Astonishingly Honest #WhyIStayed graphics & shocking Domestic Violence statistics

posted on: October 9, 2018

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the focus is on making America aware of this nightmare. Awareness plus Action creates change so I am willing to do my part, however small that might be. Please contact me via lauraaranda@owlofhope.com to come to your school, church, book club and host a workshop concerning human trafficking in America and how it affects our American runaways.

The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of American women who were murdered by current or ex male partners during that time was 11,766. 

A woman is beaten every nine seconds in America.

 

#WhyIStayed

 

10,000,000

That is the number of minor children exposed to domestic violence every single year. Just let that heartbreaking number sink in for a moment. These are your Sunday school kids, your classroom students, your neighborhood kids playing in the streets. We have to do something! 

 

 

Need help?

In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline or visit the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline operated by RAINN.

https://hotline.rainn.org/online/

For more resources, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website. https://www.nsvrc.org

 

 

Between 55 percent and 98 percent of child sex-trafficking cases involved children who had prior involvement in the child welfare system.

Runaway and homeless youth are at particularly high risk for exploitation
by traffickers: A survey of youth in a homeless shelter in Salt Lake City, Utah, found that 50 percent of homeless youth reported having been solicited for sex by an adult.

Reports have also indicated that one out of every three runaways will be “lured toward” prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While we may not know exactly how many young people are being sexually exploited and abused by traffickers in the United States, it is clear that the sex trafficking of children and teenagers is a significant problem that deserves concerted attention. The challenges presented by these cases are not insurmountable, and there is a growing coalition of lawmakers from both parties who are committed to strengthening state and federal laws to better protect young people from this devastating form of abuse. There is also a strong community of anti-trafficking advocates committed to raising awareness about sex trafficking of minors and developing policy proposals and best practices for identifying and apprehending traffickers and providing supportive services to victims.

 

above notes taken from:

https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/HumanTrafficking-brief.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is one thing you can do to improve all areas of your life at the same time – invest in yourself. The most famous investor of all time, Warren Buffett, says: “The best investment you can make is in yourself.” Go do something, become proud of yourself, get a career, go back to school, pick up a hobby, gain self confidence so you do not have to be subject to the opinions of another partner. 

 

 

🌟 Laura’s Daily Intention🌟

An *accountability partner* is great to have when we’re tackling big goals. Today, think about someone you can have in your corner as your work to get productive.

World Day against Trafficking in Persons

posted on: July 27, 2018

I’ve met so many wonderful people along the way on this journey including the SWLA Abolitionists group, and other authors doing their part in spreading awareness. 

Human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labour and sex. The International Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labour globally. This estimate also includes victims of human trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation. While it is not known how many of these victims were trafficked, the estimate implies that currently, there are millions of trafficking in persons victims in the world.

The United Nations has declared July 30th to be World Day against Trafficking in Persons. Use this Day to spread awareness in your area. Do podcasts, youtube videos or social media posts. I’d love to help! lauraaranda@owlofhope.com 

#HumanTrafficking #EndHumanTrafficking #pushingbackthedarkness

If you need someone to speak to your homeschool group, church or book club contact me! lauraaranda@owlofhope.com

 

Share our hashtags and create those difficult conversations this month so others can be aware. 

 

 

My evening at Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue Farm Tenino, WA

posted on: July 13, 2018

Oftentimes, I have been intrigued by those beautiful people who dedicate their entire lives to a cause or business. One example would be a family Mom & Pop shop or a community’s meat market with a famous butcher who is the grandson of the creator and owner…a business that has been passed down from generation to generation. It amazes me that people can stay in one place and dedicate their entire lives to doing just one thing…for me, that would scare me to death to have to do that but it also impresses me that others are so good at so many things that the world may never know about. In this post, I want to share one of those special people I believe the whole world should know hear about and know. She may never be a household name but to alpacas, she is a hero. 

Many know, I am away on holiday visiting family in Washington. I am currently writing book two in the Pushing Back the Darkness series bringing awareness to abuse and sexual trafficking in America. I was driving to visit Mount Rainier one day last week, when I drove past a ‘llama’ farm. On a whim, I looked them up online and found Cross Creek Alpaca Farm. Without thinking to hard on the matter, I quickly sent her a message and asked if I could come visit her and check out the farm. She replied and invited me  out. Tonight I spent over an hour there. One of our first conversations was one of her explaining to me she had to find a job to support the rescue Alpacas. She relies on donations to feed them and nurture them back to health.  Alpacas are not native to the United State of America. Since 1984, alpacas have been imported from Peru, Bolivia and Chile into the United States but when they arrive here they can be mistreated, misused or neglected…sounds familiar, huh???  What a parallel…maybe that is why my heartstrings were tugged so tightly…..

