Making Dreams a Reality: India!

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August 2011 (from my tumblr)

29 September 2011

“Missions week is really difficult for me because I want to just drop out of school and just travel forever and film and love babies, and at the same time, I know I need to focus and complete my degree. I’m so close to never having to do pointless busy assignments again and to say I’m SO EXCITED is a massive understatement… Another thing, all I’ve been thinking about is India. Africa. Missions. Babies. Documentaries. How do I know if it’s me wanting it or if it’s something Christ has placed in me? How do I know that my motives are right?”

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November 2011 (from my tumblr)

2 December 2011
“Everything in my life up until now has been safe and comfortable. I have to make my own, hard decisions. I have to make them coming up with real life, LA, relationships… I want my life to be one of those radical, game-changing lives. Johnny told me the other day that he really believes I could be one of those people if I’d just focus, and quit distracting myself… I feel like there are parts of myself I’m hiding or resisting committing fully to you. I feel like if I commit any chance for a normal life is gone (which is what I want and also what scares me). What I so afraid of? Why don’t I actually trust you in my life?”

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February 2012 (from my tumblr)


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April 2012 (from my tumblr)

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27 October 2013
“I’ve been reading the book on Oswald Chambers life, how he set everyone aside to seek you and how he wouldn’t budge until you showed him and provided him with the way to go. I feel like I resonate so strongly with him here:

“The Holy Spirit must anoint me for work, fire me, and so vividly convince me that such and such a way is mine to aim at, or I shall not go, I will not, I dare that; I shall just be content to earn my living–but no, that cannot be. From my entire early childhood the persuasion has been that a work, strange and deep, an experience deep and peculiar, has haunted me ever and ever.”

I’ve never been able to imagine a life like everyone else’s… which I’m sure everyone says, but I feel it so strongly. I couldn’t imagine a normal job, a normal home, a normal marriage, a normal life, ever since I was a little girl. I’ve felt it my whole life.”

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I’m going to India.

I’ve had a chance to share with some of you whom I see/talk to regularly that I’ve been “trying to work out details” for this trip for the past few weeks, and although I’m still waiting on my visa (I sent the paperwork last week), I wanted to actually officially share with you all what I hope to do. 

I’m going to Mumbai with an organization called Rahab’s Rope, which is dedicated to rescuing and restoring women from sex trafficking, as well as working with children. For me, specifically, I’ll be working/living at the children’s home from June 6 – 27, doing mostly mommy things, tutoring and sharing Jesus’ love with kids rescued from brothels and the streets. 

This is a dream I’ve had for years, and to say that I’m excited would be an understatement (the language seems familiar… haha). As far back as 2011, I’ve been wanting to go to India and to be with the kids and women there, especially in the Red Light District of Mumbai. Anyone who knows me at all knows my burning desire to eradicate sex trafficking, my love for children’s ministry and my hope to someday go to India. Even while I was in Tanzania in our little village, the dream didn’t die and found its way onto my pages spattered with tears and prayers. 

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Part of the reason why I shared all the photos and journal entries before is to just provide a brief background into a dream long in the making. Although the trip is going to be much, much shorter than my whole year in the village, I know that I won’t be able to rest within myself until I explore this idea that I believe God has put on my heart. I see that He’s been slowly nurturing this desire since it first “occurred” to me back sometime in 2011 after I read about the Red Light District and the atrocities committed every day.

Here comes the humbling part of the blog… the part where I am admit that I’m slightly intimidated at walking into the Red Light district and seeing things up close and personal. It’s the part where I fight the urge to ask what I can do of value in such a short amount of time. It’s the part where I realize how small I am when facing such a large evil as that which compels humans to sell young girls’ bodies for less than $5 USD. The part where I admit that I need your help… both spiritually and financially. Not including the initial deposit and visa fees, about $3,500 is needed to make this dream a reality. Not including an emotional encounter on Bourbon Street and countless documentaries, I’ve never been this close to sex trafficking, never seen it’s perverse face in broad daylight.

But I believe this is something God has asked me to pursue, and so, I present it, with all my shortcomings and reservations and choose to rest in the knowledge that He is in this, and only He can make this come to pass.

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If you’d like to support me financially, you can give by either check (payable to Rahab’s Rope. All checks must include, “appealed by (Stephanie Elwell)”, in the memo line) or directly online on the Rahab’s Rope website. Just make sure to specify that it’s for Stephanie Elwell’s June trip to Mumbai, or it will go into general donations.

Thank you for any and all for your support! 

“And I will give you treasures hidden in darkness–secret riches, I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name (when you did not know me). And why did I call you for this work? … So that all the world from east to west will know there is no other God.”
   – Isaiah 45:3, 4, 6

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