Quit our jobs. Rent out our house. Move 7,000 miles away. It’s simple, really.

Posted: April 11, 2010 in Who we are
Tags: , ,

Neither Laura nor I have ever felt called to full-time charitable/missions work, but the year before we got married we got the idea of putting our regular lives on pause for one year out of every seven, and donating that time to helping others. (We were inspired by the scriptural idea of the Sabbath Year, as found in Leviticus 25.) We got married in 2003, so 2010 marks the seventh year. We knew we were going to go somewhere and do some sort of charitable work, but what?

Once we started learning about human trafficking, we were impressed with the urgency of the problem and concluded that fighting this injustice would be a worthwhile use of our year away. While it is a global problem, we were drawn to Asia for various reasons, and as Laura went through the application process for the Fulbright scholarship, that helped us narrow it down to the Philippines, which met several of our criteria: hot spot for trafficking (5th worst in the world), yet not hopelessly corrupt government; existing organizations in place whom we could partner with; culturally different enough to force us to re-evaluate our lives.

Laura recently received notification that she has been awarded the Fulbright, confirming that our work in the Philippines will involve the following: Laura will be working with Samaritana, a Manila-based non-profit that rehabilitates women rescued from prostitution, and writing a novel about sex trafficking, in consultation with a scholar at the University of the Philippines. Nate will be working with some combination of Samaritana and International Justice Mission.


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