19 January, 2008

Where is your heart?

Happy one year in DC to me!

So, it's a slow Friday at work so I thought I would put down what's on my mind right now...

I was doing research for my boss and came across this article. It's from a newsletter my organization sends out several times a year. This story, while revealing the heart of my org. in some ways, speaks closely to how I would articulate my struggle right now. Yet the question for me is not so much "What will I give my heart to?" but when can I finally do it? Over the last year I have really narrowed down what I want to do…

I want to work with women coming out of sexual abuse. I want to work with women coming out of trafficking, or soldiering, or in the DRC where sexual abuse is so strong. I want to help heal them and show them, maybe for the first time, they are treasured and valued beyond what man did to them. I read stories about women in the DRC, or children being stolen from Iraq, or girls being rescued from a brothel in Cambodia and my anger swells because this should not be. And yet, in that emotion is the knowledge that I can fight it. And in that is my determination to learn more and become effective. In that is my hope to give them a voice, to give them the chance to tell their story so maybe together we can say "enough!" and rally to change how our society/world views and treats these survivors. We cannot turn a deaf ear to the women because they of where they are, or the fact that it's a time of war, because they're poor, or because these things happen in "those" situations…

Can we do nothing? Can we stand by? Can we allow another woman to be taken by the soldiers in the DRC or Sri Lanka or Northern Uganda? Can we allow another child to be taken or sold in Iraq by predators taking advantage of a tragic and chaotic situation? Can we allow another girls' innocence to be ruined at age when she should be learning her A-B-C's?

I would encourage you all to watch this, it's the fourth story listed "War Against the Women of the DRC": http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/60minutes/main3415.shtml

Sorry for the tangent, but as I read this article that's what resonated with me. And I would ask, where do want your heart buried? What riles you up, and what are you going to do about it?

One of my favorite organizations Love146 (www.love146.org) has a page that lists simple things you can do for V-Day this year to make a difference and I love it because at the end of the day you don't have to sell everything, move to Zambia and live the rest of your life in a hut to make a difference. It's starting the conversation, having an intentional dinner party, staying home with your friends and giving what you would have spent going out to the charity of your choice. It's doing something small to affect something big (here's the site: http://www.love146.org/pages/page.asp?page_id=25652)

And there are my Friday afternoon thoughts.

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© Amanda Lunday