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  • Jane Wheeler

Why I Work At Rising Above

Why I work at Rising Above.

I wanted to give you a bit of background for my new job. Like most of my jobs, I go in kicking and whining. God orchestrates my path to get me in touch with the organization and while I am there, He starts letting me know I am supposed to work there. I almost always say, I do not think so.

It’s a pattern, not a good one, I admit that. I have all these ideas in my head of what I would like to do, where I would like to work and so on… and strangely it is never where God thinks it should be.

Anyways, Rising Above put out the idea that they would like to hire me, I balked. My dear friend Ria who knows my pattern well, said, “Jane why do you always fight it?” to which I reply, “Because I can.”

I guess this gives me some kind of feeling of control, I don’t know but it is how I roll.

Before you label me, let’s just agree that I am “different” – okay?

So now the rest of the story:

One day at Woman’s Aglow, there was a book being passed around, and around, no one wanted to read it , the very cover scared you away. “For Their Tears I Died – short stories of extreme suffering and extravagant redemption in human trafficking and social injustice”. Just the name put you off, you knew picking up that book was going to be a hard read.

I happened to be the last person in the room of the church where we meet and there was the book left lying in the middle of the table. We share the space so we cannot leave anything in the room when we go. Sighing, I picked up the book to take it home until next week.

The next day I was flying out to Vancouver and I needed a book to get me through the airport waits and travel time, I was literally headed out the door when I remembered this, the only book I saw was that one. I grabbed it and went.

It was a hard read, but it was a book that grabbed your heart in places you do not even know exist, perhaps those are God’s heart strings, the ones that we seldom want to tap into. These stories had redemption in them. “A deeply moving collection of true stories that prove nothing is impossible with our God!” is the line on the back cover. “There are approximately 27 million people around the world right now who are enslaved in the sex trade, forced labour and soldier camps. Half of them are children.”

I am not sure about you but that last line does something in my heart that makes me cry, but it also makes me want to fight and defend the cause of the powerless. When I finished reading it, I sat somber for a time and then I said to God, “Someone should do something about this. I can do something, what do you want me to do?”

His answer came in a question. “What happens to abused children when they get older?”

I had to think and my answer back was, “I guess they turn into troubled young people and adults.”

God, “Who is at Rising Above?”

I got it and in my mind I knew I would say yes to going to work at Rising Above, but God knows me well and needed to solidify the deal.

I was entering the Rising Above office the next week and I had to pass through this group of participants. One of the young ladies stopped me and introduced herself; she was a light in the crowd, with a winsome smile and an attitude of loveliness that surrounded her. I entered the office and said to the receptionist, “That gal is quite lovely.”

The receptionist without missing a beat, whirled around in her chair to face me and said, “Isn’t she great? Her mother started selling her when she was 5 to support her habits.”

You could not have hit me with something physically harder than what that statement did in my body. I sat down in a chair and whispered a silent prayer to God, “Okay, I’m in God, use me.”

It's in our neighborhoods, it's all around us, it is not something "out" there in the world, change and help has to begin with us.

I have attached a little 3 minute video about Rising Above below. It is from last year, but it gives you a bit of a run down of some of what they do at this amazing organization, they help change lives.

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