   

Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue was founded by Sharon Bond and Jacklyn Glover who started with rescuing horses in 2003. Then in 2007, they began to rescue alpacas. There are very few animal rescues dedicated to the saving of alpacas but the need exists. Too often gelded males, older females and otherwise unwanted alpacas are passed from farm to farm, or they are put down for little or no reason other than they are a burden to the current owner. I was able to learn that llamas are bigger than alpacas. Alpacas love love love to be sprayed with the water hose and I had the distinct privilege to spray them down and watch them jump in the cool water and then lay in the cool dirt now that they were nice and wet. It was so cute!

Alpacas only live to about 15 years old but these can get to 20 or older since they are so loved and spoiled here at Cross Creek

If you could see them, you would fall in love with them just as I have. I didn’t even know alpacas could be abused or neglected…but they are just like any other farm animal that people don’t take care of. She is a hero and every alpaca rescued is one out of harm’s way.

What is abuse/neglect?
Abuse of animals could be defined many ways depending in which context you are speaking and to whom. In Webster’s dictionary abuse is defined as; to hurt by treating badly; mistreatment; causing injury.
Neglect is defined in Webster’s as; not to care for sufficiently or properly; slight; to treat as unimportant, through carelessness or by intention.

Many of her alpacas came from a rescue in 2014 from Polk County, Oregon. The owners of Jocelyn’s Alpaca Ranch in Falls City were charged with several counts of animal neglect in 2014 after alpacas on the farm were found dead or starving. (*CAN YOU IMAGE!??* THAT’S SO SAD!)
Jocelyn and Robert Silver were both indicted on 18 crimes: felony first-degree animal neglect, felony second-degree animal neglect and 16 counts of misdemeanor first-degree animal neglect.
They were arraigned on the charges Tuesday afternoon after press time. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has seized and is caring for 175 alpacas. Later the news came out that there were as many as 200 being kept on 3 acres with little or no food.These animals were in terrible conditions and as many as 50 have already died before the rescue.

Cross Creek’s website is full of information:

Why does she want to rescue an Alpaca?
Alpacas are not native to the United State of America. Since 1984, alpacas have been imported from Peru, Bolivia and Chile into the United States. Alpacas, cousins to the llama, are native to the Andean Mountain range of South America. In their native lands they have been used for clothing, food and heat for many thousands of years. In the US, attempts are being made to develop industries utilizing the fiber produced by alpacas. Because of its soft texture, alpaca fiber is sometimes compared to cashmere. Containing no lanolin, alpaca fiber is also naturally hypoallergenic.

The alpaca industry has grown steadily with current estimates totally over 120,000 registered alpacas with the Alpaca Registry, Inc (ARI) in the US. Due to the small size of the national herd, the alpaca industry is a breeder’s market. This has led to the discarding of non-breeding alpacas due to age, deformity, illness and poor breeding practices. In recent years, many intelligent alpacas have been discarded as of no worth, due mainly to the lack of human understanding. Because of the influx of alpacas, there have been increases in neglect, abused and abandoned animals. The well-being of the alpaca is put into jeopardy. This was reason enough to be a hero and rescue them. I applaud her efforts and want to share her story with the world!

 

 

Click here to learn more or DONATE to : Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue Farm

A note from her:

CCAR is a 501c(3) non-profit organization,

and they rely entirely on private & adoption donations to pay for medication, veterinary expenses and feed.

All contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

SEND A CARD

Send a complimentary card with your donation to CCAR to let your family and friends know about the special donation you gave in their name.

Whether it be birthday, anniversary or in memory of someone, they will send them a personalized card.

When you use PayPal, you can attach a note to them that will let them know that you would like to SEND A CARD.  Or on their website you click on CONTACT US, and send them an email.  They will then contact you by email to get the needed information to send the perfect card for you. For more info call: (360) 350-3813

Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue welcomes your support. GO CHECK THEM OUT–Tell them AUTHOR LAURA ARANDA sent you!

