Esquire Theme by Matthew Buchanan
Social icons by Tim van Damme

19

Jan

whoops! I’m published again

read an article about the girls I met in strip clubs off fulton industrial: HERE

Pinned Image

01

Aug

my friends are cooler than yours

08

Jul

americAn girls

be careful

don’t make the mistake of assuming that human trafficking is an isolated, clandestine problem buried in the folds of the mountains of nepal or the disclosed in the dusty misogynistic deserts of the middle east. traffickers in your suburban neighborhood may prey on younger girls, even in middle schools, grooming them by posing as ‘boyfriends,’ buying them pretty things, saying all the right words, slipping drugs or alcohol causing substance abuse, instilling fear and division between girls and their families, and so many other psychological constraints. i shouldn’t even have to reiterate it, but stay involved and informed in loved one’s lives and know who and where they are spending time with.

and even if it wasn’t an issue in america … injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere (mlk jr.) so let your heart see across borders to where others are fighting for their own freedom

21

Feb

au revoir

how did they win my heart so easily…

how do parts of my heart continuously get scattered around the world?

11

Feb

vanquished

oppression and injustice have a tempestuously violent internal physiological affect on my body. especially when it involves innocent little girls and boys, point blank, in my face. the best visual i can provide without x-ray vision is the typical bruce banner to green hulk scenario. my heart immediately leaps into my throat, its maniacal beat a fierce kick drum between my ears. my blood fiercely changes temperature and i can feel the hot wave wash over my body. i’m pretty sure my eyes could burn a hole in anyone my dilated irises fall focus upon.

but i’m a lady and when did violence ever build a bridge or improve a relationship for further work or provide a credible reputation? I beg God to give me grace, eloquence, and wisdom, because there is nothing good in me, there is nothing good in me, there is nothing good in me.

passing through the streets of phnom penh at night makes me shiver, even in the thick humid 90 degree air. Dimly lit, shanty doors are lined with plastic chairs where girls aged 7-17 sit. motorbikes line the side of the street where shirtless men loiter and laugh. i heard a story tonight of an 8 year old girl whose virginity was sold for $10, then her hymen was sewed up and she was sold as a virgin again, and again 9 more times. she was electrocuted, beaten, and starved, all before she even celebrated her 10th birthday… and thats not a rare case, its pretty typical here.

I kind of try to ignore it, especially working at a safe house. I want to focus on the girls that are rescued and protected, but fact is, there are still girls being destroyed all around me, and I feel it. I know darkness is the most cliche literary metaphor for evil, but its so thick here I can smell it and it penetrates my skin. What filth doesn’t reach my soul, rides my back. A daily reprieve, a daily intrinsic war, is completely necessary for positivity to survive. And we must survive and continue to fight for those that can’t fight for themselves. #its a marathon not a sprint.

*these photos are mine and may not be used without my permission- thanks!

22

Jan

Darlings

{as i write this a little girl plays with my hair}

she kind of marvels at the coconut scented blonde silky streaks that fall arbitrarily around my shoulders. She knows very little English, but its much more than the 2 words I know in Khmer. She tells me I am beautiful. I whisper that she is my sister and she is altogether beautiful also… but, she shakes her head and scrunches up her nose. My world crashes down Compliments are a dime a dozen, but I am telling you, this girl is gorgeous and not because she resembles some barbie doll. Allow me to introduce you to Ava.

Our tuk tuk zipped around the precocious streets of Phnom Penh until we navigated toward back streets and entered an unassuming gate where we were met by a wave of elation. Girls aged 6-13 live here {i will keep the safe house mission’s name anonymous for safety} and have stories that will melt you to a puddle of tears, but you would never know by the looks their faces volunteer. 

