Friday, November 26, 2010

where are the men?

there are lots of men here. lots of men in the states. lots of men on this earth. However, where are the men when it comes to the issue of human trafficking? I go to conferences and they are filled with advocates for women. advocates for the girls who are victims of sex trafficking. and yes, there are some men advocating for the victims of human trafficking.
but i must make this point. if there was no demand for the sex trade, there will be no need to supply women. Men, you buy sex. Your gender is the reason that human trafficking exist. I am trying my hardest not to come across as an angry feminist but its a simple fact. with out the demand for sex, there would be no supply.
so my question is, Men where are you? why are you not advocating and fighting for the souls of them men who are buying the 13 year olds girls? who are buying the 25 year old? who are buying the 40 year old women? who are oppresing my friends around the world? why are you not coming along side these men and standing with them, fighting for them. identifying with them,.......doing your part to end the sex trade. to end prostitution? to bring the men to freedom?

i am tired of people telling me that "it the oldest profession". no its not...its the oldest form of oppresion. and for some reason men don't stand up for this issue. They justify it with lust.

lust is a complicated thing. i am a women and can say that i DO NOT understand the power and force and controlling power of lust. i DO NOT understand its ability to control and manipulate men. or its power to make men feel like hypocrites if they do stand up and fight. or the power it has to make men hide in shame and live double lives. and i am not writing to say i understand men or to shame men or to give answers. only questions.
and My question is, Men what are you doing to help other men? what are you doing to help end the sex trade? Men, are you entering into each others suffering, shame, darkness, oppression? are you walking besides your brothers and offering grace and a safe place? are the problem. are the solution.
men in the gatch sell their wives. men in the gatch tell me to my face that they have come to the red-light district for "fu^*%*^ing", i had a christian man in the red-light area say that he couldn't control himself and had to come sleep with a girl daily. i had a tourist sleep with my friend s. who was only 15 at the time. i see men in america whose sole purpose is to sleep with as many women as possible or do anything do get a girl in bed. i see televison sitcoms a that make watching pornography a joke.
so men.........where are you? where is your fight?
i pray that shame and fear would not keep you silent. we need you to fight. we need you to love your brothers. we need you to face your darkness and let people in. we need you to come into the light together. we need you to stop making pornography and one night stand acceptable. we need to stop the idea of 'boys will be boys".
Men we need you. Because us women cannot fight on your own. without you we will never stop this problem. without you we will still need 9, 720 more jobs to end the sex trade in songachi alone.
please men. fight. do not give up. there is a Jesus who loves you. there is a chance to change things on this earth. there is redemption. YOU ARE THE SOLUTION. YOU ARE THE ANSWER.

i love the fried eggplant just outside of sarah's house. i love that i am excited to go home tomorrow to jacksonville. i love everything i have been able to see and experience in kolkata since i have been here. i love hearing a women's testimony at saribari who said her life now has respect. i love sari bari, beth sarah and my friends here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

the celebration

there is so much to write. so much that i feel overwhelmed when i think of writing. so much that i feel so inadaquate to get it all down on paper (or computer) so i can remember it and come back to it. so here goes.....
When i would think about india over the past two years it would be the worst of the worst....i close my eyes in worship and would see the young girls lining the streets or holding the women at the train station while she was dying or my friends being raped in the bed besides where i was sitting.
and yes...those memories are real and horrible and the reality here but coming back to Kolkata has reminded me of how much good there is also.
yesterday we had to walk through the red-light area to get to the new sari bari unit. (need to interject here....we dreamed for a safe place in the gatch for years and years. we even tried to start sari bari in the gatch while i was here but it all fell through. God timing right???). We only walked through a small portion of the area but it was enough. we walked by our friend Beauty who i knew for my entire five years here. we walked by the young girls who i thought were 15 at the time but as i greeted them again this time they still looked 15. it was the same young girls that i knew from last time! the same young girls who are under slave labor! the same girls who are forced to work the line from 8:00am to who knows how long at night. the same young girls who are forced to wear mini skirts and bad makeup and are taught to grab men when they walk by them. the ones whose childhoods have been stolen by men's lust. these are the girls whose faces haunt me. who i bring to God and cry out "why?" and "How?" and what are you doing for them?
so after seeing them i am walking down the red-light district with tears streaming down my cheeks. those questions start to rise in my mind again...the anger towards God. the questions and will never be answered.
as we come around the corner from seeing the girls kyle says, "look up kristin. that is sari bari". and i go up some stairs.....not slime covered, dark stairs that lead me to a friends room where she is oppressed and her dignity is stolen but stairs that lead to hope and new life and new beginings and grace and love and safety.
i walk into sari bari in the gatch and can again breath. the place is open and beautiful and the ladies are laughing and i see girls who i knew in the red light district sewing!!! i see ladies who i knew from kalighat now in leadership and giving freedom to the ladies in the gatch. i see and feel hope and i feel all the anger and hate and questions melt off of me and all i can do it sit there and cry and be amazed.
i walked from hell to a place of hope in the matter of minutes. Hope exist in the gatch. HOPE EXIST. it was an impossible dream. impossible. but through dreams, work, prayer, community, grace, power, exist. and it was so damm awesome. it is my answer to most of my question. Thank you God.