The Army of the Returned

posted on: June 18, 2018

Ezekiel chapter 37 is a well known story of the prophet’s vision of ‘The Valley of the Dry Bones’. If you are not familiar with this passage, find time to read this incredible story.

The first question we read that was asked was by the Lord to Ezekiel. “Can these bones live?

My thoughts: Could it very well be that the prophet’s answer would have indicated or predicted what was to happen? What if he said, “No.”? There is no chance for this nation to be brought back to life. 

I would like to think that the Lord’s great mercy would say, “You think they can’t but let me show you they can.” And the vision would have continued on from there regardless of the answer from Ezekiel. 

A question. “Can these bones live?” then

A command. “Prophesy to these bones.

Ezekiel had to speak to the dead bones. Dead bones live by a power that goes along with the word of God which he preached. As he preached hope to the nation, God restored them. Further preaching led to a dramatic restoration.

(Reminds me of Acts chapter 2. A great outpouring of the Holy Spirit filled the people in the New Testament. )

He must pray, and he did so; and the dead bones were made to live in answer to prayer; for a spirit of life entered into them.

Here you see the work of the Word and Prayer mixed together. We pray to the one who raises the dead!

The Matthew Henry Commentary says: But we call in vain, still they are dead, still they are very dry; we must therefore be earnest with God in prayer for the working of the Spirit with the word: Come, O breath! and breathe upon them. God’s grace can save souls without our preaching, but our preaching cannot save them without God’s grace, and that grace must be sought by prayer. 

Prodigals have deadened their senses, hardened their hearts and turned away–we must speak life into them. We can pray to God and also speak to the dead bones. Ezekiel was speaking to God and to the bones. 

Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord will cause breath to enter into you and you will live. You will know who the Lord is. 

Ezekiel prophesied and there was a noise and a shaking. The bones came together. Bone to his bone. Even dead and dry bones begin to move when they are called to hear the word of the Lord. 

But there was no breath in them. 

God tells Ezekiel to prophesy to the wind. Breathe upon the slain that they may live. Ezekiel did so. The breath came into them and they lived and stood up as a great army. 

The Army of the Returned. 

Then God said, Son of man this is a whole house. Their bones are dried and their hope is lost. 

Prophesy again. God will bring you out of your graves. Out of your hole you’ve been buried in. Out of the darkness. You will know the Lord when he brings you out of your graves. You will know the I AM. He is going to put his spirit in you and you will live. 

Ez. 37: 16-18 Moreover make a symbol and a sign . The Lord told Ezekiel to make a sign–take a stick and write For Judah and the children of Israel his companions 

Then take another stick and write on it For Joseph the stick of Ephraim and for all the house of Israel his companions. 

Join them into one stick and they shall become one in thy hand. 

The children will ask you what does this mean, show us.

The binding of the two sticks represents the reunification of the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. Unity.

Praise will return. The family will be whole again. There will be unity. Division will be healed and praise will return again.

The Matthew Henry commentary says: United in brotherly love -continual feuds and animosities so be no longer. They had been two sticks crossing and thwarting one another, nay, beating and bruising one another; but now they shall become one, supporting and strengthening one another.

Don’t give up on your prodigals. Don’t give up on relationships and families that have splintered and a nation that looks like it is dying. Don’t give up. There is power in your words. Speak life. Preach hope and pray to the God who wakes the dead. Pray to the Restorer!

Lauren Daigle’s lyrics from Come Alive is so fitting:

 

Through the eyes of men it seems there’s so much we have lost
As we look down the road where all the prodigals have walked
One by one the enemy has whispered lies
And led them off as slaves
But we know that you are god yours is the victory
We know there is more to come
That we may not yet see
So with the faith you’ve given us
We’ll step into the valley unafraid, yeah
As we call out to dry bones come alive, come alive
We call out to dead hearts come alive, come alive
Up out of the ashes let us see an army rise
We call out to dry bones, come alive
God of endless mercy god of unrelenting love
Rescue every daughter bring us back the wayward son
And by your spirit breathe upon them show the world that you alone can save
You alone can save
As we call out to dry bones come alive, come alive
We call out to dead hearts come alive, come alive
Up out of the ashes let us see an army rise
We call out to dry bones come alive

America, What Nicaragua needs you to know and share

posted on: May 31, 2018

The below interview is from a man we met while in Nicaragua. His name has been excluded as well as the church he attends. I created this interview with him in a desperate attempt to get America’s attention.

