I've heard it said that "publishing is all about platform." It's my belief that a platform is useless--unless I use the influence God grants me to advance God's kingdom. In that vein, I want to let you know about a great opportunity we have to raise awareness about human trafficking--and join together to raise funds towards their rescue--through Kimberly L. Smith’s foundation, Make Way Partners.
In Novembers past, my fellow Wordserve Literary Agency client and Southern Belle extraordinaire, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, asked her readers to donate a certain small dollar amount towards a worthy cause, out of thankfulness for their own blessings.
This year, I'm thoroughly excited to be joining her--along with other amazing authors like Randy Alcorn, Julie Cantrell, and Rachel Hauck--to respectfully ask you: what would you be willing to do or give if it were your children and grandchildren being bought and sold? Some of you know that I worked with refugees for two years in Amarillo, Texas, and many of them had been almost-trafficked, or they knew people who had been bought and sold into modern-day slavery. My heart breaks when I think about it, especially for the innocent children who are treated so viciously.
And yet, even as we are set to launch, one-fourth of our population has been impacted by Super storm Sandy and many areas remain in distress. Far too many people have seen their homes destroyed and many others have suffered the painful loss of loved ones. The winds of Sandy have literally caused us to adjust our sails as we respond to the heartache in our own country. Writers and Readers Reach Out 2012 is enlarging the vision!
As you make your donation to Make Way Partners, please consider making a matching donation to relief efforts underway for our neighbors on the East Coast. We believe strongly that our being mobilized to respond to the needs of our neighbors at this very moment is no coincidence. We’ve been given much, let us give much.
Now on to this year's challenge...In previous years, Shellie's readers have given money out of a sense of gratitude to Life Today to drill a well in Southern Africa, among other projects. (I love that ministry--my family did the same thing years ago and it was entirely life-changing for us. Isn't that the way it is with God's economy? You are blessed when you give; even more than when you receive!) As you read these words, that well continues to supply fresh, life-sustaining water to an entire village.
The recipient of this year’s efforts will be Make Way Partners, an organization that works with individuals, churches and other groups to help prevent and combat the evil of human trafficking and all forms of modern-day oppression. Shellie was in the planning stages of her drive and deeply burdened by what she was learning about human trafficking when she read Passport through Darkness by Kimberly L. Smith. She says, "I knew immediately that MWP, the organization founded by Kimberly and her husband, was where we needed to focus our attention this holiday season." (Download a free chapter of Passport Through Darkness.)
The goal of Writers and Readers Reach Out 2012 is to combine our individual platforms and thus multiply our efforts. (Honestly, we're hoping to start a tsunami of thankfulness and hope!)
If you’ll take the time to read just a few of the real-life stories on Kimberly’s blog of women and children who Make Way Partners has rescued from slavery, and for whom they provide long-term care, I believe you’ll want to participate in this beautiful journey of restoration.
Eight years ago, Kimberly began chartering small mission planes to fly her into the war zone of Sudan where U.S. sanctions and Islamic regimes rendered thousands of orphans unadoptable. Providing food and opening a first-grade school in a lawless land with no other educational systems, MWP partnered with an indigenous leader to rescue and care for these most vulnerable orphans. Year-by-year, they’ve added a new grade to their school. Now, graduating eighth grade, the orphans of MWP have more education than many current leaders of their nation. It is time to build a high school, making it possible to raise up the next generation of educated Christian leaders who will stop the cycle of violence and slavery.
Read about a few of these amazing students and the complete high school proposal here.
I’m so excited about the opportunity for us to join this effort! To quote the late Hellen Keller, “It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.” Remember, it was the power of a word, written in the palm of her hand, that unlocked Ms. Keller’s heart and mind and subsequently impacted untold lives around the world.
As readers and writers, no one knows the value of education better than we. Let’s dream big and build a high school for the world’s most vulnerable orphans!
You can make your donation online using this button. It’s linked to Make Way Partners. In the field that asks where you learned about Make Way Partners, please copy and paste the following label: WritersandReaders, DenaDyer
(By the way, I--of course--don't receive anything from your donation. They are just using "tags" to keep track of where the givers heard about the campaign) If you prefer to send a check or money order, that address is: Make Way Partners, P.O. Box 26367 Birmingham , AL 35260
In addition to donating, everyone can be of incredible assistance by using the power of social media to spread the news of this drive. When twittering or pinning this drive please use hashtags #WritersandReaders2012 or #WR2012. (My twitter handle is @motherinferior2)
To my fellow authors and bloggers: It’s not too late to join this effort. If you’d like to participate please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your blog site, Facebook page, website address, or any other acknowledgement you would like to use for your readers to track this opportunity.
Thirty days of thankfulness. This year, let’s give others the chance to access safety, education, and spiritual/emotional/physical support, even in the darkest corners of our world.
[Comment below if you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a free copy of Passport through Darkness. One winner will be announced at the end of the month.]
Thank you in advance for your generosity and help as we undertake this worthwhile effort. May God richly bless you this Thanksgiving season, and into 2013!