Monday, March 28, 2011

my first march

This past weekend I had the opportunity to be part of my first ever march-for-a-cause. Have you guys heard of IJM? (International Justice Mission). It's a human rights organization that goes around the world rescuing kids from human trafficking and sex slavery. One of the colleges in this area decided to do a "Freedom Walk" for IJM. Their goal was to get 300 people to walk 3 miles and donate $10 each. That $3000 would rescue 3 girls from slavery.

A few of my college students were doing it so I wanted to walk with them. It was a really cool experience. When I got to the starting point of the walk, I didn't realize it was going to be a full-on march. Like people were wearing IJM T-shirts and holding banners and posterboards. We got into teams of 20 and set off. Luckily the rain held off the whole time we walked.

At first, I was weirded out by everyone looking at us. I realized I'm always the one looking at marches or people holding signs. I've never been on the other side of it. But there I was with a ton of other people, walking downtown, with cars and pedestrians squinting to read what our banners said.

The only two strange experiences were one guy driving by and yelling out his window, "Go Satan!" I guess he realized we were a Christian group and wanted to ruffle some feathers. And then toward the end of the 3 miles, there was a homeless man dancing in the middle of the street. He was smiling with his eyes closed, smoking, dancing, listening to some headphones, and clearly in his own world. When he saw us, he beamed even more, turned around and showed us his G-string underwear. A bunch of people gasped, but I laughed. Was that wrong? My town is so weird, I guess I'm just used to it.

The "freedom walk" was really awesome. We got lots of "What are you guys marching for?" questions. We got a few "woohoos". We got many honks and waves of support from people in cars. I don't know how much money was raised, but I'll find out soon and let you know. It felt good to be part of something that is making a difference in this world.

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