The Hard Stuff

You guys, I’ve got it so easy. Most of us have got it so easy. We can sit in our comfortable homes and have our hearts wrecked by stories of sex trafficking and the horrors that survivors have endured. We can open our minds, our hearts, our wallets—even our underwear drawers. We can advocate and volunteer. Give our time, talents, and treasures in the name of social justice. But many of us can’t—or at least I can’t — ever really understand what it’s like to fight the fight on the front lines.

I am in awe of the people who do the hard stuff.

People who work with, live with, laugh with, and cry with the women we serve. Who move their families thousands of miles away, into places we would consider “scary” or “dangerous”. Who pour themselves into people we don’t understand or are a bit intimidated by.

Where we see risk, they see reward. Where we see broken, they see the light shining through the cracks. Where we offer pity, they offer promise. And it’s HARD WORK.

Recently, our Executive Director, Courtney, and I had the absolute honor of meeting (in person, finally!) Jon and Danielle Snyder of Mission to El Salvador—our partners in the field in San Salvador. The people doing that hard stuff. And I have to be honest, I couldn’t do what they do. What strikes me about Jon and Danielle (and others I know doing field work, like Dave and Amy Terpstra) is how matter-of- fact they are about the challenges of their work and living in developing countries. They don’t whine or complain (about things I find crazy and shocking!). Instead they remain laser-focused on hope, and find the light and humor where they can.

Courtney gets it. She worked one-on- one with the women we serve in Uganda, and launched our program there. I admit when the four of us were together I felt a little like the odd man out. I can’t do what they’ve done and what they’re doing.

But here’s what I can do:

I can help share their stories, and the stories of the women they serve.

I can invite our friends in Colorado and the Chicagoland area to attend one of our BRAlapalooza fundraisers, where Danielle will be the keynote speaker.

And I can love and support Jon and Danielle in El Salvador. And Nivas in Uganda. And Dave, Amy, and Leonor in Mozambique. They are the lifeline to helping those we can’t reach ourselves. They are our eyes, ears, hands, and hearts. They are the ones who do the hard stuff.

-Kimba Langas

Co-Founder, Free The Girls