Wanted to share a few photos from behind the scenes at She Speaks this year – and a few photos I’ll never forget.
On Tuesday evening I arrived at the hotel to share a suite with Micca, Renee and little Aster. Gracious is Aster ever cute! The three of us went to dinner along with LeAnn Rice, Wendy Pope and Wendy Blight.
LeAnn, Micca, Aster, Wendy P., Wendy B., & Renee
As we left the restaurant, a huge rainbow appeared in the sky – we could see the whole thing from horizon to horizon! Hope you can see it in this shot.
Here’s another group of us eating dinner on Wednesday. On Wednesday and Thursday the P31 staff set up for the conference while the speaking team does oodles of training. She Speaks is the only time of the year we are all in the same place at the same time. So if you’ve ever attended She Speaks, realize we reach information overload before you even arrive. Mercy!
From left around to right is Marybeth Whalen, Me, Ariel Lawhon, Zoe Elmore, Shari Braendel, Lynn Cowell, Whitney Caps, Lindsey Feldpausch, and Karen Ehman.
During one of our training sessions on Thursday, Tom Davis came in to speak to us. He worked with us on our platform speaking skills – Tom is a former communication consultant. Bravo to Zoe, Karen and Shari who got up in front of us all - on the fly when Tom called them forward - and launched into a portion of one of their speaking presentations so we could all watch him critique them. That takes guts, and they each did terrific.
Marybeth & me
Then Tom briefed us on the work his ministry Children’s Hope Chest is doing around the world. Most recently, they’ve been rescuing young women and even girls from the sex trade and helping them rehabilitate under the Lord’s loving care. The statistics he shared were shocking:
- Unicef reports that there are over 1.2 million children entering the sex trade yearly.
- It is estimated that two children per minute are trafficked for sexual exploitation.
- The average age of a trafficked victim is 14 years old.
Tom told us some of those stories and all of our hearts broke over what we learned. But then … then … he told us of a brothel in Cambodia that had just been raided. Women and children were freed. And he pulled out a pair of shoes from one of those girls. We choked back tears as we saw the size of them.
Her shoes, in fact, looked like a little girl version of the shoes I was wearing that very day.
With or without these photos, I’ll never forget the size of those orange sandals, the size of the little girl who walked in them, or the size of the sin committed against her.
Trafficked victims are often forced to have sex 20, 30 even 40 times a day.
Thankful the prayers of believers can make an impact (James 5:16).