Honestly I want to know everything. I want to know what has to happen inside your heart to change your life completely. To cause you to change your major, your life direction, to pack your bags for Thailand and leave for at least three months.
Two years ago at Passion Conference in Atlanta, Emily, along with thousands of other college students, heard about the horrors and prevalence of human trafficking for the first time. Like many college students it stirred her and moved her. But with Emily it hasn't stopped there.
"I just kept thinking: What if I was born into that? What if I had no choice but to be a sex slave?"" She looks down at her chai latte. "There are girls younger than me who are be raped, over and over and over again..." She trails off and her voice breaks a little.
This is what's motivating Emily to use her Human Development and Family Studies major to intern at a school in Thailand that would allow her to work with girls in the Red Light district.
"What is especially sad for me is that these girls live horrific lives and usually never get a chance to even hear about Jesus," Emily looks at me, freckles barely visible in the gloomy window light. "It's not fair."
She explains to me that although petitions to change legislation regarding prostitution in Thailand are being made, sex traffickers have corrupted the local government to safeguard this from happening. So for most organizations reaching the individuals stuck in prostitution is the most effective way of breaking in.
I ask her if she's scared.
Yes. She oscillates between excited and terrified. "Honestly I have my ideals of what it's going to look like to go there, but I realize it's probably not going to be at all what I think," she says. "It is probably going to be really hard."
If she doesn't get accepted to the program Emily plans to take a year off her studies to work in Thailand with young girls trapped in slavery.
Emily is encouraging to me on many levels. For her, the "End It" movement doesn't end tomorrow when she changes her Facebook profile picture from the symbolic red "X". It will continue this fall as she uses her education and formal training to help those who are in greatest need to see Jesus and feel his love.
For Emily, the End is just the beginning of something she is letting impact and define her life.
Emily is applying to work with sex slaves in Thailand through Impact School of Missions.