It’s in our backyard

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That’s what shocked Dr. Katharine (Kate) Bushnell in the nineteenth century.  Authorities wouldn’t believe her stories of girls enticed, held captive, and abused in the pristine forests of northern Wisconsin. And today we’re hearnig such a story right in a Cleveland neighborhood- three girls held captive for ten years and no one knew?

For the last five years — off and on– I’ve been writing Kate’s story. A valiant, fearless, unconventional woman living in the Victorian era, it was a lot more difficult for Kate to talk about prostitution, rape, brothels, bondage then than it is in today’s far too open society. The pendulum swings from one side to the other. As the first book Boundless reaches completion, I’ll be writing more about what I’ve found — not only what’s happening today, but how society dealt with “trafficking” more than one hundred years ago.

Share your thoughts and stories.  It’s not a pleasant subject, but it is among us, and I believe God cares about those who are caught in this desperate quickisand.

 

 

 

 

Changing directions

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I’ve shared my joys and concerns over my trip to South Africa — and if new issues arise I’ll get back to it.  But I want to begin sharing what I see going on as threats to women around the world.  Check out the progress of Boundless, my new book about Dr. Katherine Bushnell, who spent her life trying to release women from cruelty, trafficking and disabling attitudes.

Here are two short pieces about women’s response to recent acts of violence:

In the Muslim world, society often judges a victim of rape, rather than the perpetrator.  In spiet of this, women in Turkey are now rallying around a 26-year-old mother of two who killed a man who repeatedly raped her while her husband was away on a seasonal job.  She shot the rapist as he again returned to force his way into her house.  She then turned herself in to the police, saying she preferred to die but had cleansed her honor for her children’s sake.  Intercede for the protection and salvation of this woman and her family.  Also uphold Turkish politicians who wrestle with women’s issues in a harsh male-dominated environment. TWO

India (MNN) —
Remember that rape case in New Delhi that got international attention recently?
Six men assaulted a woman aboard a moving bus, and she later died from her
injuries. The defendants’ lawyer blames her for the attack. “That attitude
is very common in India. To blame a woman for dressing inappropriately or being
in a certain place at a certain time: these are just not constructive, not helpful attitudes.” Brent Hample of India Partners says the culture is a big part of the problem. “Even before they’re born,girls are discriminated against.” If they make it past birth, young girls
are often sold into sexual slavery. “Pray that God would do a miracle within the culture of India [and] within the people of India — within their hearts.”

When Am I Too Old To Write?

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When Am I Too Old To Write?

In 1977 when my husband and I were home from South Africa for the summer, I took a fiction-writing class to complete my MA. My professor encouraged us to start outlining a novel from a newspaper article or an experience we’d had.  I found myself imagining a forbidden romance between a black girl and a white boy in South Africa under Apartheid.

When I handed in my outline I told the professor I had posted over my ‘typewriter’, LORD YOU WRITE- I’LL TYPE. He chided me to listen to God’s guidance, but that I had to do the writing.  I shouldn’t blame poor writing on God.

I had been picking up graduate classes here and there, even a few hours in Kenya , and at 51 years of age I walked down the aisle with  one of my undergraduate sons and two future grand-daughters-in-law.

The Writing Years

Fast forward almost thirty years during which I had published ten books– about missions, the role of women in the Bible and the church, biographies. And yes, that classroom assignment became my first novel, The Soweto Legacy. ( Amazon Kindle.)

Then a  friend challenged me, “Lorry you should write the story of Katharine Bushnell. Her life needs to be told.”

I wasn’t interested, but to please Mimi I began researching Bushnell, a medical doctor in the late nineteenth century. Bushnell was active in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, and accepted Frances Willard’s invitation to work on the streets of Chicago with “fallen women.” My research at the Metropolitan University in London unearthed hand-written and carbon copies of reports of girls bought or coerced into the military brothels of the British Army–but no personal letters, journals, or stories of Katharine Bushnell’s life.  It would have been a dull biography at best.  A helpful literary agent suggested  I write her story as historical fiction..

As I was about to start writing, my husband, Al, was diagnosed with cancer during a frightening winter night in the ER. God please don’t take him.  We started the many trips for chemo. Thank you that he’s staying strong and feeling well. We sold our home and moved into a retirement home. Praise God. But in 2008 he peacefully left to be with Jesus. Can I come too?

Is this God’s will?

When I finally started to write again, I became discouraged. I’d never tackled as big a project as this. I needed a publisher, but none was interested. One suggested I hire an editor to bring the manuscript up to their requirements.  After a summer of rewriting, they turned me down. I was ready to give up.

One Sunday morning in December, 2013, I stayed in bed to do business with God.  I needed an answer.  Other responsibilities were challenging me in my community, yet I hesitated to take them on. God, do you want me to finish these books?  Are they really as important as ministering to people here in the retirement community? I need clear guidance if I’m to go on.

