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Do the Things That Matter

Caroly Houmes

Yesterday, my husband and I celebrated his birthday with dinner in the city. We took the ferry from Manly; and the beauty of Sydney still amazes us, sometimes leaving us with no words. It’s been 4 months now that we have left our loved ones in the Netherlands to move with our 3 boys to Australia. We have done this, not because we are mesmerized by the beauty of this country, but because we are mesmerized by the atrocities of modern day slavery.

We have words for that. Those are: “until all are free”. That’s our family’s mission. My husband has it tattooed on his arm, mine is just in my heart…

When I finished law school I asked myself the question: ‘Do I want to be successful or to be significant?’ I ended up being 27 and International Justice Mission’s first Chief Executive in the Netherlands. That was not a matter of being successful. “Success” is a word that has the effect that we always want to go there. But oftentimes, when we have arrived, we only want more.

My aim in life is to be here. To be present. To be present with my life, gifts and talents, to be present with the God who has created the universe, and to be present with the people in need.

That’s how I stepped into my new role, here in Australia. It’s not my aim to be successful together with my team; the aim is to be significant. To do the things that matter.

And what matters is, rescuing boys from the boats, where they are trafficked as slaves in the fishing industry.

What matters is rescuing little girls and boys from the webcam, where they are being exploited and sexually abused by online customers.

What matters is rescuing whole families from living a life in slavery, where they are trapped on farms and in factories.

What matters is that we see slavery come to an end – putting it out of business for good.

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