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Passport throught Darkness: A True Story of Danger and Second Chances - eBook
David C. Cook / 2011 / ePub
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Smith was an average American woman-a wife, mother, corporate executive, and faithful church member. But she knew something was missing from her life. When a bone-chilling experience awakened her desire to find true purpose, Smith and her family began a lifelong adventure serving those who never knew a greater purpose could exist. Passport Through Darkness tells the story of their adventure.
Traveling around the world and deep into the darkness of her own heart, Smith's worst fears collided with her faith as she and her family discovered the atrocities of human trafficking. But in that broken place a self-centered life was transformed into an international effort to save thousands from modern-day slavery, persecution, disease, and genocide.
As Smith and her husband risk everything for orphans in Eastern Europe and Africa, they see God work again and again in impossible situations, especially in their own lives and marriage. They see God change them-even in their exhaustion, marital struggles, and physical limitations. They see the beauty of living out God's dreams.
As she shares her extraordinary stories of fighting human trafficking as an ordinary mom, Kimberly Smith offers hope for readers who wonder if God is calling them to greater things.
Kimberly L. Smith is the president and co-founder of Make Way Partners, a mission organization committed to ending human trafficking. She is currently working to build the only private and indigenously based anti-trafficking network in Africa and Eastern Europe. A devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, Kimberly lives with her husband, Milton, in Sylacauga, Alabama.
"Kimberly Smith voluntarily walks through the gates of hell. If you can read her account without being affected, you should check for a pulse." - Philip Yancey, author of What Good Is God? And What's so Amazing About Grace?
"I appreciate Kimberly's efforts and those of Make Way Partners to rescue and care for the orphans of Sudan. I respect the ministry she leads and the fact that it cares equally for all children, whether Christian, Muslim, African, or Arab. By eliminating the divisors of religion and skin color, MWP exemplifies Christian peacemaking." - Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President and founder of The Carter Center.
The journey into my own soul was scariest and hardest thing I've ever done. Yes, even more challenging than building an orphanage in the war-zone of Darfur, nearly 2,000 miles away from our nearest supply chain in Nairobi, Kenya. My world was rocked not so much by the darkness I had to pass through, but by the beauty I found buried within. Finding that beauty---glimpses of what God dreamed of for me---changed everything dear to me, but most profoundly my marriage.
I had walked through hell in Sudan to listen to others' stories, and comfort them with mercy and compassion. But, when it came to my own pain, somehow shame got mixed in there, choking out the truth and driving me to sin and darkness. I couldn't seem to hear the same God of comfort I heard for others. Fear of being found unlovable, unworthy, plain old "Un," drove me to lock entire parts of myself away from even those I loved the most. The woman who defied boundaries-flying straight into war zones-had constructed her own no-go zones within, where even she wouldn't dare to go. And she hurt anyone who dared to breach the heavily-armed border.
I'd heard Believers referred to as "soldiers" the whole of my Christian life. I just never thought much about it personally...until I realized a battalion of troops had been sent out looking for me. They literally fought to save my life. And while it might sound strange-coming from a woman whose life is supposedly about saving lives-their pushing me to share my story in Passport through Darkness is what ultimately saved mine. My heart had been broken for the men, women, and children I'd met in Sudan who'd survived trafficking, rape, persecution, and genocide. I felt angry on their behalf that greed, corruption, and oppression stamped out their voice so I wanted to be their voice by writing their stories. That's what first set my fingers to the keyboard-to make a place for their story, to honor their suffering, to show their dignity in the midst of it all.
But as I wrote, the cloak of their darkness wrapped itself around me so tightly I often felt paralyzed. There were days and long period of times when I couldn't separate their pain and shame from my own. I knew much of my stuckness came from the shame that bound me. But still I hunkered down, hiding.
I thought I could control how much I would let others see. I would tell the stories I heard and witnessed, but not my own-especially not my sin. Maybe I even thought somehow I could serve some sort of penance by being the voice for the voiceless, and never have to hear my own, or even remember its sound.
I was wrong. Diving into the darkness of others awakened my own, and each day as I wrote their stories, I found myself coming more undone. I felt out of control. Falling apart. And, desperate for help.
That's the state I was in when the troops found me: undone. First on the scene was my precious husband, Milton, standing ready. He'd been waiting for years for the walls to collapse so he could finally enter the places I'd shut off from him. God used Milton-and others-to listen, love, guide, confront, press, and hold me until one word, one tear, one memory, one confession at a time my story unfolded like morning glories opening to the rising sun after a long night of darkness. Through the telling I found parts of myself I'd pushed so deep into the darkness that even I didn't know they existed.
Ultimately, I knew it was not just the stories of modern-day slaves to human traffickers I must tell, but my own story of slavery to fear, shame, and sin-and how God has delivered me, and is delivering me.
I have two prayers for Passport through Darkness. First, that it helps us to save more babies from genocide and slavery. Second, that it helps others to understand God has a unique dream for each and everyone one of us, and He will even descend into the depths of our self-made hell and carry us out to find and live it.
If it's true that all we Believers are soldiers in His army, then I am nothing more than a Private. Private Kimberly. He withholds no good thing from us, not even from a Private. He sent and is sending troops to fight lies, speak truth, be His Light in my darkness...and yours, too.
Love, your sister along the journey,
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