by Nikki Ness
Steve’s note: I have known Nikki for 15 years, and I love this woman. She’s married to my friend Matt, with whom she co-founded Eyes that See, the organization that I’m partnering with to raise $50,000 so that 50 Ethiopian women can leave prostitution and receive training, an education, and lots and lots of God’s grace. Click here to donate and join us in that caper! And click here to read my blog explaining how I’m doing it.
I’m the girl who rarely gets invited back to someone’s house because she started talking about clean water or prostitutes, or started parenting someone else’s kids (what? You know you’re tempted to do it too) or spilled something on her shirt — again — or has already forgotten the name of the host.
Steve asked me to write a guest post, and I wondered what the heck to write about. I have 5 kids (plenty of material there). Four have been adopted (even more material). One has special needs and one has mental illness. I also run an international non-profit organization, based in Ethiopia, but I live in Louisville.
Or I could save a whole lot of time and just tell you right now that I’m a big bowl of crazy!!
I love my husband, my kids, and my work. But what really gets my heart beating faster is when I get the chance to talk about a person’s worth, and where it comes from.
It is my beautiful, messy privilege to work with young women who are living a life of prostitution in Ethiopia. Through our program, The Keziah House, we are able to offer these women a life of freedom and redemption.
But mostly, we get to offer them the chance to learn who they really are.
You see, these women have lived, ya know, really lived. They have done things and experienced things that you just don’t talk about at a dinner party (or if you’re me, then you do and they kindly ask you to leave). They enter our program with addictions. They’ve been abused. They’re hurting and without hope, but that’s where the beauty begins.
They get to learn about a loving Father that will not leave them or hurt them like the other men in their lives. They get to learn about who they are in Christ. And my favorite part is that they get to learn how the choices they have made DO NOT define them anymore, because they are defined by the One who created them.
I seriously get giddy over that idea.
Another sweet thing is that this message isn’t just for my friends in Ethiopia, it’s for all of us. I re-learn each day how much God is in love with me and how much I don’t deserve it.
I know God has this, all on His own. He doesn’t need a big bowl of crazy like me to accomplish His plans, but how wonderful that He allows me to be a part of the journey anyway. He’s cool like that!
Follow Nikki on Twitter here, and click here to read about The Keziah Project, the program Nikki directs that helps women escape prostitution and receive training, education, counseling, and a new beginning.