there are other stories but this will be a start.
i love that when i cried at sari bari a. gave me a huge hug. i love that God is allowing me to celebrate. i love how normal everything feels here. i love that i got to have tok doi and bananas for breakfast this morning. i love that i got to see my friend jon again. i love beth and sarah so muchly.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I don't really know how i can piece together all my theology about timing and God but it feels like this trip is so timely. perfect really. have been surprised so far how much i feel that. yesterday i spend the day with charlotte and julian and their two seriously adorable daughters. i mean a 2 1/2 year old who has the sweetest british accent is enough to melt the heart of any american right? we went to the tate modern (didn't really get a lot of the art but there was so come cool stuff), had coffee by the river, took the tube around town, and ended up at an amazing cathedral and got to sit in on a reharshal of mozarts requasition. it was amazing.
and today i got to take part in charlotte and julian's "church". 4 times a year this group of friends gets together to pray for their friends overseas as well as for each other.....and eat brilliant food together. it was such a refreshing intimate time. we worshipped together with no guitar just our voices. most of their friend are artist or musically talented so it was beautiful. then we two specific times of prayer. it was like breathing fresh air.
and i met a girl who had lived overseas for 5 years, came back relatively burned out and was just again getting back into working with women in prostitution (um sound familiar). so it was so encouraging to meet her and hear her story and her journey. so similar to mine. makes it less lonely.
two more days until kolkata. can't wait.

i love that i bought a shirt and a belt today from a consignment shop in london!!!! i love that today in the grocery store i heard three different languages and saw people from at least 7 different nationalities. i love that london reminds me of how big and small the world is. i love that i met a couple who met kyle and michelle in india and another girl who worked with nepali trafficked girls in hong kong and actually met brook and kara. such a small world. i love that i miss my friends in jacksonville.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


So, i haven't blogged in a long long time. nothing much felt worthy of a blog. but but i am going back to india in four days. four days. so i decided (with a little prompting from a friend) to start blogging again. but just a fair warning....i am a terrible proof reader and my blog will be filled with spelling and gramatical errors and lots of exclamation points. but i can promise that i will always try to be thoughtful and real. so here goes.......
as some of you know i tried to go back to india back in april and being who God created me to be realized at the airport that my passport would expire 4 days into my trip.
but it has seemed to work out for the better. in that time beth and sarah both have come to visit, God has worked a lot out in my heart, my life in jacksonville is getting exciting and i feel like i am coming alive again, and probably one of the best reason is.....its not gonna be hot!!!!
when i think of going back this time my heart starts beating faster. i get so excited. very different what i felt 6 months ago. I feel like my two weeks in India is going to be a celebration of what God has done. My friends have made me out a schedule for my trip. and when i was reading over it i couldn't stop crying. My schedule is filled with seeing the fruit of my labors. of seeing people and places i only dreamed about....that were just my crazy visions. and now i am going to see my friends in places of redemption. I can't wait.
so will try to be better about updates. i feel like its important this time to take people with we can celebrate what God did and what in HIs mercy He let me be apart of. and for that i am eternally thankful.

and to continue my tradition of blog i will close with the things i love.
i love my mom's pumpkin pie. I love doing something i think is impossible. i love drinking wine of the veranda with beth and sarah. i love that my niece loves me. i love i get to baby sit amelia dec. 4th!!! i love the adventure that is my life.