August  2018.

To all my lady friends, this month’s newsletter is dedicated to you.

In South Africa, August is a very special month when women of all languages, ages, and cultures come together to celebrate being women.  August 9th is National Women’s Day, and each year the women of South Africa are honored and reminded of their worth and their human rights.  Events are hosted all over the nation to commemorate the impact that South African women have had on their country.  Seeing women from all different walks of life raise their voices and their fists for justice is a beautiful thing.  As the famous resistance song states,

“Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo!”
(Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock!)

This month I saw a common theme of “unity and empowerment” throughout each outreach, church gathering, prayer meeting, and awareness event.  I was reminded that we are stronger together, that we were built for relationship, and that we were all handcrafted by the same Heavenly Father - equally valuable and uniquely precious in His eyes.  As members of the human race, we are family - and family fights for one another.  So no matter how hard or how dark it may get in this lifetime, I will keep fighting and praying for my brothers and sisters all over the world - for the ones who’ve been trafficked, marginalized, abused, brokenhearted, mistreated, or tossed aside.  

God has never made a person He did not love, so together let’s strive to love each other with everything we’ve got.  

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”   - John 13:35
Last month the STOP team hosted a Human Trafficking Awareness Day Event at CPUT.  The event was a success!  We were joined by students and faculty from the university who wanted to learn more about human trafficking and how to fight back against it.  Our info booth was visited by many of the students on campus, and they were able to take info packets and cards with the National Human Trafficking Resource Line (0800 222 777).  Soon after the presentation, a news reporter wrote an article about the event in The Daily Maverick.  

To read the original article click HERE.

*Disclaimer: Some of the information was misquoted, and there are some errors, but there’s grace for that!  We are so grateful that this information was shared on an online media platform!
Photo: South African History Online
National Women's Day in South Africa is a holiday celebrated on August 9th that represents women's rights, female empowerment, and freedom.  It's a day that celebrates sisterhood and unity cross-culturally as women of white, coloured, and black heritage fought together for justice.

In 1956, around 20,000 South African women staged a march on the Union Buildings in the city of Pretoria in protest against South Africa’s laws that required people of color to carry an internal passport (“passes”) which were meant to preserve segregation and control migrant labor and urbanization. The women in the march sang freedom songs, stood in silent protest for 30 minutes, and left signed petitions with over 100,000 signatures at the Prime Ministers office that day.  This was a significant historical moment in the fight to end apartheid.  

Each year, this day is still celebrated, but it’s come to mean much more.  The women of South Africa now stand together to also raise awareness on issues like domestic abuse, rape, unequal pay, sexual harassment, and women’s rights to education.

For references and more info click HERE.
Friday nights working with Straatwerk are always an adventure. 

When we go out on the streets around 10:30 pm on Friday nights, we never know which girls we will encounter.  It’s a different experience every single time.  Sometimes the girls see us approaching, and they run and hide.  Other times, they run up to us filled with joy and laughter desperately wanting hugs and prayer.  It’s a beautiful adventure, and each night that we go out - Jesus leads the way.  Sometimes we pray outside the nightclubs, sing near the back door of the brothels, or chat with some sweet ladies on a particular street corner. 

There are a few girls in particular who I would love for you to keep in prayer.  They don’t want to be out on the streets selling their bodies, but they feel like they don’t have a choice.  Some of these girls are being trafficked, while others are trafficking themselves.  They look for work but can’t find it, their families live in other African countries, and some have babies that need extra care.  Please pray for their circumstances, for their hearts, and for their freedom.  Pray for us to have the right words to say in the moment, and for us to love them and serve them with grace and truth.  Pray for the Straatwerk team and for protection, wisdom, and provision as we do what we can to lead these beautiful ladies into a relationship with Jesus and out of the sex trade.

These girls are my sisters, and they are worth so much more than what they are selling their bodies for, so let’s please stand together to fight for them.
Bella.  Mercy.  Trish.  Sandra.  Sandy.  Anita.  Natasha.  Belinda.  Patience.  Busi. 
Sibiziwe means “we are called.”

This Women’s Month Her Voice invited women of all cultures, races and religions together in one place to celebrate the most obvious thing that we share: Our Womanhood.  The event hosted info booths and stalls run by local women-focused businesses and NGO's.  This day was about helping women to embrace their identities, overcome challenges, and find their voice.  My friend Alex from Her Voice beautifully said that, “Women have a voice and a purpose unique to them and this loud and fast-paced world has a tendency of drowning it out, leaving the many behind.”  This day was about joining hands as women to strengthen, encourage, and empower one another.  

I had the honor of being one of the speakers on a panel for Women’s Rights and Justice.  I spoke about STOP’s mission and the fight to end human trafficking in South Africa and how it’s crucial for women to know their worth as daughters of the King.  This event had several other panel discussions with amazing women who spoke on the importance of equality in the workplace, labor law, self-care, mental health support, pregnancy, adoption, social work, and women's rights to education.  

It was such a sweet and special day!
I am excited to announce that I have completed my second class in my Professional Counseling program with flying colors!  Onwards we go…

The next class that I will be taking is called Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling.  I know this is going to be a challenging course, but I am looking forward to diving deeper into this material.  I want to be a counselor who empowers clients to feel safe and secure within the counseling relationship.  For that to happen, I will need to make sure that I am walking in integrity and operating by high ethical standards to make sure that my clients are receiving the best possible care.  This won’t be easy since not everything is “black and white” in the counseling world, but I hope to learn how to do it with excellence over time.  

Please keep my studies in prayer!  The workload can get a bit intense since the class is shortened to 8 weeks instead of a typical 12-16 week term.  This means I have 2 quizzes due per week along with discussion board posts and research papers due every Thursday.  

Also, I currently do not have the funding to afford my next class, so please pray with me for the finances to come through!  The cost is $1845 per course.  If you would like to make a donation to help with this cost, you can give HERE.
Day trip to Hermanus to see the whales and spend some quality alone time with Jesus.
"Hanging" out with my friend Tori - her company is the best.
Challenged myself with a 10k Race in Grabouw this month - I survived!
Found "Aslan" on safari while he was napping. 
Luckily for us, he woke up on the right side of the grass...
Upcoming Events...
- September 11th + 12th  Self-Defense Class in Kayamandi w/ Love To Give
- September 24th  Heritage Day
- September 27th - 29th  STOP's Freedom In Art Fundraising Event

Please pray for...
- Continued financial provision for living expenses, ministry expenses, and grad school tuition.
- Continued safety and protection during outreaches and presentations.
- The human trafficking victims and survivors all over the world to be set free and healed.
- Wisdom and discernment in decision making.
- Whatever else the Holy Spirit puts on your heart!

Thank you all for taking the time to read through my newsletter!  It means a lot to know that I have an army of friends and family behind me on this journey, encouraging me and praying for me every step of the way.  Thank you for supporting the work that God has me doing in South Africa!  Blessed by you.

With lots of love,
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