you though so let me know where you are at with your sales so that I can get a more accurate count! I am more than excited by all of your enthusiasm for this project and I love that we are getting the word out about this cause. It is so important for us to communicate that there is a real, tangible way to help women and children suffering around the world.

If you are having a hard time figuring out the best way to go about selling the cards, be encouraged! I just sent out an email to many of my contacts saying that if they were interested, I would mail the cards out to them. I have been really surprised by the variety of people that have responded to this call to action. I have friends from high school that were moved to buy a card! You just never know! So be encouraged if you aren't a "seller" and don't feel comfortable asking people to help.

I am honored to be working with all of you on this project and excited to take on another challenge in the near future! I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A chilling article entitled "Child Sex Tours"

I was reading through old articles in Christianity Today ( came across a very chilling article about child sex tours. As I read on I realized that nothing is really stopping men (from all over the world, even America) to sign up for these "Sex Tours," where, apparently men are taken on guided tours where young girls are presented to them as though they were animals. That is not even the worst part, these men are, at times, American business men who travel to places like Thailand to satisfy their perversions. The saddest part is, there is practically nothing being done about it. No punishment, no shameful actions made public to these men's families and friends! The problem is so enormous, like a huge white elephant in the living room! 2 million women and children are slaves in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. The Thai government even admits that 20,000-30,000 of the slaves are young children. It just sickens me that men from our country are partaking in this. I will pray for them and for their families. I will also pray for the women and children who are suffering, while these men get back on a plane and return home, to their lucrative careers and their beautiful unknowing families.
There is some good news. There are groups like World Vision who have teamed up with national governments and U.S. immigration and law enforcement agencies to make a difference. They are working on punishing any U.S. citizen up to 30 years in imprisonment for partaking in sexual activity with a women under the age of 18 years old. I do hope that people start to take notice, and even better, take action. It is time that we fight for our sisters!

Suggested links

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lets help unite the powerful women of the world to our cause!

I was looking through the candidates for president and without getting too political, I found that Senator Hillary Clinton is taking a really strong stance on issues involving women. I e-mailed her camp about what steps, if any are being taken to improve the situation in Thailand and across the world. If you would like to e-mail her, here is the page to do it. I think that Hillary would be a great person to be an advocate for the Women of Purpose groups all over our nation. I would like to start e-mailing powerful women like Oprah, Martha, Hillary and others who may be interested in our mission. I will keep you informed on how to contact these women coming up!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Another reminder of the injustice to women around the world...

This past weekend I was reading CNN and ran across a really sad article that reminded me of the need for us to be women of purpose. I hope this article as the same effect on you as it did on me.
First, I took a moment to pray for the women of the world and their difficult situations. Next I forwarded the article on to a few of my friends...just another way to speak on behalf of those who can't speak for themselves and spread the word.

Take a look at this article and pass it along to a few friends...and let's see if together we can't bring an end to the injustice to women in the world!

