Sunday, December 27, 2009
after i got everyones order i told bug i would be right back and to stay with daddy and get a tattoo and i would be right back.
well she started crying, like she does a lot of the time when i leave, but i thought for sure the promise of a tattoo would make her settle down.
she kept crying and said: mommy, go somewhere else, go somewhere else. ill be sad if you go to moes. its our special place! i wanna go with you!
on my goodness what a sweet girl! moes has become our special place and we do go there often just me and her but i didnt realize how special it was to her.
so of course she went with me!
i just had to share bc i dont want to forget that moment!
Friday, December 25, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Dear Loved Ones,
I hope that this letter finds you doing well. I am writing with some exciting news! I am about to embark on a journey to Cambodia with my church to find out how we can partner Globally in the fight against Human Trafficking!
Human Trafficking? What? What is that? Well, I am glad you asked! If I have not talked to you in a while you may not know that God has taken a hold of my heart this past year and given me a passion to “…proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…”, Isaiah 61. Back at the beginning of the year I watched a movie called, Taken, this movie had a sub story about 2 young girls who were taken and sold into slavery. This movie made me sick and after watching it, I found out that you can actually buy a person here in the states for less that what you might pay for a cup of coffee. This just didn’t sit well with me, so began my journey to learning more about Human Trafficking.
Human Trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world and is not limited to just underdeveloped countries. This can be seen by the rise of Atlanta becoming recognized as one of the centers of Human Trafficking in the US. There are far more slaves and trafficked women and children (and men) in the world today than there ever were during the entire slavery period of the mid 1800’s. This reflects a continued decline in the perceived value of a human life, as someone loved and created by God to do His will. There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today!
In March, my church, North Point Ministries, is going to shine the light of Christ into this worldwide scourge, starting in a region of Southeast Asia that is well known for its high incidence of child prostitution and abuse. Ours is an assessment team. From March 18-28 we will journey into some of the darker corners of Cambodia to identify national partners who are already at work. We will seek to identify several potential partners who already have successful and effective ministries, determine what North Point Ministries can learn from them, and assess if there would be value in North Point Ministries coming along side. Upon return we will make a proposal to GlobalX regarding future ministry opportunities.
Approaches to battling Human Trafficking are often categorized into one of four categories. Prevention, Rescue, Rehabilitation and Prosecution. Each have a significant role in the fight against Human Trafficking and offer different opportunities for North Point Ministries engagement. We will seek to determine where North Point Ministries resources and people could best be utilized and begin the process of forming partnership agreements and understandings. Considering the many potential partners, most importantly we will seek to determine with whom God would have us co-labor. In addition, we will seek to determine how people who journey to Cambodia on Human Trafficking journeys can also engage in Atlanta after they return home.
Please join me in this battle, the battle for human rights. The battle for freedom.
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners, [a]
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61: 1-3
You can give to our trip or pray for us! Each member of our team needs to raise $3,000.00. To give, please go to https://ssl.northpoint.org/ssl/globalx/giving.html. Please select “trip with the most need” and put my name in the individual field ~ Erin Ritter. Our trip is not listed on the site as it is an exploration trip.
Monday, December 21, 2009
bug and ms ansley, her current teacher. they are buddies!
just my big girl!
bug and ms jenny, her teacher from last year and her other favorite person (besides mommy)! jenny loves my kid like i do and i dont think a mom can ask for more than that!
bug and her buddy luke. they have been pals since bug was 8 weeks old!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Published November 26, 2009 @ 07:00AM PT
On this Thanksgiving day, many of us are counting our blessings. Or at least, trying to count our blessings while Aunt Betty and Cousin Bob fight about politics, Little Mackenzie sings Hanna Montana at the top of her lungs, and mom shoves a fourth slice of pie down your throat while asking intrusive questions. But you know who else has something to be thankful for today? Corporations who use slave labor to make their goods. Here are seven reasons why they are feeling grateful today, too.
