Be a Voice! by Sharon Ngai

Be a Voice! by Sharon Ngai

My heart was forever marked in Bangkok, Thailand. I was on outreach in one of Thailand’s most notorious red-light districts when I saw the faces of exploited girls that I could never erase. The bar we entered was set up in stadium style seating with girls dancing on a center stage surrounded by men watching them. The girls wore string bikinis, each identified by a number. One particular girl caught my attention as she struggled to keep pace in energy as she danced. The mama-san (the woman in authority over the girls) saw the young lady struggling to keep pace and, without warning, she pulled out a whip and whipped the young lady across her back. The sound of the whipping pierced my soul. In that very moment, I saw the young lady’s anguish. But she immediately hid her pain with a smile that masqueraded the true measure of what her soul felt. She danced with energy, with seduction, in the same manner as the other women around her. They all had smiles on their faces, carefully hiding any trace of sadness or distress within them.

What took place there is etched in my memory, and when I left Thailand, I knew I had to do more. That was in 2010. Since then, I’ve formed an organization called Justice Speaksto do local outreaches in Los Angeles. I’ve also returned to Thailand every year since, bringing a team with me. Answering the call to fight human trafficking can be daunting in light of the massive scale of injustice. But the Lord told us early on what our greatest weapon in warfare should be in our fight against this grave injustice: Prayer.

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience…” The tone of this passage is not passive. We are told to aggressively engage in a battle and take a stance of warfare that is empowered supernaturally. In our own human ability, we cannot take down prostitution rings, rescue victims of exploitation, or expose arenas of corruption. It would be impossible. Human trafficking, like many other issues of injustice, exists because of a spiritual problem, and a spiritual solution is required to confront it.

Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood…but against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Through a series of events, the Lord revealed to us very early on that He will TURN this issue of human trafficking through prayer. We stepped in with our measure of faith and the mandate on our lives in prayer and began to see immediate results. We have consistently led a justice prayer watch over the years at Radiance International(Hollywood House of Prayer) where my husband Jonathan and I pastor, and we have put on prayer strikes across Los Angeles and Thailand.

Through these initiatives we have seen numerous establishments shut down, women rescued, prostitution rings exposed, and major king-pimps taken down. In Pattaya, a city in Thailand known as the major sex tourism destination in all of Asia, there is a notorious street known as Walking Street. We have done eight prayer strikes there to date, and things have dramatically shifted with bars shutting down and the number of women exploited immensely decreasing. Stories of breakthroughs are a regular occurrence—not by coincidence, but because of prayer.

On behalf of my own city, Los Angeles, consistent prayer has gone up for the freedom of those trapped in the sex trade. I am certain there are others interceding along with us, but we have stood consistently in a stance of war battling in prayer to see breakthrough, and it has manifested at the city level. As believers, we need to realize the significance of our post in the spirit. If we relinquish our place of authority in the spirit, the individuals designated to engage the battle in the natural (law enforcement, etc.) will see minimal results. I believe because we have taken our post seriously in the spirit, our city has seen a significant breakthrough in the capturing of perpetrators and the rescuing of women and children. Our city launched the Human Trafficking Bureau, a one of a kind agency focused on investigating crimes of human trafficking rescuing minors, and prosecuting traffickers. Since its inception in November 2015 through March 2018, there have been well over 200 victims rescued and almost 1000 arrests made. I applaud the courageous men and women on the frontlines of my city rescuing lives, but they need us to break open the way in the unseen realm, so their job can be done in the natural. Likewise, we need them to continue the courageous work they do in the natural realm on a daily basis.

When you pray, you may not know the immediate results of your prayers, but be assured that your prayers areheard by God. Imagine your prayers being launched like missiles hitting the mark as God directs your intercession! As you choose to partner with God in prayer, He will use you as an agent of breakthrough upon the earth. You may never physically rescue a child trafficked in the sex trade, but through prayer He will bring you onto the frontlines to dismantle the structures and powers that hold these children captive. Your prayers just might be the missile that liberates not just one, but hundreds of victims.

Your voice counts!

