Friday, January 28, 2022

Predators in Our Midst

She came up to me at the end of one of my sessions last year.

Something I said had struck a chord and she wanted to talk.

In private.

At first, we chit chatted. Small talk. About homeschooling and our children.

And then the floodgates came.

Her daughter.

Her 13-year-old daughter had been groomed by a predator. 

Her 13-year-old homeschooled daughter whom they tucked into bed each night had been carefully and meticulously manipulated by a man in their neighborhood. 

She was a quiet girl, insecure. She struggled with self-esteem issues. He posed as an older boy on social media. He craftily developed a relationship with her. He lavished praise and words of love on her. He made her feel valued and important. 

She agreed to meet him.

But before the meeting, her parents found out. 

They called the police.

The man was caught. The girl was safe.

But not really.

Since nothing happened, he was released.

And still in her neighborhood.

The girl was angry. Not at the man, but at her parents. She was thoroughly and completely convinced that the boy/man loved her. She didn't care that he was older. He loved her.

The police talked to her. Counselors.

She wouldn't listen. He loved her.

The family was caught in a nightmare that wasn't going away.

They had to watch her all.the.time. 

They never thought it would happen to them.


Trafficking, predators - not in our neighborhoods, right? We think we are safe. We live in the suburbs. We live in the country. We homeschool. We do all the right things, right?

Adoption has forced me to confront the ugly world of trafficking. Predators.

My children came from a system where many of the young girls and boys are groomed even in the orphanages. So that when they are given their suitcases at age 16, they go right from the orphanage and into the pit of hell.

Of course they think they are going into a better life. With promises of a good job and all the bells and whistles that go with that.

Other girls are taken before they even leave the orphanage. Men pay directors money and take their pleasures with them. It happens to the boys too. 

They are the least of the least and when they disappear into the underworld - no one goes looking for them. They are lost to a system that will chew them up and spit them out when they are done with them.

I started reading books about it.

And my eyes were opened.

Trafficking isn't just about sex although it is a huge part of the industry. It's also about labor. Exploiting the poorest of the poor with promises of a job. Instead, they become slaves in a home or a farm or a factory. Forced to work inhuman hours under horrible circumstances with no chance of freedom.

But not in our country, right?

Not in our neighborhoods.

The more I read - the more I know that it is everywhere. A hidden world of modern-day slavery. Men  and women preying upon the weak, the outcast, the one that no one is going to go looking for.

And I have asked myself. What can I do? 

How can I help?

How can I take part in a human tragedy that grieves God's heart deeply?


Last winter my son Ben met a sweet girl and the two fell promptly in love.

 We have a wedding happening this year.

That just doesn't seem real.

We are thrilled - don't get me wrong. But it's hard to wrap my brain around the fact that my firstborn is getting married.

He's got great taste though.

She's a keeper!

We love her.

We also love that she has a heart for the vulnerable.

Anna has a ministry called Transformation Freedom Initiative.

Rather big words.

In simple English - It's a ministry to raise awareness about human trafficking.

Did you read that?

I sure did a double take when I found out what she did.

Here I am - reading books and praying and trying to figure out how I can get involved and the Lord just kindly drops Anna right in our laps.

Anna's ministry is designed to stop trafficking before it starts.

To educate.

To teach the kids and the parents about how a predator operates.

Predators operate in the neighborhoods, malls, schools and on-line. On social media. In chat rooms. 

Here's an important fact - Sex trafficking rarely begins with a violent abduction (although this does happen too). It begins with someone the victim knows and usually trusts or loves.

And if you think that it ONLY happens on social media, and by keeping your children away from electronics that you will keep them safe, think again.

Traffickers/Predators can be found everywhere. Anywhere. Even in church. 

Anna's ministry is a community effort. The goal is to bring awareness, prevention, detection, rescue and restoration. Anna speaks all over the area - to children, adults and to whomever will listen. 

It's a humble ministry.

By a humble lady with a big heart and a lot of passion.

Why am I sharing this?

Because I love her, and I love her heart.

And also, because TFI (her ministry) is having a 5K run in our area, and I want all my local peeps who love to run or are willing to walk - to come out and join in.

February 18, 2022 - 9:00 am - Newcomb Course - Charlottesville, Virginia

It only costs $35.00 to enter.

John and Aaron and I will be there as volunteers.

I am so hoping that some of you will come join us.

To run. To walk. To volunteer.

Come on out. For a great reason!

If you aren't in my area or are not into the run/walk thing -then you can donate to the cause!!

Win. Win.

Raising awareness to keep even one vulnerable child safe is so worth the time and effort.

CLICK HERE to run or walk!

CLICK HERE to donate! 


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

COVID. Snow. ZOOM. BiblioPlan.

 Wow this blog has been quiet for a while!

Not that it's been quiet in our little house on the hill.

On the contrary.

Between a very MILD COVID assault over Christmas... that confined us to quarters for 10 solid, very noisy days....

And a snow blizzard that kept us off the roads...

Followed by another snowy mess a week later that again confined us inside....

We have been bouncing off the walls and driving a certain mom a bit crazy!

I'm beyond glad for no snow days this week!

So that the noise in our house can go outside for a bit.

Last year at this time I was drowning in teaching ZOOM classes through our local homeschool co-op. 

I was teaching five different classes (history and writing) and was going crazy writing lessons to keep all my students engaged.

I vowed I would never ever ever in a million years do that again as long as I so lived.

Okay - Maybe I didn't vow quite that much but I did say quite a few times (with tears rolling) that I would never do ZOOM again if I could help it.

And here I am.

A year later.

Team teaching five ZOOM classes (history) through our business with Ben as my fun side-kick.

I'm drowning in writing lesson plans. And wondering how in the world I could ever have been so crazy to do this again!

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my students.

We have the BEST group of kids imaginable. Every single class has been a blast. We could not have been more blessed with the students the Lord gave us this year. They are enthusiastic and fun to teach and from all over the United States! We even have some sweet girls from Britain in one of the classes!

But writing the lessons... that's another whole ball game.

Last year, I taught two of the three time periods we are now doing.  

Since I taught two of them - I figured... it can't be that hard. Just write one more time period this year and we are good to go!

Except that we also decided to put all the lessons in a more professional Power Point format.

And my first 25 weeks from last year were ROUGH and needed MAJOR revisions. 

Mainly because I didn't decide to do ZOOM through our business until I was on week 25ish which meant that all the earlier lessons were written with NO THOUGHT of tomorrow.

So yeah - they were a bit rough. 

So that means I am basically writing all three lessons again each week.

Each lesson takes me one to two days ... even more when there are bouncing kids who are confined in the house.

And to top off the insanity... Rob was working on his own intense project and needed my input. 

I willingly jumped in thinking it would take me a week. I spent two solid months drowning in his project. We finished it during our COVID Christmas with a definite, "We have been run over by a train" look in our eyes.

After peeling myself off the train track, I went right back to writing my ZOOM lessons and mumbling under my breath about why I ever thought this was a bright idea.

My only consolation is that next year... I have NOTHING to write for ANY of the current three time periods.

They will be done.

Fully finalized. Team teaching allows me to test the lesson and refine it.

So done is done!

But we have FOUR time periods.

So I have one more to write.

Modern History

I can do ONE next year.


Easy Peasy.


Except we may add high school classes next year.

On Zoom.

Lord help me!

And that is a bit of why this little blog has been a bit quiet.

COVID. Snow. ZOOM. BiblioPlan.

The end!

P.S. We start enrolling for our fall ZOOM classes in April. Come join us!