7. Their lobby groups are going to oppose a ban on goods made by child labor. The powerful lobby for big business isn't going to stand by and let their poor clients be hurt by an audacious bill which would ban the import of goods made by child or forced labor to the U.S. They're going to fight to keep those children and slaves working hard.
6. Most major U.S. grocery chains carry few or no Fair Trade products. When large chains carry few or no Fair Trade options (or hide those options on the bottom self), customers are more likely to continue to buy the cheap, slave-made products that earn a huge profit for the companies that make them. It's a good thing for corporations that use slaves when large chains don't carry Fair Trade.
5. The holiday season is about quantity, not quality. These corporations are really thankful that people get so caught up in the holiday season, they often ascribe value to sheer quantity of stuff bought over issues like where it came from and how it was produced. They really hope consumers don't wise up and start shopping with an eye to where their holiday purchases came from.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Dee Schronce ran away from her Ohio home to escape sexual abuse, but an unimaginable fate awaited her in New Orleans.
At 17, Schronce was drugged and sold into sexual slavery.
“Being forced to work in a brothel is, if you can imagine, being sexually assaulted over and over and over again and there’s nothing you can do about it. Your mind has to go to a place of survival and has to sort of tune it out,” Schronce said.
Three months in captivity
For three months Schronce lived in darkness.
She was kept in a dark, dank trailer with other women. Two other trailers sat on the property that was surrounded by a fence and overseen by a guard.
The women were brought out after dark and taken into an adjoining bar. Here, clients waited.
“It was full of fear, and it was just like being a prisoner only tortured in a different way, not just physical but psychological,” Schronce said. “It was very degrading.”
The women with whom Schronce “served time” weren’t drugged. They were intimidated, humiliated and threatened. They were held captive and used.
Schronce struggled through the daily routine but secretly planned her escape. Her first attempt failed, and she suffered the consequences.
She was beaten and made to dance, covered in blood and torn clothing. But three weeks later, she tried again.
With help from a client, Schronce climbed over the fence and rode away in her accomplice’s truck.
“That’s what allowed me to get out. I never lost hope. Once you’ve lost hope then you’ve pretty much sealed your fate,” said Schronce.
She never returned to the site of her captivity.
Breaking the silence
For more than 20 years, Schronce kept quiet about her ordeal.
She created a new life in Gaston County. She married and had children.
But Schronce’s faith led her to part her lips and speak up for the women and children suffering silently in the human trafficking trade.
Schronce authored a book, “Mary and Me: From Ruin to Royalty,” and started speaking to groups across North Carolina.
She became a board member for AVID, Assault & Victimization Intervention & Deterrence in Gaston County.
Opening old wounds isn’t easy.
“It’s just a place you don’t want to walk back into,” she said. “There’s still a scar.”
Schronce hopes her openness about her ordeal will help others break the silence.
“I want to break that chain of shame that goes along with being a victim. A victim shouldn’t have to feel that shame,” Schronce said. “From the time that I was a child to even now, I identified it as shame that I never should have owned in the first place.”
There have been no reported cases of human trafficking in Gaston County, but that doesn’t mean the issue should be swept under the rug, according to Nancy Newman, director of AVID.
“It is a terrible crime that has been taking place on a large scale for a long time,” said Newman. “Only now is it receiving national recognition because of the beautiful little 5-year-old that was destroyed for trafficking purposes.”
Shaniya Davis, 5, of Fayetteville was found dead Monday on a rural Highway in Lee County. The child’s mother, Antoinette Davis, has been charged with human trafficking and child abuse involving prostitution.
Mario McNeill is being charged with first-degree murder and first-degree rape of a child in the case, Fayetteville Police Chief Tom Bergamine told reporters at a news conference.
Davis’ death should bring local attention to a national issue, Newman said.
“This is no longer a Third World country problem, this is happening in America,” Newman said. “In foreign countries, parents have been selling their virgin females into organized crime for years.”
Human trafficking can be for labor or sex purposes.
“It’s the leading source of income now for organized crime,” said Newman.