Ava is fair skinned and periodically nods to the left encouraging her capricious side swept bangs out of her eyes. Her delicate hands carry a constant slew of pens, markers, and other means of sketching the scenes in her mind. Beautiful pictures despite the hurt that has shaped her reality. Her mother is dead and so is her only sister. She tells me that she prays to God every night for a sister… and that is when the words come with difficulty, she chokes on her words for a second and you can sense the burning in her eyes, a tear falls, but not without her brushing it away frantically. I immediately grab her in my arms and hold her so tight. She exclaims ‘i am ok i am ok!’ as if a tear is a crime. I rock her in my arms and already dread the day I have to say goodbye. 

This little darling is fantastically talented, she can author images that no 7 year old can conceive, my mind is reeling with ways to empower her. Today I bought her a notebook with money from my supporters and told her to leave no blank pages. She is a cage of potential and talent, she doesn’t even know how to complain, she works hard, she does her chores, she has so many dreams, her name is Ava.

…internet is scarce here, but I will try to introduce you to more of these darlings and keep you up to speed with the happenings of phnom penh. Just know that I love it here and see poems around every corner, so I will try to queue more posts to publish while I am unable to be at a computer! xoxo kristin

** I have renamed the darlings to protect their anonymity

*these photos are mine and may not be used without my permission. thank you!

21

Jan

conversations from a mosquito net

My eyes are heavy and fluttering shut, but I lay surrounded by 40 giggling girls tucked inside mosquito net bunk bed forts complete with colorful sheets and buzzing fans stirring the hot night air and playful words. I can paint the verbal picture for you, but there is no way I can charm you with the thick feelings of bliss that have taken up residency on my face. 

I think I saw the face of Jesus today.

I saw his face in a 12 year old girl, whisking away the tear that escaped as she snuck in a comment about the absence of her mother amongst conversation about her life in school, boys, chores, and her favorites. I was confounded and she openly shared her life with me. I anticipated the adolescent girls here to be closed off and have the same kind of teenage attitude that I had at that age. I expected it to take a lot of effort to break down walls to make friends with these girls, but here she was pouring out the depths of her soul to me after knowing me for a day. It make me think of Mark 10:21:

21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. 

Did you catch that? Jesus could merely LOOK at a person and love them, could be the first encounter with that person, yet he could exchange a gaze with them and love them, deeply.

THATs the kinda love at first sight I am talking about! This girl and I looked at each other and I knew I loved her, because Jesus fills me with His love, I feel it pulse through my veins for her. 

incredible. [stay tuned for more thoughts- I have so many!]

xoxo kristin

28

Jul

I love PDA. And all of these photos are the sweetest. But Frank Viola writes: “Yet the most powerful love story that any human has ever crafted pales in comparison to the epic romance that runs throughout your bible.”

Put that Twilight poster awayyy, Jacob hasn’t even survived his teens yet (acne is bound to strike), oh and fahgetabout The Notebook, turns out Allie didn’t really have Alzheimers, she and Noah just fought so much in their marriage she was trying to block it out. BUT the ancient publication we call the bible contains an allegory running so severely and drastically deep concealing a dam of meaning, that tragically many will never understand it.

ok, so i am not THAT much of a skeptic, there really are lovely stories of people madly in love and absolutely committed to each other, but even these situations are merely an attempt of us, the created, to imitate what God our creator has played out before us and innately planted desire to love in our souls. Imagine that every plot of every romantic scenario is really just the human endeavor to display what we believe and feel, but is really just a pale shadow of what God is spotlighting throughout all of history.

Not a single word in the bible goes to waste. Every letter of every chapter is allegorical. Consider the introduction of Eve into the world. Eve was brought forth from Adam’s side. Parallel this with the church (often referred to as the bride) within Christ. This would bring a whole new meaning to how Adam was “put to sleep” when Eve was created, and then how Christ was stabbed in the side by the Roman Centurian in his final fateful moments on the executionary cross and then was dead for 3 days. It was after Jesus was killed that the church came forth. 

From Jesus’ sacrificial death to you finishing reading this sentence, there is a story God has entangled through history of his pursuit of us, his creation and object of love. God is perfectly adequate within Himself. But because God is love, He is not content to be adequate in Himself. And because He loves us totally, He gives us the free will to choose to love Him back, or not. But this poses the question: why would we not choose Him?