I met Krista for the first time in person when I was bunking up at her expansive lake home in Northern Idaho. A group of writers had bonded together to support rather than compete with one another because we all realize that writing makes us crazy and jealous. Not a good combo when you’re trying to put good things out in the world. Thus, The Open Door was created. Krista as our hostess made us immediately feel welcomed- even from our first phone call. Her life motto is “live rooted.” For a perpetual Peter Pan like myself I was drawn in by her rooted vibe and wanted to figure out how to start cultivating more of it in my life.
Krista lives rooted because she cares about other people. On March 8th, International Women’s day Krista and some friends from One Million Thumbprints will climb Mt. Kilamajaro to tell the story of women who have suffered violence because of war.
“One Million Thumbprints (1MT) is rooted in the story of Esperance, a woman from the Congo. Before escaping to a UN refugee camp, Esperance watched as her husband was murdered at the hands of rebels after she was raped almost to the point of death. Like many women in the world’s worst war-torn regions, Esperance’s story went untold, her suffering unrecognized. 1MT was founded as a promise to Esperance. The campaign is a promise to share her story, to tell the world of the atrocities suffered not only by Esperance but by millions of other women like her in the hope that those who are able will stand up and finally call for an end to this unspeakable violence.
When Esperance asked founder Belinda Bauman to “tell the world” her story, she signed her request with a thumbprint. Her thumbprint became our mandate: Each thumbprint collected for 1MT is a visual representation of solidarity, but it’s also a call to action. Each thumbprint we collect will advocate for change and peace in the most dangerous nations for women: Sudan, Iraq/Syria, and the Congo.”
I think a lot about ways I can support women suffering across the globe having spent the past 10 years helping to lead anti-human trafficking campaigns on college campuses. I’ve learned that no matter how small I feel I can make my unique mark on the world on behalf of someone else. I can leave my thumbprint. A thumbprint can be a blog post, a song, a donation, a shirt you wear to express that “violence against women in war zones is violence against each of us.”
I’m leading a 40 Days of Fearless challenge this coming Lent and I’m inviting women to do it together because I’ve learned that to become fearless you need friends. Krista needs friends to cheer her on her on as she trains for this crazy climb. Women affected by war need friends who will tell the world their stories so they don’t have to live in fear. We all need friends who will remind us of who we are when we are afraid and help us to see that love conquers all.