Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vegas UPdate

Here is an update letter I sent to my email buds who were praying for the trip, but I know that many of my blog readers were praying, too, so wanted to share here, as well.

I wanted to send an update of the Vegas event and a note of gratitude for your prayers! Both Terri and I were blessed by the experience and feel it was a confirmation that we are moving in the right direction...God's direction.

- we totally got taken by our taxi driver and ended up paying double what we expected to pay (based on info from both the web and our hotel). the quote was, "i could see our hotel from the airport...why can't i see it now????"

- we totally got taken by our hotel when our room was not ready (and would not be ready for another 2 hours)..but we could take a smoking room or pay extra $ for an upgraded room that was ready. the quote was, "what do we expect? we're in sin city!"

- we got to the rally location, i pulled out my camera only to find that my lens had $300-most-favorite-shoot-with-all-the-time lens. the quote was, "bummer" as now photography will be put on hold for awhile!

- we did not march down the strip but instead planted ourselves at a busy intersection of the strip. this was actually probably a better situation because we were able to talk to the people stopped at the traffic lights...but we were hoping to witness some action taking place just to understand what it looks like...what to look for.

- the event drew fewer people than expected

- i accidentally took full strength dramamine instead of less-drowsy...i was a total ZOMBIE.

- prior to the rally terri and i discussed many questions we had about various topics, and they were answered so clearly in both the rally speeches and in one-on-one conversations with random people we met. lots of "ah-ha!" moments

- God gave us great favor with the Shared Hope staff, including the founder and her husband, and we feel like this relationship will be vital for our future plans. they even invited us to dinner after the rally! we still aren't 100% certain that we will become official SHI advocates (only because we might then have to get every move approved before we act), but SHI does come alongside and support existing local orgs, so that might be an option.

- important connections were made with people, both individuals and organizations, who have been working against trafficking and can serve as mentors for us as we move forward.

- we met a trafficking survivor who is now running a safe home for victims in DC. it was invaluable to hear firsthand information about the physical and mental brutality that victims endure, and her words made an impact on our hearts and, more importantly, a shift in our perspectives.

- one very specific prayer i prayed was that, during the march, a big gust of wind would come and blow flyers everywhere...just to get them into the hands of people whom we would not see that night. shortly after i made my way to one corner of the intersection, the wind blew and a young woman's flyers went flying across the parking lot. she turned around to go after them and i squealed, "no! i prayed for that! let them blow!"

- the event received GREAT media attention

- we ate dinner with the SHI staff at PF CHang's in Planet Hollywood. you know i had those amazing banana spring rolls...yeah, baby! anyway, as we waited in valet for our car, i noticed a young girl walking toward us. she could not have been more than 15 and yet here she was, all alone, dressed in a short dress and ridiculously high heels. her blonde hair was tousled and her skin pasty white. she looked sad...and vacant. not the vacant look of drug use...but just vacant. as she got closer to us i smiled at her...and she half-heartedly smiled in return...then she walked past us. was she a prostituted child? was she a victim of trafficking? i cannot say for certain but felt in my heart it was true. and it was hard not to run after her, hard not to ask her if she was OK...but even harder to know that i DIDN'T do those things. to think of what that girl may have just come from or may have been going to breaks my heart but fuels me to move forward in this fight for lost innocence.

- we have much to pray about and discuss and consider. we have people to contact and research to gather. we have friends and family to inform, money to raise, and decisions to make. most importantly, we have a God to seek. and as we make HIM our priority, He will make the rest happen. He will.

- if you would like to be on an email list to receive updates and prayer requests, please respond to this email and indicate "UPDATE/PRAYER LIST." if you would like to participate by taking action in the hands-on tasks, please respond to this email and indicate "TO-DO LIST". To-do list peeps will also receive prayer requests and updates.

- again, we thank you for your prayers!!! please take a moment now to thank and praise God for answering them!!! terri and i were richly blessed by His grace and love during our trip!

i apologize for my rotten typing in this email...two full strength dramamine in less than 24 hours has taken its toll on me!

MUCH love to you!!!!
tish & terri


Tami said...

Hi Tish....add me to the prayer list...God bless!!!!

Andrea said...

I love you, Tish.
Stay away from the sleepy drugs. LOL! ;)


dan and rachel said...

hey tish! add me to the prayer list! glad to read your update!

Middle Aged Woman Blogging said...

Good for you for giving of yourself in this way. Trafficking is a horrible fact of life these days and needs to be stopped. I do not understand why people do such deplorable things to other human beings. It sickens me.

Nichol Naranjo said...

I love this update!! Especially the God sent gust of wind!! Praise God!!

Prayers for wisdom in your next steps!

Anonymous said...

Girl, I read that whole post and I'm in awe of you - truly! But all I can think about right now is your LENS! OMG! I'm so sorry for you loss...

I dropped my brand new speedlight into the Atlantic. Let's not go there right now.

Keep on being you, Tish. You're unique, amazing and selfless.