Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Our next Eastside Women of Purpose meeting will be...
SUNDAY, AUGUST 3rd at 9:30am
in the OCC Music Suite's Choir Room
We will have all the information you can dream of about our upcoming Charity Golf Tournament called, "TEE OFF AGAINST TRAFFICKING" taking place at Willows Run in Redmond on October 5th at 2pm. We will be having a little sales training, you can sign up to play (or sign someone else up) and spend a little time on our website! It is almost done but you can check it out at www.teeoffagainsttrafficking.org. (There will be a lot less golf balls once we are finished :)
Be ready to laugh and work hard - be ready to meet some really cool women with similar passions - we move fast - we are making a difference - I want to see you there!
(I know that the weather has been really nice and it is hard to want to put your church-ish clothes on to come to a meeting. I know that you want to go and have brunch somewhere and sit out on the patio and soak in the glorious rays of sun. So... don't put on your church-ish clothes and go to brunch on Saturday morning instead of Sunday and head over to our EWOP meeting instead! We get done around 10:45... there is still plenty of sun left after that! You will be glad that you did it.)
Friday, July 11, 2008
July 11, 2008
The Justice Department, Blind to Slavery
By JOHN R. MILLER
PRESIDENT BUSH has won support abroad and bipartisan praise at home for his efforts to combat human trafficking, the slavery of our time. But now that work is imperiled by his own Department of Justice.
At the United Nations in 2003, Mr. Bush denounced the sex trafficking of women and girls around the world. A little more than two years later, he signed into law a bill that included a broad array of measures to reduce the domestic demand for sex trafficking.
Sex slavery is not the only modern incarnation of this ancient institution — factory slavery, farm slavery and domestic servitude are still with us — but it is the largest category of slavery in the United States. People who have spoken with the president say that he wants the fight to end modern slavery to be one of his legacies as president.
From 2002 to 2006, I led the State Department’s efforts to monitor and combat human trafficking. I felt my job was to nurture a 21st-century abolitionist movement with the United States at the lead. At times, my work was disparaged by some embassies and regional bureaus that didn’t want their host countries to be criticized. I didn’t win every battle, but the White House always made it clear that the president supported my work and thought it was important.
Imagine my surprise, then, when the Justice Department started a campaign against a new bill that would strengthen the government’s anti-human trafficking efforts. In a 13-page letter last year, the department blasted almost every provision in the new bill that would reasonably expand American anti-slavery efforts.
Should the State Department’s annual report on trafficking, which grades governments on how well they are combating modern slavery, consider whether governments put traffickers in jail? The Justice Department says no. Should the Homeland Security and Health and Human Services Departments streamline their efforts to help foreign trafficking victims get visas and care? No. Should the Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, State and Justice Departments pool their data on human trafficking to help devise strategies to prevent it? Amazingly, no.
In its letter, the Justice Department even opposes authorizing the president to create new awards for the international groups that are leading the struggle for abolition. It also doesn’t want the State Department to be required to give the names of American anti-trafficking phone lines to visa applicants at American consulates overseas. It doesn’t want a citizen task force to help develop an information pamphlet for victims.
Some objections like these are, regrettably, to be expected in a Washington turf battle. But the Justice Department is consistent — it opposes changes to expand its own efforts to combat human trafficking, too.
Should the department prosecute the American sex tourists who create demand for adult human-trafficking victims in foreign countries? No. Should Congress make clear that there should be increased penalties for Americans who sexually abuse children abroad? No way. Should we give our courts jurisdiction over Americans who traffic human beings abroad? Certainly not. Should the attorney general include information in his annual report on his department’s efforts to enforce anti-trafficking laws against federal contractors and employees? No. Too “burdensome,” says the Justice Department.
The department strongly objects to a provision that would make it easier to prosecute pimps, the chief slaveholders in the United States. The Justice Department opposes taking away from pimps the defense that they did not know a child’s age. And it opposes easing the requirement to prove force, fraud or coercion in order to prosecute a pimp for human trafficking.
How did President Bush’s Justice Department come to these positions? In conversations, department employees emphasize the threats of diversion of federal resources and intrusion on state and local rights.
But it is hard to believe these are the reasons. After all, the Justice Department knows that it will prosecute only the biggest pimps just as it goes after only the biggest drug dealers. It knows that pimping has long been recognized as an interstate activity with a federal role. And the Justice Department knows that the states have had very limited success when trying to convict traffickers.