A letter from a young woman serving in Cambodia

hello all,
cambodia is hot!!! although im psyched to be away for the chilly
winter months...i wish i had a bit more of a fall experience before
plunging into absolute hot, stickiness. however, i cant really
complain as i have started discovering the lush pool havens amidst the
concrete. just trying to strike a balance between staying cool and
being respectful in terms of my attire.
the weekend brought some interesting new experiences my way. i took a
boat ride along the mekong river for a friend's birthday. it dropped
us at this funky bar called snowies, whose owner made a guest role in
the movie city of ghosts...never seen it, but heard its quite good.
following the birthday party we went to a club called heart of
darkness...which ended up being an extremely appropriate name.
i had heard a bit about the sexpat/sex industry in cambodia and
southeast asia in general before coming here...but wasnt sure how i
was going to react. for a little back story- i have never set foot in
a strip club and the only encounters i remember having with
prostitutes involve them approaching my dads car for a good time at a
stoplight (he respectfully dismissed their advances and answered my
questions that followed with grace) on our way downtown before 42nd st
was cleaned up. upon entering the club...i was face to face with a
seedy side of this beautiful city. i place no judgment on the
women...and in fact had some lovely conversations with several
prostitutes, who have excellent english skills, dancing feet and a
personable demeanor. also had to fend off one woman who cornered me in
the bathroom and practically begged me to have sex with her...that was
interesting to say the least. but my prostitute buddies sensed i wasnt
into it and came to my rescue. haha. after switching between staring
at ignoring the groping, touching, kissing, flirting, etc i had to get
some fresh air. the sense of entitlement and access seeping from the
sexpats pours made me feel sick and sad. knowing that the going rate
for a woman's body is no more than $! not sure what else to
say. the saddest thing is that these women's families depend on them
and this sex industry for survival. a friend took me down the street
to check out the walkabout hotel, which is in essence a 24 hour
brothel. the faces of the western men nearly hit the floor when we
walked in. i think the sight of a western woman, who maybe looks like
your mom/sister/wife, is a bit of a downer when trying to score a
khmer prostitute. so that was fun.
another unfortunate sidenote in regards to women's lives in cambodia
concerns the value placed on light skin and a quiet mouth. when out to
lunch with the teachers, the restaurant owner started poking fun at
ann, a particularly badass lady. i later inquired what it was all
about and she said that they are all trying to find her a man. when i
commented on how beautiful, smart and funny she was, her response was
that i was the only person to have ever said anything like that to her
and that it is her badluck that she was born with dark skin and a
sense of humor. we then launched into a great discussion about white
privilege and women's ideal appearance in the states. however, i dont
think that my feelings about waiting for a man who is looking for a
challenge to love really translates in cambodia, where money speaks
louder than words and women are meant to be seen and not heard (sorry
for two cliches so close together).
on a brighter note...spent all day saturday with the folks at sovann
komar. three children celebrated their birthdays. in addition, we had
a full moon celebration. we made boats out of bamboo (i actually cut
huge pieces of bamboo with a machete and some smaller knives) and
placed offerings (flowers, fruit, seeds, candles, incense) for our
ancestors on the boats. we then placed our boats into the river with a
sense of what we were thankful for and what we wanted in our hearts.
my boat was pretty small, but some of the dads made the most beautiful
creations. in an attempt to be creative i carved a sun out of bamboo,
covered it in yellow paper, and placed it on top the little hut i had
created to protect my offerings.
went to the "thrift shop"market today. that's how it was advertised,
but as thrift junkie, i was not so impressed. plus...the scene at the
market was a bit off putting as in between the aisles chickens hung
from hooks and animals innards were on display...including the penis
and testicles on an unidentified creature. nevertheless i purchased a
cute shirt/dress, my first since being here.
making friends is not no hard in this town...but i found a couple more
treasures this weekend, both ladies from the states. ali is from the
chicago area...funny that i become close to chi folks no matter if im
in wisconsin, south africa or cambodia. the other is charis. charis
invited me on a weekend roadtrip to kep, about three hours southwest
of pp. we'll be staying with a friend of hers for free and from her
descriptions will be out in the wilderness hiking and swimming!! fun.
plus, we'll come back for the last day of the water festival, as the
boat racing sounds incredible.
i will be spending my thanksgiving delivering toys, books and a
hammock from the children of sovann komar to an orphanage in an outer
province. i cant think of anything more appropriate and lept at the
opportunity in hopes that it will distract me from what im missing
back home. i think the leftover sandwich later thursday evening is
what i will miss the most...outside of family and friends of course.
that's all for now....gotta run to dinner with my pp ladies. instead
of asking how are you, khmers ask: happy, healthy? i hope you are all
happy and healthy,
katie xoxoxo

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mission Trip to Thailand coming up in February!

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice, and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?...Then you light will break forth like the dawn.”  Isaiah 58

There is a great opportunity presenting itself in February, a mission trip to Thailand! The trip will take place from the 11th-19th! We need women to go with the music team and perform ministry in the brothels! This will give any woman interested, an opportunity to get to experience first hand, the issues these women are dealing with. I pray that women from our Women of Purpose Group at Overlake will be called to go. I have been praying and have decided to make this my first mission trip! I want to be able to come back and become the voice of these women. I know that this is my calling, but for anyone else who may feel the same and may be interested I have attached some information below...

click the link below and watch a great short film about our cause!

If you would like more information on this trip or others, 

Contact Lynne Ellis:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Getting Started

Women of Purpose, a project of World Concern:

Thanks to the dynamic, caring members of Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, WA, a few women have taken on the important process of building a special women-focused Women of Purpose Group. We are the 10th group to spring up in the United States. Women of Purpose is a Project of World Concern, a group based right here in Seattle, WA.

The Women of Purpose project focuses its concern and attention toward women in need around the Globe. With poverty, child trafficking, prostitution, and slavery running rapid the Women of Purpose project seeks to revive healing, opportunity, and freedom to women and children. This is accomplished through education, missions, microloan programs, job training, and shelter and safe house programs.

A few of the women at Overlake Christian Church have decided to band together and become a driving force in the fight against slavery and human trafficking! We are praying about what our role in this fight will be. So far our group is working on getting our website up and running. The website will be a place where people can buy items made from women in impoverished countries. By purchasing these items on our website you are providing these women with an alternative to prostitution. These items will include jewelry, candles and cards. Purchasing these items will also allow these women to maintain their freedom and continue the owning and running their own businesses. On the web site there will also be the option for people to donate funding, co-sponsor fund raising events and get more personally involved with our Women of Purpose group. Our group is hoping to raise $1,000 before Christmas. This $1,000 will allow 10 women to started in own business and intern get out of prostitution in Thailand! We are here to give women a voice, a choice and the right to be free!

We need help and are excited to find strong women who want to join in the fight! If you want to help please contact:
Marisa Butterworth: