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Life

Life-learned lessons, relationships, marriage, faith, lifestyle, and everything else in between.

Filtering by Tag: social

Rescue Her's October 'Soap Outreach'

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

If you've read my previous post about my first time volunteering for Rescue Her last month, you would be aware of this thing that we do called Soap Outreach. It's basically a new form of outreach that Rescue Her does involving soaps, stickers, motels, and cookies. So how does it work?  

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We visit motels in low-income areas (because unlike hotels, motels give traffickers the ability to pay in cash and even by the hour, so it's easier for them to avoid detection), meet the managers/owners, introduce ourselves and our cause, then help them fight human trafficking alongside us by giving away free soaps! Not just any soap, but premium quality bar soaps with national anti-human trafficking hotline number labeled on them.

 

 

We also give them stickers to put on the check-in counter and bathroom mirrors, because who knows, a girl in need might see it and get help asap. This outreach sounds so simple yet the impact could be really powerful and life-changing for these girls. It could help them change their future! And because we do this out of love, we can't forget to give a bag of cookies to each motel manager/owner (even the vegan ones!).

 

 

And, we also bring goodie bags filled with beauty products to give to girls that we might find at the motels. Again, we just want to love on them and hopefully let them know that they are beautiful and loved. And to me, this has been a lifelong goal. I am really passionate about letting young girls know that they are loved and beautiful just the way they are.

 

But the thing is, even though last Friday was my second time volunteering, I still didn't feel comfortable enough to talk, so I stayed in the car most of the time, taking photos and all (which is good for documentation, but still..). Why did I hesitate to go out and talk to motel owners? Because I don't speak a perfect English, and I worried that if I got nervous or excited, I would stutter. This was a ridiculous concern of course, because most of the motel owners don't even speak good English! And on my way home, I was reminded of what Rev. Samuel Rodriguez once said "God is not looking for those who have everything, but those who are willing to give up everything." I don't have to have all the skills, I just have to be willing. Darn, I wish I would've had more courage!

 

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Anyways, my fellow volunteers here, Caren and Noah, did great. Karen is actually a 'veteran', she's done outreach stuff for years, so she knew what to do. Oh, back to the matter of speaking English, sadly, my excuse was the very excuse that many motel owners used to get rid of us. A few of them immediately pretended to be confused or not able to speak English, as soon as we started telling them about our cause.

 

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The second most popular excuse that they used to get rid of us was "the manager is not here" - scenario. Ugh, come on people. Really? Well, maybe they were just too scared to get involved with anything that would threaten their income, I don't know. One of them even turned lights off and just shook her head without even bothering to listen to us. Ouch.

 

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But not every visit went in vain! In fact most of the motels that we visited said yes to the soaps, stickers, and of course the cookies. This guy in the picture above even asked for prayer and gave a hug at the end! So overall, it was a successful night!

 

Now if you live in DFW and are thinking to get involved, you can donate to Rescue Her or sign up as a volunteer at Rescue Her website. Once you're through with the volunteer application process, you'll start receiving emails about the upcoming events and volunteering opportunities, Soap outreach being one of them (they're planning to do this every month). Reply the email to confirm your attendance. And, on an assigned Friday night, show up on time for the briefing!

 

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At this month's outreach, Brad Carignan was the one in charge to lead us because his wife and the founder of Rescue Her, Josie couldn't be there with us. He split us into two groups,  I went with him, Noah, and these awesome ladies, Hayley, Ashley, and Caren.

 

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Ashley reading the map and writing reports. Yes, you can take turns and stay in the car to write reports while the others talk to the motel owners. Next time, I will make efforts to go and talk to those motel owners/managers. While they're using language barrier as an excuse to ignore the fact that there are 100,000 girls being trafficked in the U.S every year (source : Rescue Her), I will ignore the fact I've still got language barrier to help them realize this sad statistic. Wish me luck! ;)

 

The Other Root of All Evil....

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

Woooo...sounds so intense and spooky right? Okay Halloween is over and I'm not in the business of scaring people off. But bear with me okay? Just read along.

Okay so, thanks to my Netflix subscription, I have been watching up to 20 documentary films in the last 2 months, from the ones about food, basketball, civil rights movement, to Virunga Park in Congo, Africa. Mr. Man and I are so into it, we watch documentaries like girls watch Sex and the City. We somehow think of it as a form of entertainment that actually educates its viewers.

However, the more you watch documentaries, the more restless you grow because you'd realize that this world is basically effed up. What? Did I just say that? Oh yes I did.

See, the way documentaries work is usually by exposing us to a certain issue or problem that actually occurs in real life, caused by a malfunction of a system or an environment. And these malfunctions are normally caused by no other than men themselves.

As the film progresses, you'll get to see the film's main character struggling to solve this issue. And finally, after all of the up's and down's, you'll get to see the conclusion of the whole journey and  how you can help solving the problem (they usually give you a link at the end of the movie that'll lead you to their 'fight-for-this-cause'-website). And I think I have clicked on almost every single one of them! I just got so moved by all of these facts and I usually end up thinking about them all. Like the gorillas in Virunga park, the kids in Uganda, the farmers who got shut down by Monsanto, the people who cut the trees at the Amazon forest -- oh I can't breathe! I gotta save the world!- I felt like.

 

*These are my top picks. Click on each poster to watch the films*

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"God, are you not seeing this?" I said one night after watching a documentary. "People are destroying this earth, send some fire and burn them or something!"

Right, like that's gonna work.

I then went on to read various different historical accounts about how ancient civilization used to live. And you know what I found?

This madness has been going on for centuries, it's nothing new!

Whites used to have separate schools and even bathrooms, but before that, they used to enslave, kill and hang black folks on the trees. But then again before that, blacks used to enslave fellow blacks back in Africa (watch it here). The Romans used to crucify people upside down, Pharaoh used to cut people's vein just because he felt like it and no one could complain cause he was revered as god. Cain murdered his brother Abel and Eve ate the forbidden fruit.

But you know what? If you look closely, they all have one thing in common, and I name it 'the other root of all evil' : the inability to say 'What we have is enough' a.k.a ungratefulness. 

That's why diabetes-causing food and beverages are still being made (and the government is doing nothing about it cause they are supported by the companies that produce the very food they need to ban), why probably 90% of the music you hear on the radio is either about sex or about money, why local civil war is still going on in Africa (the rebels are being used by foreign companies to help them extract natural resources without consequences), and so forth and so forth. It is all about money. And these people (companies), who are causing all this? It's not like they are broke! they already have much money! But it's simply isn't enough for them.

Gratitude does not mean settling for less than the best. It's about being content with what you have, because it is only through that contentment that you can find the wisdom and motivation to grow without hurting/damaging other people and the God-given nature. That's what I think.

Now I don't know what kind of household that the owners of these companies were raised in, but I surely know what kind of household I want my kids to grow up in. 

I want gratitude to be our lifestyle. I want it to be at the very core of our values.

And it is just right to start campaigning it today, especially this season, as thanksgiving and christmas approach.

I hope that you find everything you got today to be enough, and that you can work through it and make it even better as you grow in gratitude and wisdom.

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*phew, that lifted the weight of my shoulder! I guess saving the world begins at home :)