Signs of abuse
Human trafficking victims are often isolated, Newman said, and are typically moved from place to place. Relocating a victim keeps the person confused, detached and unfamiliar with his or her surroundings.
Victims are often runaways. They are targeted because they are vulnerable.
“It’s the people that fall through the cracks. Not only are they victimized once but they’re victimized over and over again,” said Schronce.
Places used to harbor trafficking victims can be identified by some physical characteristics.
Some indicators include:
Barbed wire surrounding a home
Bodyguards around a home, factory or business
Bars on windows of home or factory
Vehicles coming and going at odd hours
Men coming and leaving at odd hours
People being escorted to and from a building
Lots of people being loaded into a vehicle
“Approaching these victims can be very touchy. You can cost them their lives,” said Newman. “The best thing you can do is contact law enforcement immediately because there are a lot of risks for the victim and for you.”
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Two Macon men have been indicted on charges that they locked a 14-year-old girl in a house in the Pleasant Hill neighborhood and forced her to have sex with up to 15 people.
Shuntain N. Griffin, 30, and Marcus Dwayne Henley, 31, are charged with trafficking a person for sexual servitude, according to an indictment returned in Bibb Superior Court on Tuesday.
The girl ran away from her Bibb County home March 8 and walked to the Zebulon Road Wal-Mart, where she met a trucker and spent the night in his truck, said Allie Seckinger, a Bibb County sheriff’s investigator.
The next day, he dropped her off at a CVS pharmacy in the Bloomfield area of Macon, where she camped out in the woods for a couple of nights.
At some point, men in that neighborhood introduced the girl to Griffin, and she spent the night at his house, Seckinger said.
The next day, Griffin and Henley took the girl to a house on Second Avenue, where, in the girl’s words, she was forced to “serve” people, Seckinger said. At one point, there were 10 to 15 people lined up waiting for her.
“They pretty much pimped her out,” Capt. Mike Smallwood said.
After two to three days, Griffin and Henley sold the girl to a Crawford County man for $500, Seckinger said.
Authorities soon received a tip that the girl was in Crawford County, and they returned the teen to her family March 19. It wasn’t until later interviews that investigators discovered the sexual activity, Seckinger said.
Daniel Chestley White, 46, of Grace Road in Crawford County, was arrested in October on charges of child molestation, aggravated sodomy, rape, interference with child custody, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and human trafficking, according to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office.
Additional charges may be pending against White in Bibb County, Seckinger said.
Smallwood said the case is the first instance in which the sheriff’s office has worked a human trafficking case that led to charges being filed.
Crawford County investigator Johnny Cleveland said White’s arrest is the first human trafficking case in Crawford County.
White was released on $20,000 bond Nov. 4, according to Crawford County jail records.
Griffin, of a Bloomfield Drive address, is being held at the Bibb County jail on $111,200 bond.
Henley, of a Virginia Avenue address, is being held without bond, according to Bibb County jail records.
Court records showed that Tuesday’s indictment wasn’t Griffin or Henley’s first brush with the law.
Griffin was convicted of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and writing fictitious checks in 2006 in Baldwin County.
In 2003, he was convicted of attempted burglary in Houston County. In 2001, Griffin was convicted of possession of cocaine in Bibb County.
Henley was convicted of possession of methamphetamine in Bibb County in 2007. In 1998, he was convicted of burglary and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in Monroe County, according to the indictment.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
bug went to monkey joes with jenny! if you read this blog and know my bug she LOVES jenny. jenny was her teacher when she was in the baby room. jenny hangs with bug sometimes when i have things i need to do. last night they went to monkey joes and out to dinner. not only did she get to hang with jenny she also go to hang with her buddy luke. they have been buds since bug was 8 weeks old :)
one of the cutest things jenny said they did last night was all hold hands at dinner to bless the food and bug and luke sang "God our Father, God our Father, We thank you, For our many blessings, For our many blessings, Amen.
well last night in the middle of the night when bug was asleep, she sat up and starting singing! she sang the whole song and then laid back down. it was so cute!