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.”

In Her Lifetime . . .

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In Her Lifetime . . .

When The Queen’s Daughters was released last September, Mia Rae Robinson was not in the picture. I dedicated the book to my nine great-granddaughters at the time, with these words:

I pray that in their lifetime sex slavery will become a thing of history.

I’ve added Mia Rae, my 21st great-grandchild,  to that prayer.

Today, according to the FBI, human trafficking is believed to be the third-largest criminal activity in the world .  It includes forced labor, domestic servitude, and commercial sex trafficking. It involves both U.S. citizens and foreigners alike.

Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry (behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking). It reportedly generates a profit of $32 billion every year. Of that number, $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries, according to the CNN Freedom Project. The average cost of a slave is $90.

Katharine Bushnell, the historical heroine of my book, The Queen’s Daughters , investigated trafficking , called white slavery in the west  in the nineteenth century. She faced danger and personal deprivation, never having a family of her own. She crisscrossed the ocean numerous times to give reports of  the heart breaking things she’d seen before government  bodies, who often refused to believe her.  (After all, no honorable woman in the Victorian era should even mention such things. )

Since Kate’s pioneering days, the scourge of trafficking has increased like  an untreated Ebola epidemic. But today many organizations are following her example to investigate, report and rescue  young girls and boys caught in this evil around the world

Perhaps Mia Rae will only know of trafficking through history books.

 

 

 

“Can I be two when I am only one?”

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“Can I be two when I am only one?”

Seems I’m just catching up with famous authors who influenced people like CS Lewis and R. J Tolkien.  I think the literary side of my brain took longer to develop. So here at 90  I’m discovering a new author–George Macdonald (don’t be shocked. I should have majored in English Lit at Wheaton College!)  I’ve never read his famous fantasy novel, Phantastes, which opened new doors for Lewis and influenced his return to Christianity. But on my way to 91,  I’ll put it on my Kindle to find out what impressed Lewis so.

I recently found a little book of Macdonald’s at my son’s home–Diary of an Old Soul. I certainly identified with the “old soul” part this morning as I moved deck furniture around and off—ready for a much-needed “power-washing.  I don’t identify with all of the 366 sonnets Macdonald wrote — but here’s one I heavily underlined:

Two things at once, thou know’st I cannot think.

When busy with the work thou givest me,

I cannot consciously think then of thee. 

Then why, when next thou lookest o’er the brink

Of my horizon, should my spirit shrink, 

Reproached and fearful, nor to greet thee run?

Can I be two when I am only one?

My problem exactly. Working at my desk, fashioning sentences, hunting for words, I am not consciously thinking of God’s direction.  But  even as He controls the universe, answers billions of prayers at once, sends His angels to protect and comfort His children, He remembers me. A thought too big to understand.

What a comfort to know that during the months– yes, years–I researched,wrote and rewrote Daughters of Deliverance,  and The Queen’s Daughters,  I felt God’s guidance and presence and encouragement when I  was too discouraged to go on. If you’ve read my books about Katharine Bushnell, perhaps you saw  godly insights or the development of Kate’s character  that reflected a touch of God– that for a moment said “yes” to Macdonald’s question.  “Can I be two when I am only one?”

 

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What people are saying :)

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What people are saying :)

Like most of you, I find it hard to sell myself — or my creations. I sometimes even hesitate to hand out promotion about my books, like this clever,  three-fold business card my grandson designed. But in my heart I’m convinced that God encouraged me to write Katharine Bushnell’s story—and that many readers are blessed by her life and courageous work among trafficked girls and women in the Victorian era.

So here are a few unsolicited Amazon reviews from some of my readers:

Lorry Lutz eloquently narrates the story {in The Queen’s Daughters}of courageous Dr. Katharine Bushnell, who penetrated the realms of darkness that enslaved so many Indian & Chinese young girls in the Victorian era. Through her extensive research and creativity, Lorry articulately reveals the plight of vulnerable young girls sold into the sex slavery with no one to save them or defend them, and highlights the amazing transformation that can take place in their lives when a godly woman abandons the comforts of this world, trusts her Lord for the impossible, and reaches out to those who are hurting the most. Through her ups and downs, Dr. Bushnell has left a deep impact in my heart … This is a ‘must read’ for all who wish to see God’s justice lived out in our day.                            

I was pleased that the following reader caught Kate’s concern, not only about sexual slavery, but about the misunderstanding of how God intended women to be treated. Her insights into then, new ideas, about the role of women appear here and there—pointing to a surprising ending.

This is a fascinating historical book – Based on true facts. This is not a romance about a queen’s daughters. Instead this is about many things, but also about how the {British}GB soldiers were provided young girls in India for their pleasure. But there is only talk of how these men are amused with not talking of sex acts – but you can figure very easily what they went through…..Being a Christian, I also learned so much about how God really feels about women. The differences in the Hebrew words and how they are translated into English – is surprising.                                    

And the following reader also reminds you that  Daughters of Deliverance is followed by a sequel, The Queen’s Daughters.

I was thrilled with the release of The Queen’s Daughters a few weeks ago and couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy after having read Lorry’s previous book (Daughters of Deliverance). Having become challenged with the courage and conviction of Dr. Katherine Bushnell I was eager to read more of her work on behalf of young girls caught in the sex trafficking trap. This book captivated me as I followed her travels throughout the world to fight for these women. 

You can submit your own review of one of these books (after you’d read them of course).It’s quite simple.  Just scroll down the page where you viewed or purchased the books on Amazon, and you’ll see on the bottom left hand side CUSTOMER REVIEWS.

IN A FEW DAYS MY TWITTER NAME WILL BE CHANGED TO @LorryLutz and a professional publicist  will be helping me gussy up the messages.- So Tweet me!

Blessed are the pure in heart

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Blessed are the pure in heart

Emma, my ten-year-old great- granddaughter, can’t wait to read Great-grandma’s book.  When her mom brought the Daughters of Deliverance home, the smile on her face tells it all .  Ten might be a little young . Thankfully the concepts of trafficking and slavery are still beyond her, but I know she’ll admire my historical  heroine, Katharine Bushnell, and her  passion to rescue girls from evil.*

I love her sweet innocent face,  I’m thankful she’s growing up in a family where she’s loved and protected; where her big brothers would never allow anyone to hurt her; and where her parents teach her the Bible and pray for her  to grow up knowing God loves her.

One day she’ll find out that since Kate’s discovery and exposure of “white slavery” in the United States in the late 1800’s,  the tragic  practice has only grown worse.

There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children. — Cortana

*Though the book deals with adult subjects, I’ve written Kate’s story without sordid details. In fact, Kate’s  faith and obedience to God as she finds herself in difficult situations, is what my readers are telling me challenges them  the most.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.