That morning Andy Stanley spoke about Nehemiah who had rebuilt Jerusalem’s wall. Sanballat and his cronies called him down for a chat, but Nehemiah knew they were planning to harm him.

He responded, “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come down.”

God’s Word spoke to me.  The “great work” was writing the story about His servant, Katharine Bushnell.  I “can’t come down” to stop my work until it is completed.  Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas accepted the manuscript.  They published Daughters of Deliverance   three years later And eight months after that–just five months before my 90th birthday—the sequel, The Queen’s Daughters saw the light.

HOW CAN YOU TELL THAT YOUR 90- YEAR- OLD MIND IS ‘CATCHING UP’ WITH YOUR 90-YEAR-OLD BODY?

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HOW CAN YOU TELL THAT YOUR 90- YEAR- OLD MIND IS ‘CATCHING UP’ WITH YOUR 90-YEAR-OLD BODY?

I think I figured it out tonight.

I’m booking my travel  for an exciting “trip-around-America ” arranged by my children for my 90th birthday, to visit all my family..  I started out in Phoenix last month, and tonight I scheduled flights to  go to Portland in April   and Chicago over the fourth of July.

Here’s where the mind began to deteriorate. In the intricate  (to me)selection  of points versus dollars (on South West  Airlines) I tried to figure out which leg of the flight would be cheaper –to use points or dollars? Jumping back and forth between schedules, I suspected SW was playing tricks on me.  Every time I scrolled back to the outgoing flight, the dollars seemed to be getting higher, and the points even worse.

I could feel my blood pressure rising.  I had to settle something quickly — and clicked PURCHASE  for the Portland booking.  Then on to Chicago. Of course prices would be higher over the fourth of July weekend, so I  grabbed the cheapest flight in the middle of the day and hit PURCHASE again.

Oh No!  I had booked my flight from Denver to Portland and to Chicago on the same day– same air time. and double the price.  Of course an old lady who has trouble getting out of chairs (soft, low ones of course) shouldn’t  be booking air flights on a complicated high-tech computer at her bed-time.

It made me think of Katharine Bushnell, protagonist of my two recent historical novels. Kate had to make her own travel arrangements to China, England, India,  Australia, New Zealand and the Far East,.  Each time she went in person to the office of the steamship company.   Often funds came in at the last minute. If you’ve read Daughters of Deliverance or The Queen’s Daughters,  you’ll admire her resilience and courage as I do.

I suspect there were times she wondered if she was making the right choices.  Her strong faith in God’s provision and direction enabled her to take risks for  Him. At 92 her body was growing weaker, but her keen mind was still sensitive to His call.  Finding her eulogy enabled me to add that crowning touch to her story.

 

 

Passionate to save girls like this

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Passionate to save girls like this

I confess, this endorsement comes from a friend– an intellectual, well-read  woman with a  Ph.D.  behind her name. So when she wrote this review, I felt that I should  share it with you.

If you haven’t read Daughters of Deliverance or The Queen’s Daughters yet, you might want to do so after reading her reaction.  Getting to know the  Victorian heroine, Katharine Bushnell, who passionately tried to help girls  like the one on the cover, will warm your heart. You’ll be challenged to pray more faithfully for women and girls still caught in trafficking  today.  My friend writes:

It is wonderful to see her story come to life, and you’ve done a marvelous job. What I like best is how accessible it is, and how she battles the very real emotions and challenges we all face. You retain her powerful intellectual and spiritual gifts, but place it inside a very human woman! I love that. Thank you again for the honor of sharing in your journey, and I’m thrilled you’ll devote the early hours of prayer this coming year to seeking, prayerfully, God’s guidance on the next focus of your life.

And that means she’s challenging me  to find God’s purpose after my 90th birthday  in February for the next season of my life

Imagination at Work.

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Imagination at Work.

Many of the characters in my book, Daughters of Deliverance  are real.  They are not  famous, but people who played a part in a true story.  As I did the research I dug around to find more details, but often I had very little facts  to bring these people alive in the book. That’s when the fictional side of the story breaks in — the fun part when my imagination takes over.

If you read my book, Daughters of Deliverance-, you’ll remember  Ella Gilchrist, the young missionary doctor who came down with tuberculosis in China. I found  her  mentioned in a few articles about Katharine Bushnell’s early life in China and  when Kate accompanied Ella home  where she  eventually died of TB.

Of course, as I wrote about her illness, the difficult sea voyage and train ride across America to Denver. Ella grew to be  a real person in my mind.  I could see her perspiring under the mosquito net  at Kuikiang mission, and shivering with fever on the uncomfortable train journey. Never complaining, always wanting to serve Jesus, apologizing to cause Kate more work.  But she only lived in my imagination until a week ago when I received an email from my friend Mimi.

