Ah, Portugal. There's so much to do, but so little I feel like I have to do when we are here.
Talk about a foreign feeling. When we are back from vacation, let's make sure we are still on track with our investment plans. You know, just in case we want to retire here. With Vanguard advice, no matter what your retirement goals are, we can help you get there. That's the value of ownership. Visit vanguard.com and explore Vanguard advice. All investing is subject to risk. Fund shareholders own the funds that own Vanguard.
Services are provided by Vanguard Advisors Inc., a registered investment advisor. So just spectacular to be here at the NRB 2022. And these NRB Chronicles, we meet so many amazing people. And one of those is actually in front of me, Patty Garibay, who I've known actually for years with American Heritage Girls, doing so much with so many young ladies. And now you've written a book.
I have. COVID caused a lot of things, including a book written by me, the unlikely writer. And so I guess first our listeners, tell them a little bit about American Heritage Girls and your vision for that.
Absolutely. I had served in the Girl Scouts USA for 12 years as a leader for my three daughters. And in 1993, they made a really crucial decision to no longer mandate an oath to God in the Girl Scout Promise. And so I started to investigate why would they do that. And I found out a whole agenda that was very anti-Christian. And I realized that I could no longer serve in that organization and be a Christian. We couldn't serve two gods. And so the Lord prompted me to just start something.
I thought it would be very small and just for my daughter. And here we are, 27 years later, serving over 54,000 girls in every state of the country, as well as 16 international countries. And so that is what God does when He gets you. He grabs the right person to start something and people come along. And so you saw in the Girl Scouts that here's this opportunity to mentor these young girls and an opportunity to teach them things practically, at the same time have a fellowship for them, a community that would be like, I know because I was a Boy Scout.
Like those are memories you will keep for the rest of your life. Very influential, right? But it's got to be based on the right stuff or it's for naught. And so for us, instead of girl power, we like to stress the Holy Spirit's power in the girl. So it's Christ-centered infusion. We do all the fun things, Robbie, that you remember from Boy Scouts. We do badges and outdoor experiences and service projects. We do all of those, but with the Christ infusion.
And that makes all the difference. It becomes eternally impactful rather than just temporary. So COVID comes and I imagine the challenges that came it. Oh, my goodness. American Heritage Girls, like what in the world are we going to do with this and with that? And God's walking you through that.
And then at the same time, just to throw another monkey wrench at you, puts it on your heart to write a book. That's right. COVID was tough because we chartered with churches. We're part of their discipleship program for youth, for girls. And so when they're closed down, HG is closed down.
That's what we call American Heritage Girls. And so we had a lot of time on our hands. The Lord had been saying, you need to write it down, print in Proverbs, write it down for the next generation to know. So in this book, Why Curse the Darkness When You Can Light a Candle? It's truly a story of my journey as a girl from an alcoholic mom and a disabled dad, a very dysfunctional childhood, wanting functional childhoods for every girl out there. And realizing that, gosh, even though I have made many mistakes in my past, and I did, why would God call me to do something like this? So I used every excuse, why not? And this really chronicles my journey of discovery, of growth in my faith walk, of trusting God, of allowing Him to use me and understanding that He does not call me equipped.
He equips the call. You just have to open your eyes to see it. So obviously, or maybe not obviously, but it's just been my experience, that when God calls you to write something like this, and He takes you back into your own life, right? There are things that you had an opportunity to process that you hadn't ever really processed, right? Can you take us there a little bit in your personal story?
Yes. Oh, Robbie, I spent almost my whole lifetime trying to cover all that up. I didn't want people to know me for my sin, and I had it. As a matter of fact, I had an unexpected pregnancy. I actually went to Planned Parenthood not knowing what they did.
I thought they really planned your parenthood, not kill your baby, all right? So I've been through all of that. And I believe the Lord brought me to this other side to be a testimony encouragement for all those out there that feel like they're less than.
But when God calls you, He thinks you're enough, and He will supply it if you rely on Him. And so, yes, it was very tearful. Ernest Hemingway said, if you're not writing well, if you aren't bleeding on the paper. Oh, boy, I bled. I bled. I cried.
It was rough. I was embarrassed to show the first volume. And then freedom came because I was obedient one more time when he said, write it down. And the witness of this book to so many women has been extraordinary.
And I didn't expect it to be anything but obedient. I was just doing the right next step, but now people have been blessed by this. Oh, wow. It's amazing. So that's the name of the title just jumps that right out at you, right?
Like, why curse the darkness? Yes. So apparently, you had plenty. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. There was a lot of darkness, not just in my personal life, but also what I discovered about the Girl Scouts. In here, it is Chronicle II. Imagine this mom. I'm just a mom of four kids and married to my husband, and I'm fighting the Girl Scouts USA trying to raise awareness about what they're standing for because they were very much cloaking it behind the tradition of Girl Scouts. You know, it was good when I was a girl.
