Posts Tagged "sex trafficking"

thriving nonprofit culture

8 Steps to Building Thriving Ministry Culture

At the age of twenty-four, I founded a ministry to help rehabilitate girl child soldiers in a war-torn region of Uganda. It was a ton of hard work. I was young, full of idealism and naiveté and I didn’t know very much then about how to build a thriving culture. As people came alongside me in my vision, I became responsible not just for me, but for my team as well. This created layers of complexity I wasn’t quite sure how to navigate. More people meant more pressure, more consideration of other’s thoughts, feelings, behaviors, decisions and disagreements. I had the

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dangers of barbie savior

The Danger of Being a Barbie Savior

We’ve all been there. Our very first missions trip probably looked a lot like us taking a million selfies with African babies, or handing out soccer balls at an orphanage. Fifteen years ago, I was just as guilty. My first trip as a 19 year old resembled this and that makes me sad. But growth is about learning from our mistakes and parlaying that into positive change. In recent years, a parody Instagram account called Barbie Savior that started as a joke has gone viral. It depicts all the things that are wrong with “voluntourism” overseas. If you haven’t seen it,

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missionary manifesto

The Missionary’s Manifesto

Recently, my friend Jeff Goins, who runs a writing course I’ve taken (Tribe Writers) challenged us to write a manifesto about something we care about. Many of you know I write a lot about modern day missions and social justice based on my six years spent living in a war affected region of Uganda as a missionary and non-profit founder. I write a lot about how we need to change the paradigm, in order to shift from the way things have always been done. So this is my missionary manifesto, this is my clarion call to the world about what missions and social justice should look

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how to prepare yourself for missions

Are You Ready to be a Missionary?

I’m the kind of girl who likes to be prepared for everything. Before I leave for a trip, I print out a detailed spreadsheet of my packing list so nothing is forgotten. (Except for my pillow, which usually is) On the flip side, I love adventure. But I like to plan for adventure. There’s nothing more adventurous than giving your life away to missions, but just like every big road trip or endeavor into the unknown, we have to ask ourselves, “Are we prepared?” “Are you ready to be a missionary?” Honestly, it’s hard to find information out there to know

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How to Stay Committed to Justice

It’s been a few weeks since I returned from the Justice Conference in Philly. But many of the thoughts, emotions, and inspirations sit with me as I go back to my new existence in America that I’m still getting used to. I’ve been compelled to write about something I’ve been thinking of for a while. This Justice movement, so beautiful and brave, and yet how do we make it more than just a fad? More than something “cool” to get involved with or post on our facebook. More than something other people will pat us on the back for. What

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How to Redefine Your Purpose

Most people would think that moving to Africa was the scary part. The big leap. But it wasn’t. It was the most natural thing in the world. Moving back to America. This is the scariest thing I’ve done in a long time. Here the fears are loud. Will God provide? Will I become selfish? How will I not let God get drowned out by all the noise? Will I love who I am when someone is not calling me “Mama.” How to straddle these two worlds with any of me left in between.  Over there God is in all the

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How to Survive Transition

Sometimes the days get dark. The January cold seems to blow right through you.  Days where you’re not sure you want to get out of bed, and God seems like a dream you had you can’t quite remember. Transitions can be hard. I don’t think I expected that. Expected to find myself in a new place, not knowing anyone, living out of someone’s guest room and on other’s kindnesses, just craving a space of my own. A nook. A place I could crawl into to feel sane. Or like my old self again. A routine I could sink my teeth

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How to Say Goodbye

“By changing nothing, nothing changes.” -Tony Robbins Five years is a long time. It’s a lot of sweaty bus-rides. It’s a lot of roach killing, and mouse killing, and eating posho and beans. It’s a lot of swatting mosquitos on your legs, and running out of water just as you soaped up your body. It’s a lot of pouring out your life.  And it’s a long time without air-conditioning, that’s for sure. A lot of time to fall in love with a place and it’s people. And even more time to love the reality vs. the rosy colored version. It’s

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When Love Covers Death

As we sat in the knee-high grass legs itchy, sun scorching, and the sound of worship heard over the wailing I concentrated on the yellow weeds at my feet growing wild and thorny. I wonder if someone planted them here.  I’ve been here before. Death a part of my existence here in East Africa. No matter how many life-breathed words over cold, clammy bodies, the caskets seem to pile high. Tiny crosses engraved in the black cloth. Aids a raging killer. But it is different this time. Years ago they would have been alone. Years ago they would have crumpled

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How to Surrender

Most often my days start with problems. A myriad of needs. Things which have “gone wrong.” The water has run out. Again. People who need my help. A mama needs more money for food to feed her kids. A girl who runs away from home because she still feels strange in the safety of love’s arms. How to build a jewelry program so she doesn’t have to sell herself for bread. How to fill the holes when we don’t have enough people to fill them. A mission to heal this nation which seems too large and too undoable.  All day

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