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Sharon Ngai is the Founder of Justice Speaks, a non-profit anti-trafficking organization based in Los Angeles. Speaking at conferences and workshops from college campuses and the United Nations, Sharon’s passion to end human trafficking and raise up a generation of Justice Champions has had immeasurable impact. In 2010, Sharon linked arms with Bridges to the Nations in Thailand to ensure that women and children at risk in traffic prone regions would be protected. Since then, hundreds of Thai children have been reached, including exploited women trapped in the sex trade. Sharon also launched the Students4Justice Human Trafficking Curriculum, with topics that include pornography and the objectification of women in culture. Her greatest passion in this fight is to fuel a generation in prayer for Justice–for the ending of human trafficking, and all forms of exploitation. Sharon and her husband, Jonathan, are Lead Pastors of Radiance International(Hollywood House of Prayer), an apostolic center in the heart of Hollywood that is training a new breed of creatives to impact Media, Arts & Entertainment for Christ. She is a proud mom of three beautiful children.

Originally published in the Fall (September 1) 2018 edition of Voices of Justice Magazine

 

 

A Heart of Perseverance by Blaire Fraim

A Heart of Perseverance by Blaire Fraim


She had relapsed again. Just before Christmas, Shay had gone back to the warmth of the manholes under the bridge, selling her body for $10 in order to buy her next hit of “the rock” as she called it, or crack cocaine. This wasn’t the first time either, I’d been down this road with her four times already, each time helping her get into a detox, then a rehab program, then a job, then her own apartment. Months of sobriety, the safety of her apartment, the security of a job, would be thrown away in a moment when the traumas of her life would come flooding in. It was too much for me to comprehend; I only knew that my heart was broken. I wondered if she would survive this relapse; dark thoughts crowded in as I feared that death would be the only peace my friend would know.

For those who work in back alleys with the addicted, exploited, and vulnerable; we know that rarely is a story as simple as: “She was rescued and lived happily ever after.” In fact, I’ve never encountered that story—instead I’ve known the cycles of shame and trauma that often look like one step forward followed by two steps back. In the moments when she takes two steps back, I’ve come to cling to the truth that shame or addiction is never the end of the story.

Love is the end of the story, because love never fails. Yet in the midst of the story God is writing, when we’ve yet to see the breakthrough we know will come, we must be a people of perseverance.

“I will run the course of your commandments, for you will enlarge my heart.-Psalm 119: 32

Early in my journey of working with exploited men and women, the Lord brought me to this verse and has become vision for my life: I want a big heart. In a movement championing justice, I began to see that many peers who were fighting alongside me were bitter, disappointed, and striving in their own humanistic zeal to bring about their version of justice. Hearts shriveled up because of their own disappointed expectations with the people they serve, the apathetic government, or their disgust with the perpetrators, etc. In the low moments, like with my friend Shay, I too was tempted to grow bitter, to feel completely defeated when I wasn’t seeing her change. Many of us will face these moments in our life, moments that call for perseverance. A perseverance that doesn’t merely dig in its heels to keep fighting, but a perseverance that surrenders to the only One who can save. In our pursuit of justice there is a tension we must walk: to take action and advocate for the oppressed, loving them through the messiness of their pain, but also surrendering their lives and future into the One who holds them in the palm of His hand.

The pressures of life, the disappointments, and the betrayals will invite us to protect ourselves—to insulate ourselves from the pain of another. We will be
tempted to grow cold and uncaring. In truth elf-preservation is second-nature and yet the gospel calls us to a compassion that causes us to enter into the suffering of another. This can only be sustained in the place of prayer and in beholding the Servant King Jesus who will not fail and who will not be discouraged until He brings forth justice (Isaiah 42). When He is our motivation, our strength and our hope, He gives grace for the journey. He provides everything we need that in the end we would be saints who have run the course set before them, who have not loved their lives unto death, and who have great big hearts—with eyes shining, who still weep over the poor and oppressed of the earth! This is our inheritance, this is our promise.

Shay survived that relapse. She survived a few more after that, too. Today she is living independently, working hard at her job and beginning to rebuild her relationship with her estranged children. She still struggles, drugs are still a strong temptation that she must work on daily. Yet in the community of people around her she is beginning to run the course God has marked for her, and she too has a heart that is rising out of the ashes, that is growing bigger and bigger every day.

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Blaire has served in the non-profit sector for 9 years, lending her leadership and experience to build Christian communities in the praxis of social justice work with marginalized and vulnerable persons. She has mobilized awareness and intervention campaigns in Brazil that saw more than 500 churches across the nation participate in reaching out to 2,000 exploited persons. She has authored an Intervention Manual for Christian Communities that gives a step-by-step look at how to develop and sustain outreach to exploited persons in their community. After years of direct work with exploited women and their communities, Blair desires to see growth and transformations sustained through the Body of Christ and the beauty of families. She and her husband currently live in Brazil as missionaries. To learn more:visit: www.fraimsinternational.com

 

 

 

Loyalty and Justice by Kezia Hatfield, L.M.F.T.

