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Share Four Somethings Feb 2020

Share Four Somethings Feb 2020

share four somethings

I’m linking up with Heather Gerwing for another month of Share Four Somethings and sharing some of our February family fun!

Something Loved

Our church has the genius idea to schedule the middle school and high school retreat over Valentine’s Weekend every year and I have to tell you it’s the best thing ever. A Staycation Friday-Sunday is a perfect way to celebrate the weekend if you ask me! Our kids spent the weekend having a blast at the annual Reverb Youth Conference

Something Read

I’m reading Suzanne Stabile’s The Path Between Us. I’ve recently discovered a lot more about my Enneagram number thanks to the help from some gentle guidance from a coach and the insights from this book. What I love about the Enneagram is that it isn’t static. Consider this quote from Stabile, ” We all struggle when we are on the low side of average behavior for our number. So, to honor our relationships, we all need to watch for behavior that exaggerates the things that seem important from our point of view but end up causing separation between us and the people we care about. “

Something Treasured

This month I inherited my Uncle’s furniture now that he’s safely in an assisted living facility. Our home is a mix of old and new, and I have several pieces of furniture of three of the five Moorad brothers in our home now. I love the mix of old and new. In particular, this dining room table is a wish come true. I’ve wanted a rectangular table that can seat a crowd for awhile. With its additional leaves, we’ll finally be able to host large groups at the same table.

new furniture

Something Ahead

Next month Ordell and I celebrate our birthdays and we’re headed for a family getaway for spring break for the first time ever! I’m loving all these family first thanks to the high school coaching life!

Coaching is a Business

Coaching is a Business

coaching is a business

This is the time of year when coaches are shifting jobs. Some of those changes are by choice, but many other coaches are unemployed and looking for work because they have learned one of the hardest lessons in coaching. Regardless of how nice the administration is, or how well you get along with your boss, when push comes to shove, coaching is a business.

Whether you coach in secular or private settings there almost always comes a point where you realize that coaching is a business even when you want it to view your work through the lens of ministry.

There’s no way to prepare for the “you’re fired” conversation even when you expect it because rarely do people handle these things well. Rather than look you in the eye and say hey, I’m sorry but we have to go another way they will feel guilty and start to make up excuses and pretend they aren’t the ones making the decision. Or worse, they aren’t courageous enough to have a conversation themselves and the decision-maker actually has someone else deliver the bad news.

Regardless of who tells you that you no longer have health insurance and a salary or why they are likely to leave you feeling as if you’ve been sucker-punched. Colleges have to balance their budgets and the reality is that donors are more likely to give to winning programs and kids are more likely to stick around when they have a chance to play for winning programs as well.

When administrators aren’t willing to trust the recruiting efforts of the coaching staff or if the coaching staff can’t recruit the right players it doesn’t matter how well everyone gets along. Coaching is a business.

Even when things are moving in the right direction it’s possible an administrator, trustee or alum will decide that it’s time to go in a different direction. This feels especially unfair because the coach usually knows the next coach will reap the benefits of their hard work. Regardless, coaching is a business.

At the high school level, things vary depending on whether a teacher has tenure and if they are in the public or private school system. But coaches rarely want to stick around if they aren’t going to coach and teach. Occasionally they will find themselves stuck in that they are so far along years or steps moving would mean a significant pay cut. As it has been explained to me, this can cause a coach to step out of coaching for a few years until they can lock in retirement and then they may start over someplace else. It’s also why so many coaching families are two-income households.

It’s also important to remember that your favorite player’s parents are also going to quickly complain when their kids don’t earn starting positions. Parent’s aren’t above exaggerating to get their way. Where do you think their kids learn that strategy? If we learned anything from Operation Varsity Blues it’s that many parents believe their child is the exception to the rules.

While we can always hope that administrators will believe a coaching staff before a parent, the reality is that it’s not always the case. It’s especially helpful to have a parent to blame when they are looking for an excuse to part ways. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ever be friendly with parents, but just like co-workers, it’s important to remember that when you are competing for a promotion some people will choose themselves over the truth when they want something bad enough.

Don’t Limit Yourself

After you’ve been burned in the coaching business the instinct for many is to put up a wall of protection, but in truth, doing so limits your experience. There are so many amazing friendships that happen on a coaching staff when you let yourself get to know each other. But just like any other job, there are limits. It’s important to have boundaries and to understand that ultimately, at the end of the day, every coach must do their job to the best of their ability. Even when they do, sometimes leaders will make bad decisions and in the business world, that means the low man on the pay scale often gets the raw end of the deal.

