rebelling against low expectations

Project: Save A Korean Refugee


My name is Annabelle. I’m 15 years old, living under the glory of Christ’s grace and mercy. I love speaking, debating, writing, drawing, and spending time with friends and family. When I graduate high school next year, I hope to attend Patrick Henry College. “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20

I got my first debit card recently and felt very empowered. With money in the account, I could do anything! …but what? For the past two weeks I’ve been adamant not to use my card unless absolutely necessary. No Starbucks, no In-N-Out, just no. Oh, the agony. What else is a debit card for…except to use?

Today, I found something that was “absolutely necessary.”

Background: Jonah Ortiz is one of the most likable people on this planet. I met him last year when I began competition in my speech and debate league. He’s bright, funny, has a big smile, is an incredible speaker, and loves to cook. Recently, he started a drive to free one refugee from North Korea through the organization LiNK (Liberty in North Korea). Jonah’s goal ultimately is to raise $2,500 — the price of freedom for one life in North Korea.

I can tell you right now I don’t have $2,500 in my checking account, but why say no to a good cause simply because it’s “too much money”? Why not take one small step at a time, give one dollar at a time, and see what happens? The minimum donation for Jonah’s drive is $25. Now that, I did have in my account. Out came the debit card….out went the money. Today, one more life is $25 closer to freedom.

Honestly, I understand it might be a hassle to grab a debit or credit, go to the website, read up on it (just to make sure it’s not a scam), decide how much to donate, enter your card’s info, then finally donate. But truly, isn’t freedom for a human being worth an extra 5 minutes and $25?

Take a second to watch Danny’s story, the first refugee freed by LiNK. The video was from before the holidays, but the message remains the same. If the video doesn’t appear below, try reloading the page:

This isn’t just another donation to another organization. This is freedom for one person like Danny. I don’t know what their name is, how old they are, or anything else about that person except that they need freedom. And that one person is waiting day in and day out, and will continue to wait until people like us — the church, the hands a feet of our Savior — decide to do something.

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About the author

Brett Harris

is co-founder of and co-author of Do Hard Things, along with his twin brother, Alex. He is married to his best friend, Ana, who blogs at He is the founder of the Young Writers Workshop — an ongoing coaching program for serious writers.


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  • Wow this is truly motivating and something I will look into for sure! Hope all yall that read this are just as motivated!

    This part of my post is for Alex and or Brett…
    After reading your book last month I was so encouraged and pumped and ready to do big things for Christ i came on here and requested to be on the forums. As well as sending in a few emails hopeing to possibly be on the blog. I have told my youth pastor about your book and he is beginning to read it! I want to encourage all the rest of the teens in my group to read it! It was so eye opening and encouraging I told all my friends to go read the book and start doing big things. I have one home church that is where I go for sundays and for youth group but go to a christian school thats also a church. And go to an AWANA program at another church! I have told so many people about it and a few even took my advice and have started reading it!! So excited! I would love to start a group with the same mindset as we have and have a love for Christ and are willing to do hard things for Him!!! I am starting guitar very soon and are even possibly going to start a Christian band with a few other friends because of your book. I want to say how much I am grateful to you for getting my as fired up as I am. when I did come on here and realized that the tours were over I was a bit disappointed but decided I would join the forums and help in every way I could to spread the word and give my service. I have yet to recieve a conformation or rejection for the forums as well as a reply from the emails. I know yall must be busy but I want to get active and helping…please give me a shout (via email) I really want to help and get going! Some advice for the group i want to start that would be great!!

    I know this is long but PLEASE read it yall…thank you

    Your sister in Christ, Skyla

    FROM BRETT: Hey Skyla, I just responded to your email. Thanks for letting us know we missed it!

  • Wow, this sounds awesome! Unfortunately my computer doesn’t do so well with video, but from what I read I am very interested. Thank you so much for sharing it!

    Skyla, it’s awesome to hear how much Do Hard Things has motivated you! I pray that the others whom you have shared it with are just as motivated as you are. And you’re certainly not the only one who has applied to the Forum. I applied nearly a year ago with no response. The blog has proved to be great blessing, however, so I thank God for that!

    May God bless you in all you’re doing for Him!

  • There is nothing like helping someone you know and respect, help someone else! It becomes so real to you, in a way that websites just can’t bring across on their own.
    Great way to use your debit card! (That’s what God made them for:) I passed this post’s message on via email, so more people can learn about it. Thanks for posting this!

  • This sounds awesome! Thanks for posting it. Also, I too applied to the forums about a year ago now and have yet to hear back, whether yay or nay. But the blog is awesome 😀

  • Wow! I get emotional and I have to say I was crying when I watched the video. Incredible way to use our money!

  • This really touches me. I have to say what struck me most (and probably what motivated me to donate) was your backstory about the debit card. I got my first debit card this summer and I didn’t use it until last night when I donated for the same reason as you. Thank you for making us aware of this!

  • Oh and Nathan I really like your blog and am most likely going to sign up to have my own blog. Hope it will be as edifying as yours!

  • This was incredible, and has inspired me greatly, thank you!
    I would like to donate, but alone I won’t be able to raise much for the Korean refugees. I am going to pitch this idea to my friends, and even if they don’t want to participate in helping, I will donate for sure. Thank you so much for this.
    God bless.

  • Question: Are donations only accepted online or can they be mailed as well? I don’t have a card or other method to use online, but I can certainly mail things.

    Ezra W: If you click on my name above any of my comments, it will take you right to my blog. That way you don’t have to deal with all the links and such. 🙂

    Skyla: That sounds great, I’ll look forward to seeing it!

  • Wow. That was amazing. I’ll be praying for the refugees in N. Korea. Thanks soo much for posting this!!

By Brett Harris
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →