Tag Archives: women

Dressember: how can a dress a day end modern day slavery

My mom has been a dressmaker for over 30 years. As a girl, I remember watching her design the clothes, make the pattern, cut the fabric and sew the dresses. Sometimes I helped her sewing the hem with  my stubby little fingers and a needle. I grew up with mom’s handmade clothes. In those days, though, I would rather wear leggings and t-shirts from the Body Glove brand than putting on some neat little skirts that my mom lovingly made for me.

Yes, love. For mom, making dress has always been about love. The love for creativity, for the career and for the people. She lavished her love on me and my sisters by making matching dresses for us to wear.

Sadly, there are many girls who are stripped of this love and care they deserve. There are those who are sold into sex business because their parents are poor; those who are constantly molested and violated by their very own relatives; and those who are physically abused day-in and day-out within their own homes.

This is why I joined the Dressember Foundation this year. I was introduced to this organization through a friend, who posted her pictures wearing different dresses for the whole month of December last year. Seeing her in those dresses somehow triggered my childhood memory, of my mom’s dresses. So I made a quick comment in one of her posts that I would like to join.

And here I am.

To be honest, I am scared of fundraising because I hate asking people for money. Yet a wise friend said to me, “Do not assume what other people think. You have to put it out there, because otherwise you may be robbing someone of their giving” (paraphrased). So this post is to inform you about what I do; and hopefully it will help you make a decision whether or not you want to join in this cause.

The core of Dressember is to advocate for the dignity of women all over the world. Its mission is to “oppose the worldwide trafficking and exploitation of women”. It has aligned itself with the work of International Justice Mission and A21. The money raised has gone to support the work that these guys do to put the end to the modern day slavery. You can read about them more here.

My part in this is to wear dresses everyday for the whole month. It is challenging because sometimes I would rather just wear tank tops and shorts in this heat. But I am now committed.

My goal is to raise $300 by the end of December. If you would like to join in with me and consider giving, visit my page here. Click on “Donate” tab and follow the prompts. You can choose how much you want to give by clicking on the amount the site provides, or type in your own amount you are willing to donate. Remember, there is no such thing as too little when it comes to supporting good work.

The other way to get involved is to pray. There are still many girls and boys trapped in brothels, mines, orphanages or even their own homes. They need help. Pray for them to be rescued. Pray for the workers’s boldness and protection. Pray for healing. Pray for justice. Pray for grace and hope to shine lights into those dark corners of the world.

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This is one of the five dresses that mom made for me. I have had it for over five years now. This dress went with me to Chiang-Mai, New Zealand and now Australia. 

P.S. I will be posting my picture on Instagram and Facebook at least twice a week until the end of this month. Feel free to comment or shoot me a message if you have any questions.

 

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And I Thought I Had Been An Honest Person

i am lost. at this moment, i am. i thought i was found. but now i cannot even make one confident decision about what to eat for breakfast.

who would spend her morning contemplating which church to go to? should it be a dilemma in the first place? i thought i was committed to a church. i honestly don’t know why i go to church anymore.

and a part of me screams, “a good Christian must never say this!” then my voice inside me whispers, “at least, not out loud.”

wait a second, i thought i just came back from a spiritual revival retreat. and i thought i had made peace with God. a week has not yet been over, and i am now back to the same spot again?

i am…actually, i have been wandering in the wilderness for a while. and i am just starting to see the light. after the retreat, we all came back with clearer focus on God’s purpose. many have come back with clarity and transformation. i, among the few, came back searching for more. God revealed the most shocking aspect of my life to me – a root i never thought i had. He let me peek into the crack, and invited me to open the door wide so i may go back and search for the cause of today’s mess.

i am just starting to dig in. and i already want to stop.

my insecurity is this – that i am not, and will never be enough. if i were to find a place in this world, i had to work hard, pretend hard and be on top of everything. i said “shocking” earlier because i had never seen myself this way. my own perceived characters are a soft, sensitive and emotional woman, who does not like competition, who avoids conflict…and likes to wait until the last moment for her creative side to bubble up before she completes a project.

i am all of the above. and more. deeper in my heart, i strive to be better than others…just so i can look better. i envy women who use more reasons than hearts in making decision. i feel intimidated by those who are on top of everything, who are capable of juggling tasks at work and at home well and can make confident decision that earns other people’s trust. i am jealous of them because i cannot be what they are. my insufficiency.

i am now seeing a very ugly side of myself that i had never thought i would possess. i always tried to let humbleness walk before me. but this atttiude is definitely not a fruit of meekness. but pride. oh – how i have walked with pride.

God has challenged me since then to accept the person i am, and the person that i am not; to appreciate the uniqueness of my own personalities and characters – with all the flaws and scars and to allow Him to heal and fulfill the broken and empty parts. what kind of a cup i would be if i refused to let the creater smash me into pieces, and let him mke me new?

yes, to be made new, i must endure the beating, the pounding, the scorching heat. during the retreat, i heard God say to me so clearly, “I want your heart to be set right with Me. So tear your heart, and not just your clothes.” let me tell you, the tearing part is very ugly.

the more He tears at the outer layers, which i have carefully placed around my heart, the more pain i feel…and the harder i try to shrink back from His hand. but He will not stop until He gets a hold of me. all of me. and that is another thing He said to me. “i want to take a hold of you, Mink. let Me.”

so i have let Him do to me whatever He wants. and my way of cooperation is to be as honest about myself, my thinking and my feeling as possible, no matter how ugly or unconventional or radical they may be. there is no need to hide anymore.

and God says, “Mink, whoever you are, whatever you do, you are enough for Me. My love for you does not waver with the size of your clothes or the number of praises you receive from your workplace or the type of jobs you hold. i love you because i made you. and you are enough for Me. My portion of love will always be just right for what you need at the moment. so as I have accepted you and loved you, do so to yourself.”