Lunatics, we did it.
In just 23 days, we met our goal of $50,000, which means that 50 teenage Ethiopian girls can leave a degrading life of trafficking to enter the Keziah House, where they’ll be seen, loved, and rescued; they’ll be given a new job and a new life.
It’s staggering, breathtaking, and beautiful. Hundreds of people participated, from 32 states and 8 countries. We did it. We did it together!
Actually, we’re currently at $51,365.
And there’s still nine days left of craziness before I run the Grand Canyon. Nine days to see what else we can do together. Nine days to see what the Rascal Who Loves might want to do through those of us who are available.
Yesterday, as I talked with Matt and Nikki (Directors of Eyes that See, the organization that runs the Keziah House), we began to dare to dream of more. I’ll be honest, part of this freaks me out. More? More than 50? How big do we dare to dream?
I really don’t know. All I know is that there are many more than 50 teenage prostitutes in Ethiopia, and the Rascal Who Loves is working tirelessly to rescue each and every one of them. So maybe it’s bigger. Maybe it’s way bigger! In the words of my brother-in-law, Dave: Perhaps we can reach into one more dark room and save one, or two, or ten…
So – for the next nine days, let’s just keep doing what we’ve been doing: praying, giving, sharing, and hoping. And then on September 15th, I’ll run that crazy expanse of space, and we’ll thank the Rascal Who Loves for letting us in on such a redemptive caper.
Below is the email that Matt sent to me when he found out we’d reached $50,000. Ezra and Ana are two of his adopted kids; Nikki is his wife. It’s tender and raw; it comes from the heart of a father who loves his children. It comes from a heart that is broken enough to hold hope. It comes from a heart that reflects the heart of God. I cried when I read it; you will, too.
In it together, friends.
Last night and today I keep thinking about the same thing. You have a severe disadvantage in this. It makes your passion remarkable. You have never met these women. We call them women because of their “work,” but they are not much older than Ezra. I don’t want to be cheesy, but I want tell you my thoughts.
About the time that you pastored Nikk and I for our wedding, these girls were being born. They were just tiny ones, like my Ana, who needed love, affection and comforting.
Some got that at first. Some were loved. Some were cared for. For each of these women life got really hard really fast.
I can’t tell you how many were hurt by family. Dads doing what no dad should do. Brothers acting foolish and stealing what wasn’t theirs. Neighbors, classmates, and cousins. Almost always someone stole from them. These little girls aged quickly.
As I’ve told you they end up in the “big city.” Almost like the movie Robots, they left thinking life will be better. More life happens and they end up in prostitution like you have read. I know you know all of this, but this is really striking to me.
We have helped quite a few classes, but it is crippling to know how many more are out there. That is until now. 50 more will be helped. 50 women will be safe. 50 names will be learned. Many of their names mean things like “gift” or “beauty” and they may start believing this. 50 of these young girls will learn that a man half way across the world would write for them, cry for them, climb and run for them. Even before he met them. When they learn that it will make it that much easier to believe that another man lived for them, died for them and now is waiting open armed to wipe their tears.
Steve, 50 young girls will have their stories heard and cried over, their present days redeemed and their futures celebrated. My life is different because you ran. Honestly, that day we talked I knew that God would bring 50. I also hoped our two families would see Him more clearly through this.
Thanks for the past 16 years of being my friend. In a different way, thanks for the past two months. I’m a mess right now and it’s your fault. It’s nice to rest on our big Father together.
I love you Steve,
Hey, Lunatics: I’d love it if you commented below on what participating in this caper has done in you. Let’s encourage each other. This thing is way bigger than any one of us!
And to donate so that more of these girls can be seen and loved and rescued, click here.