Mim encouraged her friend Karen to read Daughters of Deliverance — and there Karen discovered that her great-great aunt, Ella Gilchreist (CORRECT SPELLING !)  worked with Dr Bushnell at the Methodist Mission in Kuikiang, China.  Of course, Karen had never met her Great-great Aunt Ella, but she’d heard stories about her — and, SHE HAD A PICTURE.

I finally got to meet Dr. Ella– and she looked amazingly like the image I carried in my mind. If you haven’t read Daughters of Deliverance yet,  keep this picture and when you meet Ella in the story, bring it out. Do you think  my Ella in the book matches her picture?

 

 

 

An idea for the men on your list? What?

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An idea for the men on your list? What?

This morning after church one of the young mothers stopped me in the hall to tell me, “My husband is reading your book and he really likes it”  We  discussed  the cover which she said was  “girly,” but the subject matter –“white slavery” (today’s trafficking)– is of interest to both male and female.

Before Daughters of Deliverance launched last December, I sent the PDF to my son  who is teaching overseas. (Sons are very direct and honest so I was a bit leery of what he might say.) He  remarked he really liked the book, but he thought that I was a bit hard on men, that there weren’t good men in the story.  I reminded him of Kate’s wise father, the contractor for the Evanston lighthouse, still standing today; or Senator Fitch who rallied the Wisconsin legislature  to pass a law against the den keepers;  or even David, the young medical student who wanted to ask her parents for permission to court her. My son  admitted there were some good men in the story, but that they were overshadowed by men like Blonger who ruled the streets of Chicago’s Hell’s Half Acre.  I still hear him say, “Mom, I didn’t think such things went on in the nineteenth century.”

I suspect few men will read Daughters of Deliverance,  or its sequel, The Queen’s Daughters,” launched this past September, because they think it’s about   girls.  And the main character is a woman, Katharine Bushnell, the historic heroine of the story. She was a famous activist against sex slavery and a  woman of prayer and obedience to God’s call on her life (sordid as it may seem at times.)

Two men have written endorsements for these books. Larry Andrews is the president of Partners International which, among other ministries, repatriates girls kidnapped into sex slavery.  Dr. Dan Rickett serves as executive vice president for She Is Safe.

Christmas is almost here.   Perhaps you could give one of the men in your life — husband, brother, son–a copy of Destined for Loyalty or The Queen’s Daughters.  Tell them they are based on the true story of a  woman in the nineteenth century who obeyed God and went through danger and hardship to rescue girls out of evil situations that are still going on today.
And, Oh yes, the books are available as Kindle ebooks in India and England!

 

 

 

Praise for The Queen’s Daughters

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Occasionally I’ve found that someone else can describe the purpose of my books more clearly than I can.  This is the case with  an endorsement I received for The Queen’s Daughters.

The future for girls would look brighter if we all took to heart the wisdom of  The Queen’s Daughters. It is not the hideous thought of sexual abuse that changes the future for girls.  It is the love and persistent effort of men and women like Katharine Bushnell whose story inspired the second of two novels by Lorry Lutz.  To journey with Katharine Bushnell into the uncharted territory of shielding girls from sexual slavery is not only profoundly eye opening,  it is deeply inspiring.

Daniel Rickett, Ph.D.

Executive Vice President, She Is Safe, Inc.

 I’m impressed that this endorsement was written by a man.  Generally historical novels, especially about women, are read by women.  But when men read Katharine’s story they are incredulous about the abuse women and girls suffer — and that it’s been going on so long.  Katharine was a pioneer in the late nineteenth century to expose the abuse, and to courageously get “in your face” with politicians and powerful men who could do something about it.

Go to The Queen’s Daughters on Amazon.  I hear they plan to raise the price for the print book soon.  Watch for special offers for free or 99c e-books. As a writer I feel cheapened to see my hard work sold at that price– but I understand it helps sales. And it’s great for my readers.

Dan Rickett is just one of other men who have found Kate’s story challenging. If you’re a wife, you might add this book to your husband’s Christmas gifts, or read it together. I promise you there are no “purple patches” (salacious scenes). The story is set in the Victorian era!

 

 

 

THE DAY OF THE GIRL-OCT. 11

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This will make you weep! Read these statistics from She Is Safe which focuses  on Preventing,  Rescuing, and Restoring  young women around the world in danger of being trafficked:

  • 200 million girls are “missing” from the world today.
  • 98% of sex slaves are female. Demand is rising for younger girls.
  • 90% of poor families in India do not educate their girls.
  • 52 million girls under the age of 18 are forced to marry each year.

On the other hand:

  • Girls will invest 90% of what they earn back into their families.
  • Girls who are safe, free, equipped and know their God-given value will raise the next generations of boys and girls to be safe, free, educated and contributing.

For more information contact : infor@sheissafe.org

And to read the story of a committed, persistent woman risking her life and reputation to expose”white slavery” (trafficking) in the 19th century, read my recently released Daughters of Deliverance and The Queen’s Daughters