A culture clash, I suspect, is the real reason for the Justice Department’s opposition. This isn’t the usual culture clash of right and left, religious and secular. In this case, the feminist, religious and secular groups that help sex-trafficking survivors are on one side. And on the other are the department’s lawyers (most of them male), the Erotic Service Providers Union and the American Civil Liberties Union — this side believes that vast numbers of women engage in prostitution as a “profession,” by choice.
As one Justice Department lawyer put it at a meeting I attended, there is “hard pimping and soft pimping.” The department’s letter hints at this view. Adult prostitutes who are transported across state lines, in violation of the Mann Act, should not receive grants under the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 because they “do not meet the legal definition of ‘victim,’” the letter states.
Both sides agree there is a small group of expensive call girls — the kind paraded in recent political scandals — who may choose to engage in prostitution. But that’s where agreement ends. Those who work with trafficking victims and those who have interviewed survivors believe that most prostitutes are poor, young, abused, harassed, raped, beaten and under the control of pimps against their will.
Put me on the side of those who have worked with the victims. I have talked with survivors all over the world, including the United States, and I share the view that these women and girls — the average age of entry into prostitution is 14 — are not participating in the “oldest profession” but in the oldest form of abuse. They are slaves.
It is hard to believe that the Justice Department’s perspective reflects the man at the top of the Bush administration. Yet the unusual anti-slavery coalition that President Bush helped to forge now finds itself battling the president’s own Justice Department.
The department lost the battle in the House, which passed the new anti-human trafficking bill almost unanimously, by a vote of 405 to 2. Unfortunately, the department seems to have more influence with the Senate, where the bill is stalled in the Judiciary Committee. And Senator Joseph R. Biden, Democrat of Delaware, has introduced a bill that largely complies with the department’s views.
The president may never have seen the Justice Department’s letter. But Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Democrat of New York, and Deborah Pryce, Republican of Ohio, two of the leaders of the Congressional Caucus on Human Trafficking, have been unable to arrange a meeting with the president to express their concerns to him.
President Bush should meet with them — and his own Justice Department — before he loses his legacy and his leadership on the abolition of modern slavery.
John R. Miller, a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center and a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute, is the former State Department ambassador at large on modern slavery.
Monday, July 7, 2008
*Start by... thinking of people in your sphere of influence: family, friends, life groups, business associates, school connections, kid connections, neighbors, etc? Make a list.
*Determine...which of these people in your sphere of influence could...1) Help us coordinate this event. 2) Play golf in this tournament. 3) Be one of the numerous sponsors that we need to make this event a success. Put each person in their potential category.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
I admit that I will often judge a book by Christian women before I read it... I don't often feel like the stereotypical "Christian Women" books are relevant to where I am at... Many feel antiquated... cheesy... unrealistic... I could go on. But this book is NOT that. It is written from a place of honesty that I think that we rarely get to experience as readers.
This book has greatly contributed to the rocking of my world and I would recommend it to anyone trying to figure out who they were created to be and what God's will is for their lives. I have even forced this book on my Bible Study group!
Go on and order the book right now! I promise that it is a great one and you can totally buy it used!
Monday, June 9, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The morning time slots are almost all filled so if you want a prime time and have been meaning to sign up, visit
www.picsforapurpose.com and sign up now!
Your child's smile could help save a life...
Eastside Women of Purpose is launching their 1st Annual Pictures for a Purpose fundraiser! We have five super talented photographers lined up to photograph your kiddos on Saturday, June 28th from 9am to 6pm. To coolest part is that every photographer is donating their entire day and all profits to Eastside Women of Purpose! Everything we make will go towards programs that help protect children at risk from being trafficked in SE Asia.
Experts estimate 5.7 million children are trapped in forced or bonded labor. About one
million of these children are exploited in the sex trade each year. (Source: UNICEF) Many
times, unwitting parents hand over their children to slavers under false pretenses, such as
promises of schooling.
You can help.
Take advantage of this opportunity to secure a lasting memory of your child. All proceeds will be used to pay for desperately needed educational and training resources used
by World Concern to combat child trafficking throughout SE Asia.
Your $30 sitting fee goes directly to this cause. Pick the photos you like from our easy-to-use
website—flexible a la carte pricing lets you pick the photos and sizes you really want. The site will even change the picture to black and white or sepia tone for you! There is
no obligation to buy. Again, all of the proceeds from this event will go towards this project.
