One Purse = Restoration
The ballroom of the Heathrow Renaissance in London overflowed as Sky News sports reporter, Julia Immonen, took the stage. Her team broke two world records rowing the slave route across the Atlantic to raise awareness for human trafficking. As she shared, my heart joined her call to action immediately, and I was ready to do battle with the dark, horrific traffickers. What Julia had done was monumental, but what could I do?
Back in Orlando, an email came through from Heather Case, a friend I met years ago when she volunteered for the New Start for Single Moms ministry that I founded. It read: “I am raising awareness and funds for women rescued from the slave trade.” It was like a dream job posting I had to reply for. “I am ready,” I wrote back. “The Lord has already called me to it. Let’s meet.”
Heather sat across the table, and the passion poured from her as she told her story. “I was shopping for a purse, a designer bag, at a consignment store. I loved it, going back again and again to try and decide, but on the third visit, I heard another voice than the store clerk’s. It was the Lord and He was asking me, ‘Heather, how many people could you help with the money you would spend on that bag?’”
That was the beginning of One Purse ministries (www.onepurse.org), a simple, even fun, way to powerfully combat the massive, evil empire of sex trafficking. The one purse Heather put down multiplied into thousands being donated at One Purse events. Every woman can host an event by just inviting friends or an existing small group to: Give One – Buy One – Restore One. 100% of the proceeds from donated bags go to fund the dreams of minors rescued and restored from trafficking.
I pledged to join Heather on the journey, and we set about strategizing an awareness and growth plan. One day in the middle of a planning session I said, “We should call my friend, Margaret, and ask her to take a look at the home event kit.” She answered on the first ring and said, “Let me call you back just as soon as I unload this stuff in room 349 of Faith Hall.” “Um, Margaret,” I replied, “I am actually in Room 349 right now.”
Yesterday, we filmed the One Purse story, courtesy of a friend of Margaret’s, and we are dedicating the film to the memory of her daughter, Elizabeth, a counselor for troubled teens, who passed away suddenly just a few weeks ago.
Coincidences? I don’t think so. The power of this story is that God brought the three of us together, in His time, through His call, to accomplish more than we first imagined. Just one more example of living Life at the Corner of Ordinary and Miraculous.
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