I can't believe it's been four years. But then, I also can't believe it's only been four years. It was January 2011 when I decided to release four ebooks for free to raise awareness for human trafficking. (If you want to read more about that journey, you can find it here.)
So much has happened since then. I've been threatened with bodily harm for raising my voice, and I've been called a joke for thinking it will do any good. I've had moments where I was sure we were making a difference, and I've had moments where I've felt like a complete and total failure for not doing enough. It's in those moments when I have to remember I wasn't personally called to eradicate slavery all by myself, only to add my voice to the growing shout that this is not okay.
I've met some amazing people on this journey - at the top of that list is Saundra Lawson of Project Liberty. If you haven't checked them out, you should. They are real people making a real difference in the fight. (And, as it happens - they have a pressing need for funding on their current case. If you can at all, please consider donating to them.)
But what really keeps me going on my path are the readers who circle back to tell me how they got involved after reading my books. They're organizing rallies and fundraisers. They're telling their friends and neighbors. They're sharing the information at their schools and churches. They're changing shopping habits and finding organizations they care about to help out. They are changing the world in ways I never could.
So, as human trafficking awareness month comes to a close, I'm giving away the new and improved Devil in Disguise for free on Kindle. Several of my books deal with human trafficking, but this one was the culmination of all the others. It was the product of many-a-discussion with Project Liberty's lead investigator.
Sometimes, the bad in the world seems so overwhelming that it tempts us to do nothing at all. If you can't move the mountain, why bother trying? But something in us changes if we lie down and let the bad steamroll us. We have to stand for right, for truth and for goodness - if only to be able to say to ourselves we tried. But the funny thing about trying is that it's contagious. When one of us makes a stand, it gives courage and hope to the people around us to make their own stand. And that becomes a groundswell and suddenly the odds aren't so insurmountable.
Rolling hills that had been vibrant green just weeks ago were now muted in tone, as if they were taking a deep breath before bursting into the song of fall.