Today I will put a red X on my hand to shine a light on slavery. A simple mark that represents the over 27 million men, women and children trapped in a life of modern day slavery.
I choose to be a voice for those who have no voice. For the millions of children in India who are forced to work in factories or brothels. Girls who are sold by their families in the hopes of giving them a better life.
Girls like 11 yr old Durga Mala who was sold by her grandmother because she couldn't afford to feed Durga and her 3 sisters. Durga was promised a job where she would be treated well but she ended up malnourished, beaten, and covered in blisters from hot oil being poured on her for working too slowly.
We must stand up and take action for the 100,000 children in the Phillippines who are forced to work in the country's illiegal sex industry.
Children like Charito who dropped out of school to look for work to help support her family. The promise of a good job in a nearby city quickly turned into her being sold for sex night after night.
We must no longer ignore the millions of children all over Africa who are indentured servants leased by their parents.
Boys like 6 yr old Mark Kwadwo who are forced to work 14 hours a day on a lake in Ghana deprived of food, basic necessities and schooling. He is one of a vast number of trafficked children who work in fisheries, quarries, cocoa and rice plantations throughout West and Central Africa.
We must shine a light on the darkness of human slavery. When we shine that light we realize that we all play a part in stopping it. We must speak out and change the world for the men, women and children who are trapped. We can't cover our eyes and pretend that the problem does not exist.
What will you do to End It??? Join the fight and learn how you can take action and help rescue 1 person today!!!
For more information visit www.enditmovement.com
Today I celebrate my 42nd year of life on this earth. I celebrate another year of God's blessings and favor. However I'm celebrating so much more than just another year of life. This year I'm celebrating the joy that comes from walking in freedom in Christ.
I'm no longer burdened by the endless checklists and rules. I'm no longer tormented by the thoughts that I'm not good enough, smart enough, disciplined enough, or "Christian" enough. My past mistakes no longer haunt me or paralyze me. My weaknesses no longer shame me. My inadequacies no longer define me.
I have broken the chains of legalistic religion and my delight is in walking in obedience to my Heavenly Father. I begin each day with the mindset of pleasing my God above anyone else. He is the one whose plan I want to follow. He is the one whose voice I want to hear. He is the one whose love sustains me. It never changes and never fails.
In Christ I am complete, whole, blameless, righteous, pure, forgiven and redeemed. Nothing that this world has to offer me will ever come close to satisfying my soul. I no longer strive to fill my life with stuff to find satisfaction and fulfillment.
I know that.....
True satisfaction is only found in Christ. True joy is only found in a life lived for the glory of Jesus Christ. True peace is only found when Christ is enough.
No matter what we do in this life, we must point others to Jesus. When we feed the hungry, we do it so we can have the opportunity to share Jesus with them. When we clothe the poor, we do it so we can tell them that Jesus loves them and died for them. When we provide housing for the homeless and the orphan, we do it so we can tell them the most amazing love story of all time. When we organize an inner city sports league, we use it as a tool to share the gospel.
When we focus on just the physical needs around us, we miss what it means to be a disciple of Christ. We miss the reason why God has given us the life we have. We must be bold and share with others that God is a God of wrath and love. He loved us so much that He sent His Son to save us, but if we reject His Son then we will spend eternity in hell.
Sharing the love of God is the easy part. It makes people feel warm and happy to know that God created them and loved them. But in order for people to grasp the depths of God's love, they need to know the rest of the story. They need to know that without a relationship with Christ they're headed for an eternal life of hell and torment. If we are truly the hands and feet of Jesus we must show them the scars.
We must tell them why the scars are there and what they mean for each of us. We are to live our lives with the purpose and goal of pointing others to Jesus.
Trusting in God's plan means that there will be times when I have to wait for that plan to unfold. Times when I need to take small steps of obedience instead of running full steam ahead. So often I think I have God's plan all figured out and I know what's going to happen next. In those times it's easy to ignore the little signs that God's plan isn't what I thought it was going to be.
We embarked on the FCA journey over 3 years ago. It has been a very slow process to get funding and grow the ministry. At times we have doubted that FCA was God's plan for our family. During those times, we've given those doubts to God and he has shown us just a little bit more of His plan. Not the whole plan...but enough to show us the next step to take.
Six months ago, we began a new journey. We began the application process to become full-time missionaries with ABWE. As the process moved along, God began opening some amazing opportunities for FCA as well as providing new donors and financial partners. We began to wonder what God was doing.
During this time our pastor preached a message on Nehemiah that was like God was speaking directly to me. He said, "Before you go out to accomplish anything for God, you need to spend time on your knees clarifying what God is calling you to do." So that's what I did. I began praying and asking God to reveal His plan. I also asked God to purify my heart and remove any negative attitudes that I was carrying about the ministry. I then waited on God's answer.
Some answers came quickly. God revealed that he is not done with our involvement in the Greater Dayton FCA. The rain that we've been preparing for is here. So many opportunities have come flooding in that we can barely keep up with them all. We still have a heart for Nicaragua and hope to one day serve there full-time if that's part of God's plan. However, those are things that God will reveal to us in His timing.
For now we will take small steps of obedience everyday and wait on God's timing for what comes next. God has been so faithful to hear us and answer us when we call out to him. While it's not easy to wait and it can be scary to walk into the unknown, I know that God is in control. Trusting in Him and His plan is the only thing that can bring true joy and peace in the unknown.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.