I just wanted to fill everyone in on what the next couple of months hold for me (and Simon & Ruby). You all have been amazingly encouraging and supportive to everything I’ve done so far and I really appreciate it. Some of you already know about the trip I’m about to embark on (and have been overwhelmingly generous), but I wanted to give you all a bit more information about what I’m doing.
On June 19th, I’m heading to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to work with a couple of young women who are survivors of sex slavery. They expressed the desire to pursue jewelry design as their means of employment, both while in an aftercare facility and beyond. Abolition International approached me a few months ago with the idea of creating Penh Lenh Jewelry, which the girls would make and it would be sold both in the US and in Cambodia (to local boutiques).
Penh Lenh is Khmer (kah-my) for the word “whole”. This would create a sustainable job for them and eventually would incorporate more of the young women. They asked me to create the initial designs for them. And… travel to Cambodia for 3 weeks to teach them how to make it. If I’m really honest with myself (and you), this is one of the most humbling, ambitious, terrifying things I think I have ever done. 🙂 I’m finished with the designs, we’ve ordered all the supplies, gotten the vaccinations, and now all I have to do is hold my breath and jump.
The entire project, from my travel expenses to the salaries for the girls to the supplies to make the jewelry, is funded by donations. I’m working with Abolition International, (http://abolitioninternational.org) a Nashville-based anti-trafficking non-profit, who is partnering with Transitions Global (who has the Dream Home where the girls live.) I’m not writing to beg you for your money (although, it would be much appreciated!). I am writing because you’re my friend or family and I want to share this amazing experience with you. I would appreciate any prayers you have to give. This project has completely captured my heart and has created an opportunity that I only could have dreamed of.
Kerbi and I are heading over in 2 weeks and will be blogging about the whole experience. Rachel is already over there and just started working with the girls last week!
Here is the link to the blog: http://abolitioninternational.org/blog/
If you are interested in donating: https://secure.commonground.convio.com/abolitionintl/cambodiajewelryfundraise/project.html?personalFundraisingProjectId=a0id0000001KPoWAAW
Thank you so much for your love, support, and prayers. I can’t wait to come back and tell you all about it!!