When things feel unfair it’s easy to second guess your previous convictions. We’re you supposed to take that job in the first place? Should you have accepted that other job offer that came along rather than staying put? It’s hard when things don’t feel good or make sense to remember that God is still present. In those moments where you’re tempted to second guess your previous decisions remember that obedience often requires sacrifice. God knows that we can get ahead of ourselves even when we don’t know the end of the story so because he is merciful he often only tells us what we need to know so we can focus on the tasks ahead.

It’s so much easier to obey God and step into our calling when we know that our goal is to advance the kingdom by serving the people in front of us rather than being paralyzed by the fear of an impending bad ending. The Bible is filled with stories of people who God called to do incredibly hard things. Ruth, Esther, Joseph, Abraham, David, and Joshua are just a few who stepped into their calling without knowing the ending. Their obedience impacted generations and so does yours even when your ending in one location doesn’t come to a close the way you prefer.

Sports and Human Trafficking

Sports and Human Trafficking

Sports and Human Trafficking

The first time I heard sex trafficking discussed from a public stage was in 2013 at the Passion Conference when heard Christine Caine speak about the efforts of A21. I watched online while thousands of college students learned that there are more human slaves currently in the world than at any other time in history. CNN picked up the story, and the A21 campaign became common lingo in my circles.  I was aware of human trafficking before the Passion Conferences, but hearing Christine Caine speak about statistics and personal stories was jarring.

A year or so after learning about A21 the health department I worked for hosted a local awareness meeting about sex trafficking in our area.  Since our town was close to St. Louis, our local law enforcement, and state’s attorneys had received training and wanted to make us aware of signs to look as we interacted with the public regarding traffickers.  As conversations continued, our trainers pointed out that one of the most profitable times for pimps is during major athletic events.

The links between human trafficking and major sporting events are complex. Human trafficking is largely a hidden crime, but each year we become more aware of patterns. As new laws are passed and task forces are put together we gather increasingly accurate numbers regarding the horrors of this terrible crime.

Dr. Lapchick from the Institute for Sport and Social Justice said in 2019, “In August, domestically, there were 152 individuals arrested, suspected, or charged with human trafficking activities, 34 victims under the age of 18 rescued as well as 28 adult victims rescued. There were five new laws passed and 25 community initiatives. Internationally, there were 86 individuals arrested, suspected, or charged with human trafficking activity, 143 adult victims were rescued, and 88 children under the age of 18 were also rescued. There was one new law passed and five community initiatives.”

Many news reports finally acknowledge that there is an increase in the demand for commercial sex services surrounding large sporting events such as the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA and NHL playoffs, professional golf tournaments, and horse races, as well as college sports and NCAA playoff events. 

ESPN reports, “Just a few months after the 2019 Super Bowl, officials arrested 58 people in a sex trafficking sting operation during the NCAA Men’s Tournament Final Four in Minneapolis. This included 47 people being charged for felony solicitation of a minor, and 11 people for sex trafficking or promotion of prostitution. As a result of the sting, 28 people including one minor were rescued. The five-day operation involved undercover agents and investigators who chatted with potential sex buyers over social media — another reminder of just how far technology has taken us.”

Action Starts With Awareness

Today, Feburary 13th is shine a light on slavery day.  “The #ENDITMOVEMENT is a Coalition Partners’ efforts to bring AWARENESS, PREVENTION, RESCUE, RESTORATION.”

As a football coach’s wife, I cannot ignore the connections that hoover around athletics and human trafficking. I’ve traveled with our teams for years. I’ve entered and left the stadium with the team and noticed that even at the small college level there are women who hang out in the lobby of our hotel or stop at a table in a restaurant to ask where the team is staying and when players’ have curfew. 

I always ignored this behavior until going through the training with my job. While there are very few ways that we can safely help women in these situations, awareness is a vital piece of the puzzle.  Perhaps it is time I’ve spent with college women, or the A21 stories I’ve heard, or simply the fact that God has nudged my heart to accept that I am closer to this issue than some.

This is Everyone’s Fight

ECPAT-USA Trafficking in the Hotel Industry:

Due to the anonymous, risk-free nature of the hospitality industry, children across the globe are exploited in hotels—ranging from budget properties to luxury resorts. Hotel associates are uniquely situated to identify and report suspicious activity. From check-in to check-out there are a number of indicators victims and traffickers exhibit during the time they are on hotel property. With proper training, a front desk agent or a housekeeper can notice that something is not right and respond.

