Resources For You

– Join us on the 4th Monday of the month for our Light Up Your World Zooms to hear directly from survivors as well as experts in the field. Learn more here.

– Shop our Remembrance line which include the names and ages of human trafficking victims. #ShopToRemember here.

– Get inspired and read Real Rescue here.

– Read Understand The Risks.

– Get Trained, purchase our Digital Civilian First Responder Program here.

Call To Action: Time, Talent, Treasure

Host a Party or Event!
Volunteer at Events or WAR HQ

Share your Creative Skills
Become a Circle of Protection

Give Through Your Purchases
Give your sweat, space, or fundraising solutions

A Song for the Silenced

I Have a Dream: Dinner with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Becky McDonald, Founder & President
-January 2023

The WAR Chest Boutique carries a fun deck of cards with a variety of questions to help learn the real heart of a person. One of my favorite questions is, “If you could have dinner with ANYONE, either from history or alive today, who would it be and why?” When asked, I usually give a stock answer, but today I would change my answer to “dinner with a man named Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Years ago, I started hosting dinners at my home with men and women on specific issues, deliberately inviting those with opposing ideas, perspectives, expertise, or experience. But there was always one rule. NO ONE could be rude, sarcastic, or angry. Our conversation was a feast of curiosity, deep thought, and differing approaches to the same issue, but it had to be kind. Imagine such a dinner.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. captures our thoughts and hearts, both then and now. What fascinates me is that first and foremost, he was a shepherd of his flock, a pastor. No one goes into that career unless they desire to sacrificially serve, motivate, lift, and love people. This man was obviously brilliant, graduating from high school at age 15.

Yet, he certainly didn’t follow the ditty, “So heavenly minded that they are of no earthly good,” or so brilliant that they can’t relate to real life. He was anointed with grace and gentleness, and a stunning ability to communicate equally to all, whether they were a 10-year-old or the power elite.

Our deck of WAR Conversation Cards, available here asks questions like, “If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you try?” But, if I had the honor of serving Dr. King dinner, I’d use his famous quotes as a platform for questions. If I invited you to sit at that table, I’d love to hear your questions as well. Remember the #1 rule and send me your questions!

I’ve italicized some of his famous quotes below and included my own thoughts on these rare bits of wisdom.

* Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude… Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.
-Wow, what if that was the subject line for dinner? How would you incorporate that value into your life? I’d certainly want to know what story led him to that truth.

* I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear… Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend… Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”
-Oh, that we had this kind of leadership today!!!
-Sounds a lot like scripture’s double love command to love your neighbor as yourself.

* Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase… If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward… Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle…
-As a founder, I can promise you nothing WAR, Int’l has accomplished would have happened if I’d needed (though I wanted) to see the whole staircase.
-What dreams are you holding back from because you want all the lights to turn green before you go down the road? Start running. If the light does turn red, screech to a halt before taking off again. Because if you shoot for nothing, you’ll hit it every time.

Another two of his quotes reflect why WAR, Int’l exists today. He said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Many of you know the story that, at the age of 14, began my passion to be a voice for the silenced. I do not fear the darkness we march into. I’ve witnessed for decades that when you bring darkness into the light, it loses its power.

Dr. King also said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” Indeed! With the Light of the World, my passion is to shed light on a dark subject (such as human trafficking) so that you leave with hope, joy, and a compelling desire to be a circle of protection to those in your own circles of influence!

Before his brutal death, Dr. King closed his legendary speech with, “…We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop… I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land…”

Today. I honor this shepherd, this man of courage and ultimate sacrifice who walked with all of us in the valley of shadows to reach his mountaintop. We can do this. We too can dream.

By The Numbers

By Becky McDonald, Founder & President
-January 2023


Dear WARriors:

In hindsight, I can see God’s hand reaching forward to embrace 2022 even before the onset of COVID-19. For years, I’ve been fasting and praying for certain things to come to fruition, and it’s clear to me now how our omniscient God has been protecting WAR, Int’l from my own timeline.

• Even though I’ll always serve WAR, I had originally wanted a new CEO in place by 2020. There’s no success without a successor, and I’ve met with many prospects for my replacement since the day I incorporated. Now I see that asking a new CEO to navigate the pandemic would have been unfair. COVID-19 forced us to rethink our organizational strategies, and as a result we are in a much healthier place today.
• The day before my knee replacement surgery this past August, a plumbing malfunction resulted in major flooding at WAR’s HQ, causing $300k in damages. It is a lesson on patience as we wait for restorations to be completed in the spring of 2023.
• With the pandemic, we postponed starting any new programs other than ones to which we’d already committed because we wanted to monitor the repercussions of COVID-19 before moving forward. Still unsure of the new “normal,” the worldwide concerns of war, inflation, and food shortages have us continuing this waiting pattern.

• Internationally, we’ve been coming alongside widows, a farm enterprise, and a ministry center in Zambia. We’ve continued assisting the Afghan relief efforts by providing training, food aid, and weekly ESL classes for Afghan refugee girls now in hiding. Ukrainian refugees have also been fleeing to our Moldovan partners who are offering trauma camps, food aid, and emigration help. One Guatemalan partner transitioned to an all-national board, and we celebrate the great role model this provides for all our partners.
• Domestically, we expanded our boutique website and cyber security, hosted another state department delegation, provided consultation for safehouse start-ups, introduced anti-trafficking training to new industries, and increased our 911 response. As a result, lives are being forever changed!

