In my first blog post, I related the idea for this project. Now I'd like to share "the why".
Our tag-line reads, "Providing support to victims, it's something we can all do." I have to be honest... I typed (and then deleted) several lengthy paragraphs explaining just how victims of abuse often don't have the financial resources to be successful in their attempt to leave horrible situations. And while that is true and speaks to the "in Action" part of our name, it doesn't really expose my own heart, my own "why" for this project. That's because every time I talk about victims of domestic abuse, I am really fighting a surrogate battle. I have made a substitution. I have replaced the abuse I can't talk about with one I can.
Why? Because I thought it would be easier, more palatable, more comfortable. I thought I could share resources and make my points about (domestic) abusers in the church and those points could be extrapolated out to cover my situation. As if somehow this pseudo-voice could substitute for my own voice. Well, it's not going to work. The reality is that domestic abuse *is* a problem in the church. But the same heart that is operating in those situations does not limit itself to spouses. Our enemy is a devouring lion, remember? But if not a literal lion, then what? Perhaps a spouse, a teacher, a sibling, a pastor, a friend, a co-worker, a father, or a mother.
I have no desire to make people uncomfortable, though some will be. Or angry, though some will be. Or disappointed, though some will be. My heart is to give validation to those who are in the muck and mire of covert abuse in Christian circles. Your experience is real. Your suffering is real. Your pain is real. We offer you the mercy of understanding and compassion.
My children are used to me coming to the breakfast table having had a "great idea" in the wee hours of the night. They know that these ideas will involve them, somehow. Often, we end up rearranging furniture! This time, however, the idea was different. This time, I cast a vision for how we could financially support organizations that themselves either provide MERCY to victims or TRUTH to the body of Christ. We agreed that often the results of abuse are seemingly too much for any one family to do anything about. But thankfully, there are individuals out there on the front lines engaging the church and helping people in real, tangible ways. We began to brainstorm ways to support them.
In case you're curious, here's the list of fund-raising ideas we came up with: a banjo concert, making jewelry, a whip-cracking show, science workshops, origami classes, ECD dances. It's obvious to those of you who know our family personally, that this list represents the interests of several members of our family. Of course! Why *wouldn't* God intend for us to use the very interests He's given as tools to help others?
I am happy to report that for July's project, Zoë and Conner hosted and called a benefit dance that raised $60 for Give Her Wings!!! I am thankful to the community for supporting their project. Thank you, Lord!