Though he primarily speaks Spanish and responded to me in Spanish, all of his answers will be translated into English for our readers.

The strong Nicaraguan people are resilient but as they march on their Mother’s Day holiday this year they did not celebrate. The people declared it a day of mourning for the fallen as the death toll as reached over 80 people. Right now they are in what they call, “The Mother of all Marches”! This is a march for their freedom, for their liberties and for the future generations who don’t have a clue what terror Communism brings. You will see real photos here, however, I chose not to share some of the more graphic pictures he sent over. They were gruesome and worse than anything movies could portray. This is real. 

READ the interview and SHARE SHARE SHARE the interview to get the news out. These are real time events. Most importantly, PRAY!

More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of

Tennyson

 

 

¿Dónde vives en Nicaragua?

Where do you live in Nicaragua? 

In a Managua neighborhood in an old mansion

 

¿Puedes decirle a América la línea de tiempo de los eventos nicaragüenses?

Can you tell America the timeline of the Nicaraguan events?

There has been up to three marches per week due to suspension of the dialogue.

 

¿Alguno de su familia ha estado involucrado?

Has any of your family been involved? 

Two of my innocent cousins were hurt just for the pleasure. On Wednesday, they took them and my aunt to the place where they are tortured and forced to beg them not to kill them. The police are murderous and corrupt.

¿Hay ‘chicos buenos’ y ‘chicos malos’ en Nicargua?

Are there ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ in Nicargua? 

The ‘good ones’ are the students and the ‘bad ones’ are the JS: Sandinista youth.

 

*Laura: The aggressive Sandinista Youth run about armed with iron pipes into the crowds of protestors with police protection. Vicious and cruel. 

 

¿Qué debe cambiar?

What needs to change? 

The government because it is very corrupt.

 

¿Qué debe suceder para que Nicargua sea pacífico?

What needs to happen to make Nicargua peaceful? 

Nicaragua has been peaceful, but because of the situation the country has worsened and there are many armed people.

 

¿Qué quieres que América sepa?

What do you want America to know? 

Let him know that we want a new change of government.

 

¿Cómo puede ayudar América?

How can America help? 

America can help if they will intervene in removing the corrupt from power.

 

¿Hay algo que Estados Unidos pueda hacer para ayudar a Nicaragua?

Is there anything America can do to help Nicaragua? 

Removing the corrupt from power helps the country improve the situation of Nicaragua since the president refuses to resign.

 

Comparta cualquier historia que desee que América sepa sobre Nicaragua.

Gracias.

¡Mantenerse a salvo! Que Dios bendiga a tu familia.

Share any story you want America to know about Nicaragua. 

Thank you. 

Stay safe! God bless your family. 

 

The story that needs to be told is that Nicaragua is repeating the same story for the second time when it is in shambles.

 

There is so much more I could add. There is constantly new information coming out but I just wanted to send out this plea from a citizen there. PRAY for them! Share this blog post and interview so it can open people’s eyes to the devastation going on right now. Find me on Facebook:

You should be able to see the album here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10155839692111185.1073742148.734416184&type=1&l=eb5c2edc49

and you can see an album full of more pictures of Nicaragua and our trip there recently.

 

 

 

America, this is what the beautiful people of Nicaragua need you to know.

According to Wikipedia: On 18 April 2018, demonstrators in several cities of Nicaragua began protests against President Daniel Ortega‘s decree of social security reforms that increased taxes and decreased benefits. After five days of unrest in which nearly 30 people were killed, Ortega announced the cancellation of the reforms. However, the opposition has grown to denounce Ortega and demand his resignation, becoming one of the largest protests in his government’s history and the deadliest civil conflict since the end of the Nicaraguan Revolution.

Will you remember me?

posted on: November 7, 2017

There is a song by Sarah McLachlan whose lyrics came to mind today as I was studying.

