I’m in. Again.

Hey Friends!

I know lots of you are starting to wonder what the plan is for Team Freedom 2014. I love that you’re so committed and want to make a difference in the lives of women (and men too) you will most likely never meet.

Welp, as of 30 minutes ago, I registered for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half in St. Petersburg on February 9, 2014. (Note: This is a couple of weeks earlier than what we’ve done the last few years.) We’re not able to do the Disney Princess Half this next year because it is already sold out. The growing popularity of that event has made it prohibitive for us to maximize the impact of what we’re trying to do…to stand up and put an end to human trafficking.

I’m still “officially” on vacation, so I don’t wanna dive in to the logistics for the run, but I did wanna share with you something that happened in Canada last Friday that was a significant reminder of the work we still have to do…

While spending the day in Victoria, British Columbia, (btw, Victoria is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen in my life! So so pretty!) I ran into a corner market to get a couple of things I needed. I was standing at the corner paying for my items, when two young women walked in, and stood behind me. While I was organizing my change back in my wallet, I heard one of the girls ask for a pack of condoms. My heart fell, and I felt sick to my stomach. I looked over at her and there was an inexplicable hollowness and sadness in her eyes. At the risk of sounding judgmental, she looked the part of the what these items would be used for later. The guy laid the box on counter and said, “be careful out there.” I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. Nervous and gittery, she avoided eye contact with me, and hurried out the door. I wanted to grab her by the arm, and say “No!!! You don’t have to do this! This isn’t what you were created for.” I do get what I’m telling you about here is better described as “consensual” prostitution. But regardless, it’s part of the sex industry that exploits and traps women. Of course, we tend to think more of the little girls who are kidnapped and forced to do something they never agreed or wanted to do. But three years in of educating myself (and I still have SO much to learn!), I do know that it’s ALL evil, and breaks the heart of God.

I walked out of the store, crushed in spirit, praying for the two women, I’d (providentially perhaps?) crossed paths with. Because of this encounter, and all the things I’ve learned in recent years, I will use the platform God has given me and my voice as loudly as I possibly can. And the best part of it all? SO many of you are jumping in with me. I can’t even begin to tell you what pure joy this brings me.

So here’s the deal. My lower back is giving me fits. I’m having surgery on a bad vein in my left leg in early August, and I still don’t consider myself a runner. I will complain. I will hate training. But this Team Freedom thing has legs! Pun intended. And I’m in. Again!

The Pasta Party will be that Friday or Saturday night  (February 7 or 8) in the Tampa Bay area. I’m gonna start training this week. I will post more info here soon. But this is our run this year:

Running again. For those who aren't Free.To.Run...yet!

Running again. For those who aren’t Free.To.Run…yet!

Another great thing about this particular run is there’s a 5K too! I’m registered for the half, but you can bet I’ll be wishing I’d signed up for 5K on those long run days. And to anticipate this question: “Can I raise less money if I sign up for 5K?” The answer is – lovingly! – “No.” That’s the point of Team Freedom ….to raise awareness and funds! We’ve already raised well over $100,000 the last 2 years! And we ARE making a difference. I’ll have Stacia share with you something incredibly special that’s happened the last few months. I can’t share on an open forum such as this, but she’ll be able to talk about it with us at the pasta party. Just know that if we make a difference in even one girl’s life, it is WORTH it.

So….are you in? Register HERE!

I promise, more info soon. But for now, I’m closing the computer and resuming vacation. Shoot, I may even lace up this afternoon. Thank you for your hearts. I love you all so much.

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
― William Wilberforce

10 Responses to “I’m in. Again.”

  1. Laura Slaback July 22, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    I am in Carmen!!!! Will register now! Love you girl!!!

  2. Regina Brassil July 22, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    Carmen, also fighting injury and “not a runner” mentality. But the quote by Wilberforce increasingly convicts. O know, therefore I must act. Thank you for being our fearless leader once again…will be there with tiara on. Love you let me know if I can help

  3. Elaine Knox July 22, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    Believe it or not, I laced up this morning and hit the treadmill at the gym. Still not a runner, though :) Count me in!

  4. Trish July 22, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    You know I’m in!!

  5. Barbra Crabtree July 23, 2013 at 1:59 am #

    Yeah. I am not a runner, trying to overcome some of my own physical pain issues. But I did sign up for the mini.

  6. Patti Wallis July 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    Carmen, I was so blessed by meeting you and Kelly last Friday, I am not a runner but have just started running some last year and ran my first 5K Thanksgiving with my husband and a another great friend. I will be praying for your surgery and have been for your back to get better. Take care of yourself and Thank you for sharing God’s love the way I have seen you do in the short time I have known you. Before I even met you I knew you were a wonderful person tell our friend I am praying for her and her girls too. :)

  7. Katie July 31, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    I’m So So So excited about this!!! I was training for the disney princess marathon last year when we found out we were having a little girl in september of this year. I would actually have adequate time to train for this one though! YAY! SUPER EXCITED!!!

  8. Kathy McCarty August 13, 2013 at 2:35 am #

    I am in, siging up tomorrow to take advantage of discount

  9. Robin Sarigumba August 13, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    Can’t wait!!!

  10. Madonna September 15, 2013 at 6:08 am #

    The website for the Rock N Roll St. Pete shows that it’s been cancelled. What are the plans now? Thanks!

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