Many of you know that a couple years ago I rode my bike from Cincinnati, Ohio to Washington DC with my Venture Expeditions family. For this trip and on our route, we raised awareness and money for International Justice Mission and their fight against modern day slavery (including sex trafficking). The trip was a game-changer for me.
I had never cycled before, never trained so hard, and never experienced the kind of joy that comes from physically sacrificing for others. Each mile we prayed and thought about the people we were advocating for. Each day–through sweat, pain, and tears–we had the opportunity to focus our hearts and minds on what it means to love people like Jesus.
Instead of just placing money in an account, we pushed through mountains, flat tires, rain storms, and injuries declaring “Freed people, free people.” The people we were advocating for live in modern-day slavery, so we chose to push our limits and physically sacrifice in a way that says “We’re with you.”
Well, it’s time for a new challenge and a new cause. On June 6, 2015, Andrew, my dad, and I will run a half marathon and raise $1,200 in support of the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE). CAASE addresses the culture, institutions, and individuals that perpetrate, profit from, or support sexual exploitation. CAASE’s work includes prevention, policy reform, community engagement, and legal services.
This semester, I am a legal intern at CAASE, working on cases regarding sexual assault, rape, sex trafficking, etc. I am passionate about the work CAASE does, and I am thankful to be part of it.
Just like being a cycling rookie for my Venture trip, I am certainly a long-distance runner rookie. 🙂 I have never run more than 5 miles at once, and I look forward to training for this cause. I pray for a centered mind and heart in order to get the most out of this experience. I look forward to the inevitable growth that will happen in the coming months.
Please consider joining our cause by donating below. The money raised will directly support the CAASE’s work, which includes providing free legal services to survivors of sexual assault and the sex trade, advocating for legislative and policy reform that will hold perpetrators accountable, creating resources for survivors of sexual harm, and preventing sexual exploitation by teaching young people about the realities of the sex trade and sex trafficking.