Renewal

When hearing, seeing or writing the word “renewal” the first thing that comes to mind is clean. The word itself has many facets. Restoration, healing, faith, beauty, innocence, to name a few.

I had the incredible privilege of documenting a Gala last night held by Wellspring, called The White Umbrella. I didn’t know much about the organization except that they confront the issue of sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking of children. I don’t know why I thought I would go into the evening as if the content would not have an enormous impact on me.

As I listened to statistics, stories and watched dramatic readings, I felt the lump rise in my throat and the heaviness settle into my chest. 5, 7, 9-year-old girls being used as slaves to the sexual desires of men three and four times their age. What?! Atlanta is among the top 5 trafficking cities in the country. What?! The average life expectancy of a girl forced into prostitution is seven years. How did I not know this? I suddenly felt compelled to call my 14-year-old daughter and tell her never to walk out of the house again without armed guards. But fear stifles life. So I chose to focus on what this organization is doing to save these girls…these precious children.

I listened as two beautiful survivors, once broken, now restored, spoke of how Wellspring has provided for them and for many, a washing away of what once felt permanent. A cleansing through fire (so to speak). Is this not the epitome of renewal?


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If you or someone you know has suffered the cruelty of childhood sexual abuse and exploitation and needs help, click here

To see more interpretations or to participate in this week’s challenge, click here