In nature, the turkey and the eagle each respond differently when a storm arises. The turkey hides while the eagle soars to the eye of the storm. Scripture says when we wait on the Lord, HE lifts us up on eagle’s wings. By his grace, God flings us above the storm and renews our strength as he multiplies your gifts and our efforts.

The funds we’ve raised this past year allowed us to facilitate rescues and offer immediate intervention to those in crisis. You’ve made us strong for the weak, brave for the threatened, and patient in adversity. As our own circle of protection, YOU empowered us to create safe places amidst the storms of life.

Soaring on the wings of eagles:
Rebecca McDonald
Founder & President

Read Stories of Rescue Here.

Read Stories of Healing Here.

Human Trafficking Awareness Day

January 11, 2023

(Note: This article includes Stories of Healing.)

There are many reports and statistics available regarding the number of human trafficking victims.

→ In 2021, 10,359 human trafficking situations involving 16,554 individual victims were reported to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline. (source)
→ 49.6 million people were living in modern slavery in 2021, of which 27.6 million were in forced labor and 22 million in forced marriage. (source)
→ In 2021, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received more than 17,200 reports of possible child sex trafficking. (source)

Whereas statistical information and reporting are helpful with understanding the issues as solutions are sought, focusing merely on the numbers can make the victims nameless, simply a number, as it were.

Each and every victim of human trafficking has a name, a voice that has been silenced, as well as a life worth saving, and a story worth telling. This fact makes highlighting stories of rescue and healing vital.

In honor of #HumanTraffickingAwarenessDay2023, here are three such stories.

Erin: healing moment

At a recent Human Trafficking Awareness Conference, the Q&A panel included social workers, law enforcement officers, lawyers, and Erin, a survivor of human trafficking.

When asked how the police had treated her, Erin froze, not wanting to tip the apple cart. Seeing Erin’s hesitation, Becky McDonald, founder & president of WAR, Int’l, encouraged her to speak up and share her experience.

Erin shared how the police were not helpful regarding her situation, telling her there wasn’t anything they could do for her. One officer even asked for her number.

Upon hearing the apologies from the male law enforcement officers on the panel, Erin had an unexpected response. Those apologies, she realized, healed a place in her heart she didn’t know needed healing.

Trauma-informed interviewing is key when assisting survivors. During our February 2022 Light Up Your World Zoom, we learned about this interviewing technique from Amy Allen, a federal law enforcement officer. Click here to view it.

Reena: finding solutions

How many girls had now disappeared from Reena’s village? She had watched as foreigners came, promising education or stable jobs to girls of impoverished families. Out of desperation, they had been sent or sold to provide for the rest of the family. But Reena knew these promises were empty.

Reena knew traffickers targeted poor and vulnerable families.

Yet she had a plan. Reena began a small bakery where she could employ at-risk women in her village, giving them the fair payment they needed to provide for their families.

To Reena’s delight, the bakery thrived! Now she’s running four sustainable micro-enterprises to sponsor a safehouse, counseling services, vocational training, micro-loans, and different classes!

Reena’s work is helping attack trafficking at its root cause and freeing hundreds of lives from its threat. Support WAR’s micro-enterprise program to be a ‘Reena’ to others at risk.

Rhoda: story of resilience

Ever since she was a little girl, Rhoda wanted to sing. After much local success, Rhoda thought she caught her big break when a talent agent promised a vocal tour in Japan. Though her first visit proved successful, on her second trip, traffickers took her papers and forced her to serve drinks at a bar. One night a co-worker lured Rhoda to a “dance club” filled with the Japanese mafia. After drugging and abducting her, mafia members repeatedly brutalized and raped Rhoda for three days.

She eventually escaped, but the Japanese police blamed her, and a counselor even advised suicide as the only way to preserve her dignity. Even after returning home to America, help was nowhere to be found.

Finally, Rhoda discovered a community of healing and support at WAR, Int’l. Now she no longer numbs her pain with substance abuse and self-mutilation. Instead, she has transformed her suffering into a story of survival and hope. Rhoda uses her passionate voice to share this story, singing at benefit concerts, speaking out against human trafficking, and whispering words of hope and encouragement to vulnerable teens and wounded women.

Our sweet Rhoda is featured every Monday on our Facebook (WAR, Int’l and WAR Chest Boutique) and Instagram pages (WAR Int’l and WAR Chest Boutique). Make sure to catch her fabulous Monday Minute videos to be encouraged and inspired. Oh, and #ShopToRescue her weekly-updated collection here!

Resources For You:

-Join us on the 4th Monday of the month for our Light Up Your World Zooms to hear directly from survivors as well as experts in the field. Learn more here.

-Shop our Remembrance line which include the names and ages of human trafficking victims. #ShopToRemember here.

-Get inspired and read Stories Of Rescue here.

-Read Understand The Risks.

Call To Action: Time, Talent, Treasure

Host a Party or Event!
Volunteer at Events or WAR HQ

Share your Creative Skills
Become a Circle of Protection

Give Through Your Purchases
Give your sweat, space, or fundraising solutions

A Song for the Silenced

Short Video in honor of this day.