I can’t do both

well, now that I’ve got my new (this is a relative term) blog all pretty and the way I want it…I’m ditching it to go back to my World Race blog.  The fact is, more people read the WR one and since I’ll be in Gainesville soon working with AIM it’s only logical that I make the switch back.  So come and check me out here at www.amandadums.theworldrace.org  Get comfortable and browse around–the blogs over there are almost as pretty as the ones here I promise…and hey, I might just post more often.  Click on the Update Alert button if you want email updates each time I post…they’re real slick.  And hey, don’t forget to leave me comments!  (Disclaimer: this is not a joke.  I’m serious about the comments!)

So look it over, glance at my pics and if you’re feeling particularly generous, you can always click the Support Me link and give a lil gift to uh…support me. 🙂  Thanks friends.  See you on the flip side.

Fighting Human Trafficking with bikes and a few phone calls

A few of my teammates from the World Race are about to begin an awesome biking venture called Team Up, Gear Up: Biking Against Human Trafficking.  They are biking their little booties all the way from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon, then hiking to the river basin of the canyon and back out all in eight days in the midst of speaking engagements along the way and a nightly nationwide conference call.  Talk about intense!

The idea behind this journey is to raise awareness and to raise up prayer for the tragic cycle of the modern day slavery cycle called Human Trafficking.  There’s a great lineup of speakers to educate and enlighten listeners on what this really looks like in our world and how we can become involved in the fight against it.   AND … yours truly will even be hosting and speaking on Tues. night–so don’t miss it!   Here’s the day by day schedule of speakers and how you can join the call each night.  I hope you can make some of them!

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The basic agenda for each call is as follows: opening prayer and welcome; a speaker will share stories/testimonies of his/her personal relationship with modern-day slavery followed by a call to action; Q&A; and prayer. The call starts at 8pm CST and may last around 45 minutes. You are encouraged to join us for the entire call, but feel free to join if even  for a few minutes. You may participate or just listen, but please come and get informed! To call in, dial 1-218-486-1600 followed by the access code 472085#.

Sunday, March 23rd

The bikers/visionaries behind Biking Against Human Trafficking – Eric Hanson, Stephanie Fisk, Eric Retterbush and Clay Massey – will be sharing about how this bike ride came together, why it’s important to them and why it should be important to you! Check out their bios in “member bios” at www.freewebs.com/baht.

Monday, March 24th

Breaking Free: Sisters helping Sisters break free (St. Paul, MN). Breaking Free serves women and girls involved in systems of prostitution/sex trafficking and other battered women who have been involved in the criminal justice system. Beth, who both works for Breaking free and is a survivor of prostitution herself, will be sharing her personal story and raising awareness about the vicious cycle of trying to break free from sexual exploitation. http://www.breakingfree.net/

Tuesday, March 25th

NightLight, The Well and SHE. These are three organizations in Thailand that are reaching out to prostituted girls in the red light district of Bangkok and Phuket. They provide housing and discipleship and basic life skill classes while providing job training in jewelry-making, purse-making, etc. Past world racers – Amanda Dums, Morgan McKeown and Lynette Lee – will be sharing stories of when they worked alongside these orgs while serving in SE Asia. http://www.nightlightbangkok.com/    http://www.servantworks.org/well

Wednesday, March 26th

Make Way Partners (Alabama). Through the hope of the Gospel, they go to the most vulnerable and least protected to end human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Kimberly Smith, the president, will be sharing about their involvement with human trafficking in Sudan, Eastern Europe and the US of A. http://www.makewaypartners.org

Thursday, March 27th

Center to Restore Trafficked and Exploited Children (Iowa). They are committed to the protection and restoration of trafficked children, focusing on their physical, mental, psychological and spiritual healing. They are dedicated to re-humanizing and reintroducing the children back into societywith a sense of dignity and a right to be free. D.J. Steen, a speaker and visionary of CRTEC, will be sharing about how human trafficking affects our kids right here in America. http://www.crtec.org/

