Every morning, I routinely wake up, brew some coffee and curl up on the couch to read – most days, my roommate Liz – "Lizzie Lou"– joins me. Night after night, I come home and sit on Liz's bed to exchange stories and process emotions from the day – most often we laugh, but sometimes tears come. Day after day, for the last year and a half, Liz has influenced my life personally and professionally.
Through many seasons of life, I have witnessed Liz embrace each day with courage, and a firmly held belief in the goodness of God. Even in heartache and hurt, she wears a smile and holds on to the hope of what is to come. Liz carries with her an infectious presence of joy, and never turns away from an opportunity to sincerely love someone. With great compassion and wisdom, she listens and engages in the stories of friends and strangers, alike. Although she would never admit it, Liz changes lives by deeply and powerfully engaging hearts.
There are no obstacles which our Savior’s love cannot overcome. The High Places of victory and union with Christ can be reached by learning to accept, day by day, the actual conditions and tests permitted by God, by laying down of our own will and accepting His. The lessons of accepting and triumphing over evil, of becoming acquainted with grief, and pain, and of finding them transformed into something incomparably precious... -Hinds Feet on High Places, Hannah Hurnard
Needless to say, in January, Liz will be moving to Africa to take her infectious personality, Masters in Professional Counseling (LPC), and bold love for the world, to a whole new level. She will work for International Justice Mission (IJM) in Nairobi, Kenya for a year. Read her letter below to learn more.
I thought it only fitting to donate proceeds from 25 "William the Warrior" Lion prints to Liz's fundraising efforts... please order one in the shop, and help me send her to Africa! or donate Directly:
Dear friends and family,
As most of you know, I am in the midst of an exciting transition. In January, I will begin a one-year fellowship in Nairobi, Kenya with International Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights organization based in Washington, DC. This decision is the culmination of much prayer and discernment about my next step, and I am so grateful to pursue this opportunity.
For those of you who are not familiar with the work of IJM, it “is a non-profit organization composed of Christian attorneys, social workers, criminal investigators, and support staff. IJM carefully investigates situations of slavery and abuse and partners with local officials to free victims from their immediate situations of danger. After the victims have been freed, IJM seeks to address the root of the problem by prosecuting the perpetrators in local court systems and empowering communities to make structural changes that can prevent such abuses in the future. IJM also works with aftercare providers to help the newly freed victims adjust to a life that is very different from their past oppressive experiences.” IJM has field offices in 17 countries throughout Africa, Latin America, South and Southeast Asia to fight against forced labor slavery, child sexual assault, sex trafficking, land theft, and police abuse.
I will be based in Kenya where IJM focuses on police abuse and child sexual violence. My role in this office will include working with the aftercare team whose focus is restoring victims, as well as working as an executive assistant to the field office director.
I am extremely thankful for this amazing opportunity and confident that God has placed me as part of this team. I firmly believe that He is a God of justice and desires to restore the oppressed. That said I do need help this year. A simple step that everyone can take to partner in the fight against injustice is to pray. Prayer may seem simple, but it is a powerful and much-needed tool. I ask that you pray for the work of IJM, and for the strength of all those who have been rescued and those still in slavery. Also, pray for my adjustment to living in a new country and handling the
responsibilities of a new job. If you would like to join my prayer team and/or receive regular updates of my time in Nairobi, please email me at email@example.com.
My fellowship is unpaid and my goal is to raise $20,000 to cover expenses, which include airfare, visa fees, rent, meals, insurance, transportation, etc. I would greatly appreciate if you would prayerfully consider partnering with me financially. If you would like to support me in this way please read the details in the “How to Provide Financial Support” page attached.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have further questions about the ways you can join me in this journey. I am passionate about this cause and would love to talk to you more about it!