Certainly, it's good now. Well, that's not the case. And so it chronicles a bit about that fight, the depression, the loneliness that happens when you start something new, people think you're nuts.
And they look at you and they're like, that girl, she doesn't know what she's doing. But honestly, when you're following God's will, it comes back. I cannot believe the fruits that the Lord has allowed me to experience in my lifetime of this effort to see alumna now coming along to have my own granddaughter. She's right on my lap.
She is an American Heritage girl. And that is just, God is so good to us, right? Robbie, when you follow His will, He always is good to us, whether or not we do that.
He absolutely is. And I just think that's absolutely spectacular that He took you on this journey and then He's brought you there. Is there a chapter in this book that you're like, Oh, my goodness, I can hardly wait till they read this?
I believe it was the time of the unplanned pregnancy and what the Lord did and how He brought me through that, and how He actually brought us, my husband and I at this point, into marriage because of this. Oh, really? And 43 years later, that young lady that could have been aborted is now a key part of this ministry. Right. And apparently that's your granddaughter right there. No, her mother is my daughter. Right, right.
That's what I'm saying. There would be no granddaughter if there was no daughter. Exactly, Robbie. And you know, my daughter's name is Rachel, which means little lamb. And imagine if I had made that mistake. So God is so precious and He's so good and we just need to follow His word. And that's what really resounded. I wasn't raised in a family of faith. We did our Sunday obligation, but I thought I could rationalize that away. But the Holy Spirit got a hold of me.
It wasn't going to let me go. And so here we are today. And I'm able now to talk about that and to help others through that.
And I think there's a good purpose for that. So let's go there for a second, if you don't mind. So you've got this unplanned pregnancy and obviously your boyfriend at the time, right?
He's trying to figure out where are we going with this and whatever. You go to Planned Parenthood. What about your family? You know, your mom was struggling. Obviously, you got some issues.
What happened with them? It was horrible, yes. One thing for sure, I loved my boyfriend very much or I wouldn't have been in this situation. And we worked through that. But my boyfriend at the time was very, very dedicated to not getting married because we were pregnant. Because he didn't want that later to be... We should never... You know, it'd be an excuse. And the pressure was like, we had to do it. A pressure. I didn't want her to feel like I married you because I had to.
You got it, Robbie. And I didn't quite understand that at the time. But then to go home to my parents who were having their own struggles, it was mortifying.
It was horrible. And here this ends up being their first grandchild and my dad who had acute multiple sclerosis. And he's the one that really said to me, why curse the darkness when you can light a candle?
He's the one, he's the one. And it wasn't at that time when I was pregnant, but rather when I was telling about all the issues I was finding in Girl Scouts. And one of the main things was the sexuality curriculum that taught that sexuality was on a spectrum and you can fall anywhere on that.
And I knew from my own experiences, that was a falsehood, that you need to have a moral right and wrong about sexuality. And so that's what... The Lord used all of this to get my discernment level up. And my dad, after hearing so many things about that, he says, Patty... And he knew what my Heavenly Father knew, that I had some acumen, even though I didn't feel like I did. And he said, why curse the darkness when you can light a candle? Start something new. You can do it. That's absolutely beautiful. Again, you can imagine the book might be called Why Curse the Darkness When You Light a Candle by Patty Garibay.
We'll try to say it right again. But again, American Heritage Girls. But if you got an author page, how can people get the book? I do. You can get it from anywhere. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, whatever. I also have a site about it. WhyCurseTheDarkness.com. You can also reach it through AmericanHeritageGirls.org. And by the way, we have something really cool and neat going on. Robbie there, if we have a minute to talk about it.
Sure. It's our Raising Godly Girls. When we turned 25, it was a really exciting time, but it was COVID. So we had to cancel not only our girl convention, which is a big, big party that we love, and I had time to write a book, but also we thought we wanted to give a gift back to the nation. Even those families who may not be part of American Heritage Girls, how could we give them biblical worldview truths that would help them raise up the girls in the way they should go? And so we developed a sub-brain called Raising Godly Girls.
We have a radio minute that is across the country on over 1,000 radio stations at this time. But also we have a blog which dives in deeper. When you go to our site, AmericanHeritageGirls.org, you'll find a pop-up that says, would you like a free e-book? And you can download this book that is a Raising Godly Girls Guide to Fear and Anxiety. It's helping your girl go through the whole re-entry process that COVID has created. And then we're going to have one on Raising Godly Girls Guide to Gender and Identity. Now that's a hot topic, Robbie. So we are not being afraid of these issues.
We're actually bringing parents resources that are desperately needed to raise up their girls in the way they should go. Wonderful. Thank you, Patti. God bless. Thank you.
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