A21 – Bodies Are Not Commodities Reach, Rescue, Restore

Slavery is the fastest growing organized crime in the world. It’s real, hidden in plain sight, and tearing at the social fabric of every nation and economic structure. But that’s why we exist— 21st century abolitionists determined to bring change.

World Relief – Advocacy

World Relief intercedes on behalf of those who are suffering, in poverty or without protection, in order to influence those in positions of power who can save lives. We seek to not only defend and speak up on behalf of the vulnerable but with and alongside them.

Our commitment to advocating on behalf of the poor and oppressed is based on biblical truths and on the example of Jesus. We believe that such advocacy is an important witness to a watching world about the character of Jesus.

To that end, the World Relief Advocacy Team seeks to:

  • Address structural inequality & violence
  • Increase awareness
  • Build a movement for justice
  • Deepen empathy and understanding
  • Catalyze engagement

More #EndIt Partners linked here

When we know better we do better. Consider these recent global statistics:

  • ILO says forced labor generates annual profits of US$ 150 billion
  • Report finds illegal gain from forced labor of about 21 million people amounts to three times more than prior estimates.
  • At any given time in 2016, an estimated 40.3 million people are in modern slavery, including 24.9 million in forced labor and 15.4 million in forced marriage.
  • It means there are 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every 1,000 people in the world.
  • 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children.
  • Out of the 24.9 million people trapped in forced labor, 16 million people are exploited in the private sector such as domestic work, construction or agriculture; 4.8 million persons in forced sexual exploitation, and 4 million persons in forced labor imposed by state authorities.
  • Women and girls are disproportionately affected by forced labor, accounting for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58% in other sectors

Today many live by the philosophy that it’s fine to do whatever you want as long as it feels good. We also seem to look the other way when rich people do horrendous things other people go to jail for as long as they apologize. Further, without laws that accurately address the true issue of human trafficking, we will never be able to hold perpetrators accountable. The reality is when it comes to ending human trafficking in connection with large sporting events the NFL, NBA, and other professional organizations need to clean themselves up first.

For example:

Kraft was charged in late February after police conducted a sex trafficking bust around a chain of spas that included Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. At least 45 suspects were arrested and 171 arrest warrants were issued in the bust, according to police. Police say that men arrested in the bust were videotaped paying for sexual services at the spas.  Kraft reportedly refused a plea deal that would have resulted in no charges if he admitted guilt, according to reports from CNN and The Wall Street Journal.

Ending human trafficking in the sports industry starts right here. By holding people like Kraft accountable for their poor choices the NFL could take a stand in a vital way.

Vanity Fair’s Summary Says it All

Human trafficking is a serious problem: The Department of Health and Human Services calls it the world’s “fastest-growing criminal industry.” But some anti-trafficking groups, in search of funding, routinely overstate the scale of the commercial sex trade. They frequently claim that 300,000 minors are “at risk” for being sold into sexual slavery in America each year—a number that has been debunked by researchers as wildly overinflated. (The Washington Post dismisses it as a “nonsense statistic.”) In 2018, the FBI confirmed a total of 649 trafficking cases in America, adults included.

Even if he is found guilty, however, Kraft has little to fear in the way of punishment. In Florida, as in most other states, the purchasing of sex is a misdemeanor. The few first-time johns who wind up being convicted typically pay a fine and perform no more than 100 hours of community service. The selling of sex, however, is policed far more severely. Sex workers are more likely than johns to face repeated arrest, increasing the odds that they will be charged with a felony and sentenced to prison, and have fewer resources to defend themselves in court. And “madams” who profit from the prostitution of others—the charge leveled against Mandy and Lulu—can be convicted of money laundering if the proceeds are deposited in a bank, or used to pay rent, or buy milk.

While Kraft’s legal team fights to have the charges against him dismissed, one of the alleged sex workers arrested in the raids, Lei Chen, remains in ICE custody. Under civil forfeiture proceedings, the state seized her J.P. Morgan Chase account, which held $2,900. Until August 21, when she was transferred to another immigration facility, Chen was held at the detention center in West Palm Beach, a half mile from a strip club where Stormy Daniels performed, and across from the Trump International Golf Club.

Another alleged sex worker, Yaping Ren, was also held for five months, waiting to be handed over to ICE, before being released in July. Her status remains uncertain: Her attorney told me that he has been unable to determine whether she is going to be deported. The county has only two court-certified Mandarin interpreters, who charge $400 an hour—a prohibitively high fee for his clients. Under Florida law, it would appear, happy endings are the exclusive property of men.

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