We are selling these photo sessions at OCC (across from the info booth) on Sunday mornings or or you can visit www.picsforapurpose.com and sign up from there. If you live in the Seattle area and would like to participate but have absolutely no idea where OCC is, feel free to comment on this posting or visit picsforapurpose.com to schedule an appointment!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
We have run into a small problem for the month of June... June 1st is Dave Morgan's (Celebration Service Music Pastor) last Sunday at the church and all extra activities at the church will be suspended as their will be one 10am service to celebrate Dave.
So... we will now be having our June meeting on the 8th instead! And just to be even crazier - we are going to start the meeting at 9am so that we can take care of EWOP business before our speaker gets there! Be there! Mark your calendars! It is going to be a really cool meeting. There will be a Seattle Human Trafficking Detective at the meeting to educate us on the human trafficking going on right here in Seattle. It should be a really informative meeting. It is sometimes easy to think that trafficking happens in other parts of the world but it is happening right here... I hope to see you all there!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Your child's smile could help save a life...
We are launching our 1st Annual Pictures for a Purpose fundraiser at our May 4th meeting. We have five great photographers lined up to photograph our kiddos on Saturday, June 28th. Every photographer is donating their entire day and all profits to Eastside Women of Purpose!
Our goal is to raise $6500. All proceeds go to programs that help children at risk of being trafficked in
You will have a chance to sign up to help at our next meeting on Sunday, May 4th! (Check out how cool these shots are...)
Friday, April 18, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Sign One's petition to President Bush. Click on this link and take 30 seconds to sign the petition.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
After a little research, I found out that fair trade chocolate is also traffik free chocolate. I will be really careful where I buy chocolate from now on. Check out the Good Chocolate Guide to find out where you can buy Fair Trade Chocolate locally. Trader Joes brand is fair trade certified and Whole Foods carries fair trade chocolate as well. Help me by spreading the word about chocolate! Just another step in putting traffickers out of business...
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Check out www.occ.org for details or e-mail email@example.com
This event is going to be life-changing (and very not cheesy!) You can also register the night of the event if you are a last minute kind of person. (It starts at 7pm...)
For a preview of our speakers, you can visit;
www.sunbreaksintherainycity.blogspot.com (Jodie Howerton, speaker)
www.onemomtrying.blogspot.com (Neely McQueen, speaker)
www.troniefoundation.org (Rani Hong, speaker)
www.mrssyrup.blogspot.com (Marisa Butterworth, worship leader)
See you all there!
Monday, April 7, 2008
Lynne just returned from another trip to Thailand where she met with the boys making the Freedom Stone necklaces and brought some back for us to sell! We only have a couple left after our meeting yesterday but email her (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like one. We also have another shipment ordered so if you can't buy one this time around, we will have more!
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Our 1st ever Pictures for a Purpose Event is coming up soon! It looks like the event will take place on Saturday, April 26th and it will go all day (although this hasn't been finalized yet). Ashley Julian and Amy Cheng will be taking the photos and all profits will go toward our project at the India/Nepal border. Stay tuned for more info!! In the meantime, enjoy the beautiful baby pictures! Who wouldn't want pictures taken of their kiddos as a great way to help keep other kids from being trafficked into slavery?!?
We will be having our next Women of Purpose meeting on Sunday, April 6th at 9:30am. We are going to be launching our first
fundraiser to help stop trafficking on the India/Nepal border and I would be honored if everyone would do their best to be there. If it isn't a possibility, I totally understand and will email you personally asking for your help! ;) As soon as I have our room
confirmed, I will post it and email a reminder!
I love you guys!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Friday, February 8, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
My husband and I are huge coffee drinkers and have spent way too much at our local Starbucks. I have always thought Starbucks to be a globally responsible company that takes their billions made on gourmet coffee sales and gives back. It turns out that I may have been wrong. While Starbucks seems to be taking action to care for the environment (obviously important for their coffee bean business) they do not seem to put the same energy into the care of the people that supply them with their beans (Google Starbucks Ethiopia for a ton of articles and visit Starbucks.com for more info). A cnnmoney.com article says this:
"Last season, that pound of coffee fetched farmers an average price of $1.45. Figuring in the cost of generator fuel, bank interest, labor and transport across Ethiopia's dusty roads, it netted them less than $1. In the U.S., however, that same pound of coffee commands a much higher price: $26 for a bag of Starbucks' roasted Shirkina Sun-Dried Sidamo."