Friday, March 28th

Not For Sale Campaign. Not for Sale is a campaign of students, entrepreneurs, artists, people of faith, athletes, law enforcement officers, politicians, social workers, skilled professionals, and all justice seekers, united to fight the global slave trade. Not for Sale aims to educate and mobilize an international abolitionist movement through the innovation and implementation of open-source activism. Inside the United States, the campaign identifies trafficking rings and collaborates with local law enforcement and community groups to shut them down and provide support for the victims. Internationally, the campaign partners with poorly resourced abolitionist groups to enhance their capacity. They believe that every single person has a skill that they can give to free an individual living in bondage. Keisha L. Hoerrner, Ph.D, – the state director of Not for Sale in Georgia – will be sharing about what they are currently doing to end modern-day slavery and how you can become a modern-day abolitionist. http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/

Saturday, March 29th

David Gutnick has been working with CBC Radio (same as NPR) as a writer-broadcaster since the mid-1980’s. One of David’s passions is finding alternative ways of telling stories on the radio. This past December he traveled to Mauritania, Togo and Ghana to report on modern-day slavery and human trafficking. He will be sharing a first hand account of what he witnessed while traveling throughout these three African countries. http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/slavery/

Sunday, March 30th

E. Benjamin Skinner, the author of A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-day Slavery will be sharing about his first book that was just released Mar. 11, 2008. Going undercover when necessary, Skinner infiltrated trafficking networks and slave quarries, urban child markets and illegal brothels. In the process, he became the first person in history to observe the sales of human beings on four continents. Born in Wisconsin, Ben Skinner graduated from Wesleyan University. He has reported on diverse topics from five continents for Newsweek International, Travel + Leisure, and others. He now lives in Brooklyn. Click here to read the first chapter of his book. http://acrimesomonstrous.com/

Monday, March 31st

Chad Mast – who currently works for The World Race – will be calling out a generation of radicals to pursue Jesus and justice at all cost. As the body of Christ, we have a responsibility to love and serve our neighbor. He is passionate about waking up a generation to their identity and role in the Kingdom. Chad has traveled to over 30 countries and five continents to serve and learn from the poorest of the poor. And, hopefully, the bikers will be able to check in and share a quick report about their bike ride! http://www.chadmast.theworldrace.org/

More info about the bike ride can be found at www.freewebs.com/baht.

DENIED!

soooooo, I got some letters back from the banks in town regarding the housing loans I applied for…it would take a genius at this point to figure out the response I got from them.  heh.  It would seem that God’s got another plan up his sleeve for this little endeavor called Hashem House.  So now I continue to trust and go where he leads. 

As of late, I’ve been following the ‘push on all doors to see if they open’ method of discerning God’s plans for things and the traditional loan door has closed–no, slammed in my face.  Who knew having a credit report would be such a viable resource for one buying a home?  (sigh.)  This leaves me a few more doors to press my hands up against…and I’m left to ponder which it may be that God swings open to release this house. 

…or could it be I haven’t even glimpsed this door yet?  Is it possible that God has hidden a door somewhere that I’ve yet to discover?  That I can’t even figure out logically how I can obtain this house and that’s exactly how he wants it?  I know that it will be supernatural.  I mean, it would have been an act of God for that loan to go through since I have no credit, but I believe that God’s got a bit more pizazz lined up for this place. 

I’ve been so encouraged recently by the extravagance of God.  I’ve seen one of my teammates receive her full support for a year in under two weeks…tell me that isn’t supernatural.  ha!  I’ve seen our little company being supported by over $50,000 in a matter of months and our refrigerator stocked with meat (seriously, someone donated a 650 lb. cow to us).  Incredible.  How is all this even possible?  Was this in their minds as they began raising support?  I mean, a cow?!  no.  I’m sure no one asked for a cow in a support letter.  God’s just funny like that.  He literally brings the cows home when the resources need to come in.

And so my mind is at rest and my heart is at peace.  I can’t figure it out and frankly I don’t want to.  I’m waiting for my own ‘cow’ story and I can’t wait to brag on God when he does his thing and calls the cows home for Hashem House. 

oh, just a little praise report that I almost forgot about:  I did receive my first donation of $100 towards Hashem House from my fam at Two Rivers.  (thanks guys!)  They called it my seed money…how fitting for my next post…

How’s this for cool? A Hashem spotlight!

One of my friends recently posted a blog about Hashem House and the little experiment she’s been doing called “Surprise Me, God.”  For more info on what that is check out her post on it here:  http://extremejourney.wordpress.com/2008/02/18/surprise-me-god/ 

BUT you really need to check out the Hashem spotlight (Day 11) because it’s way cool and, let’s be real, it’s the first publishing of Hashem House outside this very blog!  Here it is: http://extremejourney.wordpress.com/2008/02/29/smg-day-11-2/

Thanks Heather for this blog and for dreaming with me and partnering with me in this.  Thanks for laughing out loud and squealing with excitement over the smallest accomlishments and crying with me when I’m overwhelmed and feeling defeated too.  Thanks for speaking life and encouraging me to go after the vision God’s placed on my heart.  Thanks for being a true sister and walking along side of me.  You’re the best–I love you! 

My first tribute blog: Here’s to you Jessica McClure

The real reason why I wanted to write this blog is to direct your attention to one of my friends most recent posts.  Check out her blog here:  www.jessmccl.wordpress.com

Not only is she an astounding writer, but she’s gone through some fire recently that’s produced an even shinier glow about her.  There’s just something about that refinement process that makes us look so much better on the tail end of things…

And really, as I sit here tonight, I’m feeling a ‘lil sad because at 8 a.m. tomorrow I have to once again say goodbye to a dear friend…and what’s to like about that?  After watching our old ‘Sara-made’ videos tonight of the last few years in Cairo, I’m feeling a little nostalgic.  I just love these people.  I really am grateful to God for surrounding me with family.  (thanks–you really did a good job with this one Lord.)  🙂

Jess just happens to be an awesome person to be around.  I love that in Jess I have a friend who is always real with me–this girl doesn’t hide her emotions even if she wanted too.   I love that we laugh every day about the smallest things, that no one else gets the jokes that are funny to us and how with even just a look there is understanding between us.   I love that I can ask tough questions and know that she’ll still love me, even if she wants to throw things at me.  I love that I can feel her pain and that even at her worst, all I see is my sister.  I love that we’re in this together and that God made us family.  Simply put, I love this girl and am thankful that God made her unique.  I’ve really enjoyed the last few weeks we’ve been able to spend together.  Jess, you’re important to me and you always will be!!  See you soon, friend–we wait for your return!

I mean seriously, who else has perfected the Chloe face???  

Answer:  no one.

Hashem House Page

So it’s finally been posted, the meaning behind my blog title is at long last revealed!! 

Check out the green tab at the top of the page that says ‘Hashem House’ and it will give you all the fun details of my most recent endeavor. 

Victorious Ground

I can’t believe it’s been 21 days since I’ve last posted a blog.  I’ve come onto this site so many times with every intention to write.  I open up a page and I can’t even begin.  There are so many things to share and yet I sit with a blank stare unable to properly convey even an update on life.  (sigh)  …and this is how I begin to explain my life as of late. 🙂

The last month or so really has no overarching tone.  It’s not been generally hard or mostly restful or specifically this or that.  It really has been all these things at once.  Some days have me grinning like an idiot in complete glee of what the Father is doing in my life.  The next, my face is in the mud and it’s so difficult to drudge myself out and into the next gleeful moment.  The ups and downs and triumph and doubts have been an all too trying bipolar friend to me lately.  But I can say that this journey has been an excellent learning process.  I’m learning how to juggle all that life throws at you and discerning the lies and attacks of Satan and how to overcome.

This is quite the battleground.  But the land I stand on is also the land of Victory.  How interesting that the same land has a history of war and victory…and each day I’m learning to overcome and conquer this land, claim it as my inheritance and walk in victory.  I lay my trust in the claims that He knows the plans He has for me and they are plans to prosper me, to not harm me, and to give me a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

So as I sit here in my sunny room in Cairo, IL on the 27th of February, 2008 I can say that life is good–not easy, but good because He really is good.  And I’m truly learning that mystery of “Christ in me, the hope of glory.”  (Colosians 1:27)  I’m learning to walk in the victory I have access to through His death and his resurrection.  The same death I participated in and now, in this new life, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  (Galatians 2:20)

Wow.  I have so much to be thankful for!

Oh, and since we’re on the thankful train…how’s this one?  I got a job at Quiznos–yay!  Now I have a bit of a schedule to my days and a new batch of people to love.  Fun!  Thank you Jesus!