I want to celebrate two women of history today-one's you don't hear much about. First is Lydia of Thyatira. She was known as the creater of purple dye and garments which she sold to the wealthy, making a good living, at a time women were relegated to household chores only, were not given a last name and were in fact-lower than slaves. But what Lydia is known for is "becoming the first convert in Europe" thus continuing the spread of Christianity throughout all of Europe because of her one bold act. She could have been stoned and persecuted, but her home became a church, a place to study the gospel and her guidance resulted in the massive spread of Jesus's teachings. History has taken a toll on the continued spread of Christianity in Europe, we need more Lydia's. You can read more about Lydia in Acts 16. Lydia is a Saint in several Christian denominations. Of course, Lydia and her fictional descendants are the inspiration for my stories!
Next is Raquel Liberman- note, this is a spoiler if you haven't read book 1 yet in, "Lydia's League of Angels," as I feature Raquel in one of Lydia's descendants diaries - with other "real" heroines through history. I place them as friends of Lydia's descendants or actual descendants, weaving reality with fiction. Raquel was a victim of sex trafficking in Argentina. Suddenly a widow with small children she tried to get business loans and start a business to survive. She was lied to and held hostage, forced to become a sex slave so her children would not be harmed. Finally, brave enough to escape and because of a police officer who had been investigating this underground organization, they rallied support from the community and the sex traffickers were defeated, arrested and ran out of town, if they couldn't convict them. Sex trafficking ceased to exist in Argentina, this was the 1900's. We can't say sex slavery no longer exists in Argentina and it has grown to become what could be a trillion dollar industry worldwide. You can learn about Raquel in Nora Glickman's book The Jewish White Slave Trade and the Untold Story of Raquel Liberman. In Argentina, as of June 2010, the Raquel Liberman award was created to honor those who promote and protect the rights of survivors of violence against women.
I hope you will take some time to research what and how this industry is growing, so you may protect yourself, your children and those living in your community, both boys, girls, women and men.
I thank God for women like Lydia and Raquel-women who lead with their heart and head, faith and determination, courage and love.
These horrific crimes are why I write and am determined to have a feature or TV series produced- to move beyond awareness and education, but guarantee progress in justice through stories that resonate with the modern world and inspire the masses to become involved to facilitate change. I hope you will join me on this quest. I'd love to hear from you.