I have a decent understanding of business and I have no doubt that what Starbucks is doing is completely legal. The question is this... is it ethical? Is this the problem with the world today? Just because it isn't illegal to pay these farmers WAY less than you are making, it isn't necessarily right. Is this the problem with big business? Is it impossible for us to see the people that work in the dry, dusty Ethiopian fields as legitimate people with real flesh and blood families. Do we notice or care that they have children that are starving? Do we care that the people of Ethiopia are no where near getting by? Do we just overlook it because it makes us uncomfortable....... I have felt convicted because I am just as guilty of this as Starbucks.
So what do we do? We can approach this with anger and write nasty letters and stage a boycott that doesn't really make any impact. (This is where I was at yesterday). OR!! We can approach this with a gentle hand and give Starbucks (and other companies like it) a chance to do something revolutionary and start really taking care of the suffering, invisible people of the world. Let's give them the opportunity to change how we do business in the US.
The bottom line is this... I am just as guilty as Starbucks. I rarely think about where my food comes from or where my clothing was made or who made it... This is a call to begin thinking about it. This is a call for us all to take action.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Time to wake up, ladies!
April 11th and 12th....
Stay tuned for this fabulous, fabulous, very not traditional women's event coming to Overlake Christian Church.... In other words, this event will not look like your grandmother's bathroom AND it will meet you where YOU are at......
Speakers are Jodie Howerton, Neely McQueen, Jennifer Wilshire, and a Rani Trong from The Tronie Foundation.
Worship by Marisa Butterworth (scary I know :) )
I am SO excited! Keep your ears and eyes open!
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
"Just as "believers" are a dime a dozen in the church, so are "activists" in social justice circles nowadays. But lovers are hard to come by. And I think that's what our world is desperately in need of - lovers, people who are building deep, genuine relationships with fellow strugglers along the way, and who actually know the faces of the people behind the issues they are concerned about. We are trying to raise up an army not simply of street activists but of lovers - a community of people who have fallen desperately in love with God and with suffering people, and who allow those relationships to disturb and transform them."
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The time has come to end this war.
I hope you will make this commitment, too.
Please join with thousands of concerned citizens and parents who believe that all children deserve to have a childhood free from torture and a future free from cruelty.
World Vision will take this petition to the Bush Administration, Congress, and the United Nations to demand action.
World Vision's goal is 1 million signatures--and they need your help to get there.
You can sign the Children Should Never Be Soldiers Declaration by visiting:
Friday, January 11, 2008
It was really easy...you should make the call today too!
Here are the numbers for the Seattle/Washington area:
Govenor Gregoire 260-902-4111
Senator Murray 206-553-5545
Senator Cantwell 206-220-6400
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
I just received this email from a friend of ours that is a missionary in Kenya. He and his family are currently in the United States and they received the following email from a friend and pastor in Kenya. It is chilling. Please join me in praying for our brothers and sisters in Kenya. Pray for the people that are doing these horrific things and pray for the victims of their crimes. Pass this information on to anyone that you can. Join me in educating myself about their election crisis and what we can do to help!
Dear Brother Gregg Garner,
Greetings to you in the Name of Jesus Christ.
Iam writing to both pass my New Year Greetings
and to place my sincere prayer request not
only for my FAMILY UNIT but for at large
We are facing aterible post Election Crisis
that has never been witnessed in . We are
in dire need of your intercessory prayers.Iam
currently in where no one is ever sure
of what can befall you in the next moment.I
have witnessed my brothers in the Lord murder
ed in cold blood,Houses burnt down,women and
Girls raped in full sight of their Husbands
and Fathers,young boys sodomised and many ugly
seens.Many people are displaced,prices of
essential comodities sky rocketed,food and
fuel gases are rare to comeby.etc.
Please pray for peace and dialogue to
prevail.We have not slept for anumber of
Days because of the civil unrest,senseless
GOD BLESS YOU AS YOU REMEMBER US IN PRAYER.
Pastor Walter Odayo.
Monday, January 7, 2008
Love you guys!
Friday, January 4, 2008
I was in need of perspective...here's what I found...
For the 1.9 billion children from the developing world, there are:
640 million without adequate shelter (1 in 3)
400 million with no access to safe water (1 in 5)
270 million with no access to health services (1 in 7)
Oh yeah...I woke up and took my kid to a doctor...pretty easy life!