Stories. Stories bring joy. Stories empower. Stories prove that there is something of value to be told; words that tell of hope for the future. And telling someone else’s story; showing them that their life, their story, is worth the telling? For that, stories are priceless.
Stories can change us, and can change others with us. My life was changed by a story, when I spent a summer at a special needs orphanage in China and took care of a little girl each day, a precious girl who was born with just half a heart. Her story touched my heart and opened my eyes to a world that was greater than myself; a world that needs an advocate for those who have no voice. A world that needs someone to stand for those who are unable to stand for themselves. God had greater plans than I, because that little girl who changed my heart is now my baby sister. Brooke’s heart needed healing, and my heart needed Brooke. Her future is uncertain, but her life is full of love. Her story of hope and joy, which has now become mine as well, touches lives wherever she goes.
My life was changed by a story. My sister’s heart journey changed all my “plans,” and I began to advocate for children like Brooke, moving to Iraq, and working for an nonprofit, Preemptive Love Coalition, that provides children with the heart surgeries they desperately need. There, I learned how to truly become an advocate. Real faces, real stories, of hope, of love, of joy coming from a country where more painful stories are usually shared. I’ve used these stories to hold fundraisers, which have now funded multiple heart surgeries.
When I heard about the opportunity to join 9 other amazing storytellers in Rwanda, on a storytelling trip with Noonday Collection and International Justice Mission, I knew that I wanted to do the same in Rwanda. I want to tell these women’s stories. Why am I the best advocate? Because I have a voice. And I plan on using it to change the world. I’m young, but I’m a leader. I’m inexperienced, but I’m daring and I’m willing… to go wherever God calls me. I know that empowerment creates change. That seeking justice for the poor; the oppressed is not in vain. The strength of advocacy is not taken for granted, and I know I can stand beside these Rwandan sisters, and proclaim that their story is worth telling.
Why me? Because I want to continue to be a voice. I want to cheer and share and stand alongside these women around the world who are strong; women who are starting to make their voice heard, fighting their way out of poverty and violence, and standing up to greet any obstacles in their path head-on with an “I Can.” “I Will.” “I Am.”
But the thing is, I can’t do this alone. Will you help me tell their stories?
Go HERE to vote, and share away…you can vote once per day, per device/FB account, until 11:59 PM, Monday, June 9th.
Let’s do this, team.