Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Beginning.

    Tomorrow I will slip a simple unimpressive grey dress over my head and walk the halls of my unforgiving high school. Pledging to wear the same unfitted dress everyday until I graduate on June 4th is a scarier promise than I had imagined. But as I teeter on the edge on this campaign I remember why I initially made this promise. Years ago, I was sitting in church with my parents, most likely rolling my eyes, or playing sudoku on my dad's phone, or even rebelliously pretending to sleep, when the pastor Rich Nathan directed our attention to the front screens for a video. Being a young teenager I was immediately drawn in the familiar media display-But what I saw was not familiar. What was playing on the screen was a video from an organization called Love 146 which is an abolitionist movement fighting against child sex slavery and exploitation. Images of children in bondage and statistics about sex slavery flashed before my eyes. I was stunned. I shut my eyes tightly but hot tears spilled out over my eye lashes, racing down my checks and falling onto my clenched fists. My heart was broken for those women and children whose bodies and spirits had been mutilated by sex slavery. Even before I prayed and asked God for purpose and direction, He was showing me what broke His heart.
    I wear this homely grey dress because I have to do something. My sister Becca told me of a women named Amy Seiffert who was wearing one dress for six months and donating the money she would have spent on clothes, or shoes etc. to The Daughter Project, which is a non-profit organization in Northwest Ohio that creates homes for girls who are survivors of trafficking and helps others escape from it. I was astonished and inspired. It seems small, but then I remembered the size of my closet and the amount of time I devote to my appearance...and realized that this is not a small undertaking. But my hope and prayer is that as I continue to wear this ordinary dress, people notice. People need to know that human trafficking is not just an issue in third world countries, but right here in Ohio there are some where around 1,500 victims a year. Numerically speaking there are more slaves in the United States today than when slavery was legal. I hope people will ask me why I seem to look oddly similar each day so that I can answer them: I put on this dress everyday as a reminder to pray for whose who are forced to degrade themselves for the pleasure of others. I'm wearing this to raise awareness to that fact that in our nation, in our state, in our very city, people are slaves.


  1. Your heart is showing through. I pray God will use your efforts to redeem some out of captivity and open the eyes of many. I love you, my daughter.

  2. Em, Thank you so much for this. Your writing is beautiful and I truly appreciate what you are doing. I think a lot of peoples eyes need to be opened to this situation (including mine). I would never have known this was such a big issue where we are living. I pray that God will guide you during this time and that others will learn from you. I hope that people actually take the time to realize what you are doing.

    I am also praying that God helps us find a time to see eachother soon. You are really important to me and I miss you so much.

  3. Emily - you are amazing. I'm excited to read your journey. Love you sister.

  4. wow - i'm so inspired by you. this is great. picture of the dress?

  5. Emily- Matt and I have always loved your heart for people. It was a joy to get to know you and your heart better in the cities of Nicaragua. I am very proud of you for this endeavor. I pray that the Lord will bless and multiply your efforts in ways that you cannot even imagine and that you will draw closer to Him as you make this sacrifice for his daughters. I can't wait to follow your journey!

  6. Came here from your sister's blog (Kat); go you, girl. People will be inspired, even when some won't understand.

  7. Stick with it and sit through it! You're not only bringing awareness to us, but also to yourself. You'll see some incredible things come up in the process, watch it all with compassion!

    And I agree, your writing is beautiful!

    Annnnd here's a fun song & touching song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLkmC2VuXA8

    <3 Rebecca's random friend, jyn. :o)

  8. Thank you so much everyone for your encouraging words and prayers! I will need them as the days of the grey dress drag on! :)

  9. Wow. This is amazing. I am so inspired and might do the same thing. It is my ernest desire to do something that changes the world, to be a force for good. Thank you so much for being willing to be different to make a DIFFERENCE! God bless you and your endevors!

  10. Hi there ! I'm your newest follower !

    You are such an inspiration. Can't wait to read more of your posts.

    God bless !!

  11. Emily, you are a brave and inspiring young woman! I wish I had know Jesus as a teenager the way you do. I love that you are motivated to live beyond yourself. When I was in high school I was so wrapped up in myself... no doubt most teenagers are. But the world needs more young women (and men!) like you my dear one! Good for you and may this be the catalyst for far more than you ever imagined possible as you serve and follow God, and reach out to those that are so close to His heart. I cheer for you, young ordinary hero!! May MANY doors be opened for you to bring light on the modern day slave trade.
    love from australia,
    adriel booker

  12. Adriel,
    That was such a timely and encouraging comment. Thank you so much for your affirming words-I could use them. Our Lord is so good and it is only by His strength that I find hope in this dark world. Thank you for your sweet words and prayers.
    Your sister in Christ,