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Canadian Women Making a Difference: Melinda Estabrooks

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we are sharing a series of interviews with incredible women who #PressForProgress and are making a difference in Canada and around the world. Check our blog throughout the month of March for fresh inspiration!

Occupation: Creator of See Hear Love, International Speaker, and Podcaster
Age: 40s
How she's making a difference: Empowering people to boldly share their stories.

1) Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm a speaker, media producer, and TV/Web host with a passion for Jesus and social justice. My career spans over 20 years of broadcast, motivational speaking, PR, fundraising, leadership training and advocacy work.
I've worked for World Vision Canada, Crossroads Global Media Group, Listen Up TV (now Context with Lorna Dueck), Eagles Flight and Graf Martin Communications. Currently, my show, See Hear Love can be seen on YES TV and online at and my podcast, Your Story with Melinda, can be seen on Faith Strong Today and also heard on Joy 1250 radio.

I'm a wife to an amazing husband, Chris, and stepmom to two amazing kids. I was adopted in the Philippines by an incredible Canadian family – who I am forever grateful to. I also love Korean food, Netflix, and shoes!

2) What unique gifts do you bring to the world?
People always say that what God didn't give me in height (I'm 4 ft 11 inches), he made up for in energy! I'm able to write, produce and host my weekly TV and web show, host a podcast, speak to audiences all across Canada, and still have time to hang out with my amazing family and friends!

I love people and believe everyone has a beautiful story worth telling. I'm so thankful that I have a media platform to be able to share their encouraging stories with the world!

3) How are you making a difference right now?
My show See Hear Love, which is celebrating its one year anniversary this month, on March 8th, is seen by women here in Canada and around the globe.
The aim of the show is let our viewers know that God loves them no matter who they are or what their circumstances are. We often hear from non-Christian women who have stumbled upon our show and have found the message of God's love so hopeful.
By sharing the stories of amazing people who've overcome tough circumstances, we are able to encourage our viewers and show them God's everlasting love.

4) What motivates you to do what you do?
There are so many people struggling with feelings of loneliness, shame and hopelessness, and I really what them to know that they are seen, heard and loved by God. That they are not alone. That their story matters. That there is HOPE! This drives me to work hard to produce great content for See Hear Love and to take on as many speaking engagements as I can.

5) Why are you passionate about the work of IJM? How do you show your support?
I was born just outside of Manila, Philippines to an eighteen year old teenager who left me at the Abiertas House of Friendship for Unwed Mothers. By God's grace, I was adopted by a wonderful missionary family, Paul and Dianne Estabrooks, who eventually brought me to Canada.
I am very aware how easily I might have ended up as a victim of human trafficking and poverty and I am thankful to God every day for the life and opportunities that I have received. I want to do what I can to help educate people about this problem and let them know what they can do to help end modern slavery.
See Hear Love has partnered with IJM to educate our viewers about the important work you do and encourage our viewers to get involved. It's our role as Christians to help end human trafficking in our time.

6) What would you like to see happen for women in the future?
I want women to know that they do not have to stay stuck in their circumstances. God has written beautiful stories for all of us and I want every woman to know that God loves her and has a plan for her life.

7) If you could have a coffee chat with any woman, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
That's a tough one. I’d like to chat with a number of women featured in the Bible. Maybe Mary Magdalene, the Woman at the well, or one of the other women who knew Jesus. Can you imagine the stories they could tell about hanging out with Jesus and the disciples? I would find that so fascinating and inspiring! (That’s the reporter in me!)

8) What’s your favourite inspiring quote?
Whenever I speak, I like to tell people, "Today is not your forever!" So many people feel hopeless, because they assume that today's circumstances will never end. That it will always be like this. But it doesn’t have to be.
I want everyone to know that God has not forgotten you. That He sees you and knows you! He is FOR you! Jesus promises us new life and a better tomorrow. I think we sometimes need to be reminded of that!

9) What advice do you have for the women in our audience who want to make a difference in the world?
Sometimes, women undervalue their role here. We think, "I'm just one person. What can I do to combat big issues like human trafficking?" But I urge people to think of the disciples. They were just a bunch of ordinary, flawed people. And look what Jesus did with their lives!
If you feel something is wrong in the world, you can write a letter to your MP, you can give money or host a small fundraiser, or you can volunteer your time. If you see something wrong happening, you can report it. And always, always you can pray. God can and will use us – if we choose to be courageous and make a decision towards justice and love. God can use our ordinary lives for extraordinary things. Now that's good news!

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