Saving Women Out of the Sex Trade {Kristi's Story #SheSaidYes}

{Today is week four of our #SheSaidYes series! Meet someone I look up to in ministry, my friend Kristi Griem (see her bio below), and be encouraged to say “yes” to God in your life too!}

What makes you mad?

What upsets you so much that you are still thinking about it long after the event? It might be what you are passionate about.

Joseph was passionate about injustice. Paul was passionate about the law. Esther was passionate on behalf of her people. Mary was passionate about caring for Jesus. What are you passionate about, that He is calling you to say YES to?

#SheSaidYes

I realize now, my passion began early in life. Maybe yours did too! I was in grade school, in Central America and we were all at a school retreat. A friend of mind, who was smaller, but quicker in soccer than the rest of the boys, got a swirly. The injustice of it still burns inside me today.

Trafficking Women

Fast forward fifteen years: I started working for a ministry (www.worldcrafts.org) that markets and distributes hand made products worldwide. A few months in, we began to buy from a new group, Freeset (www.freesetglobal.com). They employed women out of the sex trade to make tote bags.

#SheSaidYes

The women were employed in freedom, instead of the sex trade that they had been tricked, trapped, or coerced to work in. I followed everything they did, prayed extensively as they hired more women in freedom, bought a 'new to them' building, moved in, and were able to accommodate even more women in freedom. My heart was weaving into freedom and value for women, in a way it had not before.

Then, in 2009, my husband (a missions minister) went to several cities and ministries on a vision trip, one of them being Freeset, in Calcutta. He came back wrecked. He held our infant daughter in his arms until she fell asleep every night. God had broken his heart for those who had no voice. Months later, when he could talk about it, he said "I saw the women...the girls...and your passion. You need to go visit."

She Said Yes

In 2010, I said YES to God, and nervously left my (then 1 and 3 year old) children for ten days and walked the streets of Calcutta. I walked the line (prostitution line) and saw women, girls, children....but I also saw Hope. I saw Hope in the eyes of the Freeset girls who were not in line. I saw Him in Mena, as she shared with girls what Hope is and how freedom can change you life. I saw Jesus walk those streets, for the least of these.

When you say YES to God, that is what you are a part of; seeing Him and seeing Hope.

Even when it seems there is no hope.

It is not all yellow brick, it is not all tulips, but it IS all God. Unmistakably Him. "He who, began a good work in you, is faithful and just to complete it."

A year ago, I left my full time, secure job, to work with Freeset. To help them grow here in the US, so that the 10,000 women trapped in human trafficking can be 10,000 free women-no longer the product, but making products.

It has been a wild, wonderful adventure. One that I would not trade for anything. I pray that the legacy I leave for my children and grandchildren is one of obedience. That their momma said 'YES' to God. That their grandmomma said 'YES' to Him, that they might know His saving grace.

And I pray that for you.

That you would have the courage to say YES to Him, even when you don't know what that will look like tomorrow. May you live in the freedom that obedience brings and the love that He is already offering, even now, for the creation He has made in YOU.

Want to enter to win the lovely Farmhouse Bag in the photo above? Just comment with an answer to this question:

What is God asking you to say "yes" to today? (The size of the yes doesn't matter, just say it!)

 

#SheSaidYesKristi is passionate about freedom: for women and children from injustice, freedom from prostitution/sextrafficking (today's modern day form of slavery), and poverty.

She has worked in the fair trade industry for ten years as a buyer and distributor, sprinkled in with somemarketing. Kristi believes all people have the right to a job with dignity to produce products and not be the product. She currently helps and consults with artisan/producer groups who are looking to broaden their market in the US. Check out her eBook, Sustainability.

Kristi serves as President for Freeset USA (www.freesetusa.com), assisting Freeset (www.freesetglobal.com) in helping free more women from human trafficking. Join her(http://kristigriem.com/fair-trade-fridays/)on Fridays to learn more about fair trade, what it is, and why it matters.

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Want to submit a guest post for #SheSaidYes? I would love to have you! Check out my submission guidelines, and prayerfully submit it!

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P.S. My amazing friend (who always thinks she's fresh out of amazing, but actually oozes it) Stacey Thacker is launching a brand new eBook today called What God Wants You to Know. You can get it FREE by subscribing to her newsletter, and I know you don't want to miss it.

#SheSaidYes