Gabrielle is a girl who has walked the runways of New Orleans Fashion Week and has tread though miles of dirt, dust, and sand on foreign soil while backpacking through Asia.
She is playful and gentle and yet, the tattoo on her ankle was quite literally bashed into her skin with a hammer and sharpened bamboo stick in Thiland.
She has gorgeous blonde curls, and one nasty little dread on the nape of her neck.
She is impossibly cool... and a little strange.
She seems like a contradiction,
but I have found that some of the most beautiful people are those that you can't quite figure out
- and you shouldn't really even try.
As she prepares for a three month internship in Greece with the A21 campaign, just after her 40 day backpacking trip in Asia, there is one question that seems to repeat itself by a lot of people around her who are trying to figure it all out.
Why not wait until you are financially stable?
Why are you not trying to pursue your career?
Why aren't you retreating to use your degree that you worked so hard for?
Founder of the A21 Campaign, Christine Caine, found a similar question posed to her, “Why?”
But this why wasn't from the onlookers or the doubters, though she had countless breathing down her neck, it was from one of the young women who was rescued from a life that seemed absolutely hopeless after being trafficked and raped countless times a day, “Why,” she asked, “Why didn't you come sooner?”
This “why” seems to trump all.
Suddenly, the question is changed, it becomes an urgent and passionate, “Why NOT?”
Gabrielle said, “I want to see an end put to this so why NOT go and be a part of it?”
Gabrielle has had three months to raise $5000...with one left.
While this is a seemingly daunting task, there has been a theme to this journey, the theme that actually led her to this adventure, the theme of
...living life undaunted.
Undaunted is the book that Gabrielle was reading by Christine Caine that led her to follow the A21 Campaign on twitter where she saw the volunteer opportunity.
It is only through trusting God that Gabrielle has been able to remain undaunted by something that could easily be overwhelming.
She said, “I just stay encouraged through believing the word and knowing that God has called me here. So many people apply, it is not the kind of thing where if you apply you are accepted, it was a pretty intense process. Just the way everything has fallen into place, I know it is God. I truly believe that if God called someone somewhere he is going to provide a way to support them.”
Gabrielle said, "I listened to a clip of one of Christine Caine's messages where she said,
'We don't have tomorrow. We have today. People go to these Christian conferences and they feel like they need to wait, to change this and that about their life for God to use them, but we don't have tomorrow.'
She said, “That is my answer to those people. I have this opportunity now. I don't have it next year, or in ten years. I have it now, and I am going to take it no matter if it seems crazy."
When in Asia, Gabrielle met a missionary that said something profound and life changing to Gabrielle. They had spent some time talking and sharing with each other a bit about their lives. Once the conversation died down, they had been sitting in silence when out of nowhere he told her,
“You know Gabrielle, as a journalist, you have an opportunity to go places in this world that no body else can go."
As tears began falling from her eyes, she knew that it was a word from God.
She said, “I knew in that moment, that no matter where God calls me, if it is a scary place, a really cool place, whether I have always wanted to go there or never had a desire to go, if I have the opportunity and it is a God oppurtunity, I just need to GO. If I am broke, if I have the money, if I don't know a single person there, because He is going to provide.
That is why I got my tattoo.
“We were staying on a beach in Thiland, and after I got that word, I knew I wanted to get one,”
Gabrielle said, “It was super fast, but probably the most painful, quick process of my life. It is just a hammer and a big sharpened bamboo stick that he hammered into my skin.”
She said, “I know that Greece is not the place to be with the civil unrest and the problems with the economy, but this tattoo helps remind me what the Lord said. Go.”
It all comes down to something far greater than herself. Than the finances, than a career, than doubt.
It comes down the countless lives that have been stripped away through the atrocity that is sex slavery.
“It breaks my heart to think about the darkness that those people live in. These are people, some young women, some children, some my age, that have no hope for their life because it was stripped away from them,” Gabrielle said.
It is all too common for women or men to be promised a better life in a certain place- Greece specifically in this case. They are told they have a job, security for their family, safety, that they will be able to send money home to their family. They are promised hope. Only to be stripped of everything upon arrival, all their documents and passports.
Then forced into underground brothels where they are forced to service up to 50 or more men a day.
Their dignity. Their identity. Their hope.
It is violently stripped from them.
“For them to think that this is their life now, it breaks my heart, “Gabreielle said, “If i can just go and meet one of these people and tell them that there is a God who saves, a God who loves them unconditionally, who has a perfect and beautiful plan for their life. If I could just tell one person that and for them to accept that for their life is enough for me.
To know that this is constantly happening everyday that more people go missing...
it seems so hopeless, but that is what God does,
He brings hope to the hopeless.
I want to see an end put to this so why not go and be a part of it."
Gabrielle is still seeking financial support for her trip to intern with the A21 Campaign.
My passion is for people to come together and change the world.
Even if it isn't your time to go,
why not still be a part of putting an end to human trafficking and sex slavery.
You can give here: www.gofundme.com/getgabtogreece.
Finally, I want to URGE all of you to be pray violently over this heartbreaking situation. For the children, women, and men who have found themselves without hope. Lets flood heaven with our cries, and make hell tremble in fear as the sons and daughters of the King rise up with righteous anger.
"We are going to take back all the enemy has stolen."
I love you all so much. So much.