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I won’t be going to that movie!!!

July 17, 2023

Everyone is talking about “Sound of Freedom”. Most people who went to see it were disturbed, and saddened by what is going on this country, this world. Many were appalled by it. I won’t be going to see the movie. It hits way to close to home. Growing up with a Psychopath, being abused by my brother and his friends on a regular basis, I think I have enough personal experience around this matter and don’t need to see a movie to remind me of the horrors human beings are capable of.

For most people, this movie was ‘far away’. Really it is just around the corner. Nobody in our neighborhood in Germany had any idea what was going on in our household. We attended church on Sunday morning, both of my parents were were active in the Catholic Church, our neighbors all knew our family. The family was well respected. Nobody had a clue. We had social workers coming in, but nobody spoke up enough to save us. Nobody was willing to speak out and say something.

“Freedom” for me came when I became homeless at 13, pimping myself out in exchange for a meal and a night off the streets. “Freedom” for my family came in the form of drug abuse, years of mental health visits, workaholism, and whatever other form we could find to get away from what was happening.

We are surrounded by abuse, surrounded by children who suffer, but nobody wants to say anything, nobody wants make waves, nobody wants to speak up, nobody wants to a be the one who speaks out on behalf of those who don’t have a voice.

If the movie touched you, you don’t have to give your money to far away places (although that is a good thing to support - like the Hope Mountain in the Philippines that is run and supported by Yosemite Church members or Without Permission right in our neighborhood, or Valley Crisis Center). What you can do is much simpler: be a good neighbor, know your community, be a CASA volunteer, engage with kids who are on the margins, support local causes, keep your eyes open and when in doubt ask questions.

At 16 I was I ready to commit suicide, but God sent a person who introduced me to the Christian Faith and a Christian Community. I was able to live with a family and for the first time in years slept through the night, they loved me and cared for me and helped me start over. But it took years of counseling, and learning to trust people that helped me overcome things. It was my faith in the redemptive God of the Bible that made me move forward.

But it was also my history that makes me who I am today. It was out of my story that I started LifeLine CDC, a small non profit that is about empowering under-resourced neighborhoods to thrive. It was out of the my story that I can listen to people in pain and walk with them without judgement. It was because of my story that I do what I do.

So, what is your story, and how are you going to use it for the better of the community? What are you going to do in response to the film? Words without action mean nothing.

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