Day Fifteen: Katrina Larson (Bellingham, WA)
Hello Dressember Community!
My name is Katrina Larson and I’m from Bellingham, WA. We have recently been hit with a lot of snowfall the last week so I’ve had to be creative with my dresses and have been matching them with snow boots.
I’m participating in Dressember in memory of my mom. My mom passed away one-and-half years ago from lung cancer, but her legacy and passion were left behind.
My mother wanted to be an international missionary as soon as she became a Christian. Over her lifetime, she participated in and led mission trips to Bolivia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Poland, and Peru numerous times. Her heart and devotion for the oppressed, the marginalized, and downtrodden was overwhelming. She took in Vietnamese immigrants who had no place to live. She served in Bolivia as a young woman, even when coups had taken over the city and overthrown the government. She preached fiery messages to her women’s group at church and challenged them to never settle for mediocrity or stagnation.
She would be proud of me for standing up for something I believe in.
When I think of her and wanting to continue what she started, I think of warriors at the front of the battle line. When people, especially women and children, are sold and bought like property, it’s time to fight. Maybe fighting looks like wearing a dress in December when it’s freezing outside.
We may not be the ones directly involved in IJM’s programs, but we can talk to our friends and families about it. At Christmas time, I think of how Mary is at the heart of the nativity story, the mother of Jesus. Even though she was poor, marginalized, and far from home, she was brave and strong. Women in that society were second-class citizens. King Herod could take children from their mothers’ arms and murder them for his own egomaniac gain. We still live in a world of corruption, exploitation, and deception. We all know King Herod is the “bad guy” in Christmas pageants, but do we fight against the oppressors and enslavers of our day? Just like the nativity family needed shelter in Egypt, there are still families in need of refuge from people who seek to enslave and harm them.
When I was in high school, I first learned about this important issue when I heard a local anti-sex trafficking activist named Ranie Hong share about personally being trafficked. Here is a link to her and her husband’s story if you’d like to hear it. Ranie is now a mother and is able to offer a better future not only for her own children, but also for children around the world through her foundation.
As we try to make sweaters fit over dresses, sip hot cocoa, and put lights on the Christmas tree let us not forget our brothers and sisters who cry out for freedom in this season of hope.
To donate to our team page to support IJM and A21, two organizations fighting against slavery and injustice everyday, please click here.