I will remember you, will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
I’m so afraid to love you
But more afraid to lose
Clinging to a past that doesn’t let me choose
Once there was a darkness
Deep and endless night
You gave me everything you had, oh you gave me life
I will remember you, will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
I will remember you, will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
It is fascinating when you realize that the mind makes up only 2% of the human body yet controls so much of our lives. It is responsible for all body functions as well as personalities, memories and how we react to the world all around us. This link is the page I studied today if anyone is interested in reading the entirety. 
Memories are not stored in our brains like books on a shelf. They must be actively reconstructed from elements scattered throughout the various areas of the brain. Memories cannot be deliberately deleted at your will. If we experience any traumatic events, I have learned through studies that memories are imprinted even stronger in our minds due to emotional content. Young children, with their lack of verbal and conceptual systems, are more likely to have real eidetic (extraordinarily accurate) memories than adults.
I spent this time explaining all of this because I want to combat the ideas and myths and lies like:
  • Pornography affects no one but myself.
    This is a lie. I submit to you Readers, what you place in your mind and what you allow your thoughts to dwell on feeds an industry that is perpetually pumping out this garbage to a world whose appetites are getting darker and darker.
  • What I do in my alone time hurts no one else.

What you deem normal and ‘OK’ will affect the way you view relationships. Girls that are in this industry are demoralized and abused and mistreated. When the veil on that world can be torn down and viewers see how those girls are treated and manipulated and bribed, would viewers still find ‘pleasure’ if they knew about the tears and nightmares behind the scenes as well?

Covenant Eyes says the following:Today, we have a multi-billion dollar worldwide porn industry. Pornography production and distribution is done by businesses that run like Fortune 500 companies. Pornography isn’t just a haphazard collection of images that kids find through scrambled cable channels and websites run by perverts living in their parents’ basements. No. Pornography is a business, and a pretty successful one at that. About 20 large U.S. companies are responsible for at least 70% of the hundreds of millions of pornography images online.

And why is this a problem? Up until recently those more likely to be predisposed to sexual addiction were those who had subconscious motives to act out sexually, such as victims of physical or sexual abuse. Now the Internet has changed that statistic greatly. Thirty years ago, when Patrick Carnes studied the neurochemistry of sex addiction, he was testing in a pre-Internet world.

 

There are now people struggling with sexual compulsivity who never would have been if not for the Internet.”

We must take our heads out of the sand. Cavemen may have used cave walls as their pornographic canvas, but there are no limits to the canvas of the Internet.

 

We have to keep our children safe. Insist on Internet safety. What is in the mind cannot be deliberately deleted. Guard your mind. I could use so many scriptures that talk about the mind. WE know the mind is a battlefield. The Devil’s playground. Don’t give room for him to work. Don’t place images in your mind that you cannot get rid of. Will you cry over the memories you allowed yourself to experience? Guard your mind. Guard your eyes. Guard your heart. Guard your memories.

Meet her some day

posted on: August 11, 2014

This is a poem I wrote. It needs brushing up and fixing but the first draft is below. I dedicate this to my daughter Caelyn. She is entering high school and decided she wants to become an author one day. Her dad told her to write. Writers write always… I don’t know if that dream will ever come true or not but if it interested her now….we say go for it. As long as she is pursuing a dream and not just being a bump on a log. Caelyn, we believe in you! You can do anything! You can be anybody! You can go anywhere! Go save the world!

 

Anyways I wrote stories since I was eight years old. My 5th grade teacher, Ms. Poole used to let me write stories instead of do my classwork at school. She believed in me. She told me to dedicate my first book to her and still to this day she ask me about that book that I have never written yet….and at 30 that dream seems dead and gone. Sad…. I wish I had a book to dedicate to her. I wish I had something to show her that she didn’t believe in me for nothing but that I can be what she thought I could be……

www.writerscafe.org

You are gonna meet her on the street one day

She’s gonna be better than you

She’s gonna be worse off than you

She’s gonna be every decision you never made

She’s gonna be the failures you didn’t fall into

She’s gonna be the triumphant wins you never won

She’s gonna be the victory you never chased

She’s out there

But she’s not you

She is not you

Crazie for Coupon Savings

posted on: July 11, 2014

Stumbled across a new website I am going to check out for coupons. I wanted to share it here as well. Kinda bummed today. Hubby (I’ll call him CJ from now on) got his check in today… and after paying tithes and the house note we barely have money to cover gas and groceries. That is why I am learning to coupon. Desperate times lead to desperate measures….

http://couponcrazie.com/reset-new-coupons/

Have a swell weekend. Talk to me! Let me know how you save money at home… I’d love ideas and suggestions. Also, share my page. I’d like to bump up my followers list……