Loyalty and Justice by Kezia Hatfield, L.M.F.T.

Loyalty is an ever-developing revelation for me. Working for many years with survivors of sexual exploitation and complex trauma, as well as being a mom, daughter, sister, friend—the injustices are very personal. Loving my enemies and seeking justice can easily present as two opposing pursuits.

When loving and aligning with people, their enemies and offenses can become ours to wrestle through as well. Part of how we advocate is by taking a stand against what has been committed against them and confronting abusive systems. Survivors have often suffered years of being silenced and hidden. We want to create visibility and amplify their voice. Rightfully so. The problem is when we begin amplifying anger and offense. Very subtly it can be woven into the fabric of our organizations and the undertone of our messages. We can slowly sabotage our efforts as we confuse offense with solidarity. Roots of bitterness form underneath the surface until, instead of promoting healing connection, we are creating further division and even spiritual defilement.

Jesus said “The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended with Me.” We may ask—how could anyone be offended by people receiving healing? Could it be that society had deemed certain categories of people as undeserving? Why was Jesus consistently challenged while He was doing good? Was it that He was interfering with their current paradigms of social justice?

In the Bible, when Jonah was sent to Nineveh, he was offended when God asked him to preach salvation to the inhabitants of that city. Jonah didn’t think the Ninevites deserved God’s mercy. In the book of Joshua, before the Israelites began to possess the Promised Land, Joshua encountered the Lord. He asked if the Lord was for Israel or for their adversaries. The Lord responded with “No, but as the Commander of the Lord’s Army I have now come.” It seems God is less into sides and more into salvation. He pursues redemption for all, yet without violating loyalty or covenant to anyone. There is mystery in this and we are invited to trust.

Stages of emotional development and brain growth show us that black and white processing is a feature of a young child. They need rigid categories to determine what is safe, what is good, and what to trust. Typical thoughts are “you are either for me or against me” or “it is either this or that.” Polarized thinking is also a feature of trauma and a dissociative mind, in which “all good” or “all bad” can be a survival response. My belief is that both emotional immaturity and trauma have contributed to our tendencies to view the world and people this way. There is a process of learning how to hold tensions and engage with complexities.

It becomes perplexing as we heal and grow in God. Our understanding of His ultimate goals for restoration begin to challenge our definitions of loyalty. We are confronted with what we thought were justified offenses. We begin to see loyalty to God as being one with His nature. To emulate Him and His desires rooted in love, justice, humility, forgiveness, redemption, and restoration. These realities take on forms we did not once expect. Yet He desires that none should perish, but all to have eternal life. Our loyalty is identifying with Christ and His desire toward every person we encounter. Often we will know we are growing when He begins putting this to the test.

I personally never thought I would be sitting with Johns and extending empathy. The idea used to feel like betrayal. Now I sit in session with a John one hour and in the next hour sit with a woman who has been exploited. It does not divide me or contradict conviction. If anything, I sense a greater movement toward my wholeness – and the wholeness of God’s family. I’m sitting, as a broken-resilient person, with other broken-resilient people who are the focus of His desire. Every one has in some way perpetrated and has been victimized. Every one hopes for redemption and something more. I feel even more empowered to advocate for justice and truth and love. Those are standards that remain and protect the integrity of empathy. As many of you can closely relate, I entered this field because I saw Jesus in it and wanted to be with Him. The way He sees and relates to people is far more multidimensional and as long as there is breath in someone’s lungs to choose Him, He can transform and heal. When God releases glory like that, it vindicates all.

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After several years of experience with trauma and recovery, Kezia  believes healthy families  are  the linchpin  to all human growth and restored design. She received her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Azusa Pacific University and  is a  licensed  Marriage and Family Therapist. She  has worked  exclusively with survivors of sex trafficking and their support systems, while also developing and  overseeing  a residential aftercare program.  Through the adoption of her daughter, Kezia has seen Jesus’ glory in family and the  restoration He brings through the process.  Her  desire  is  to  nurture  the healing  integration of individuals, families, and communities – that what were once  cycles of abuse are  turned into  blessings  for future generations.


This article was originally published in Kezia’s regular 
column “Exodus to Flourish” in our Summer 2018 Issue

 

 

Freedom = Hope by Marissa Smithson

Freedom = Hope by Marissa Smithson

What does freedom mean? When I think ‘freedom’ – I think ‘hope’. Freedom means you can dream about what your future could be. Freedom also means you have the power and ability to make that future a reality. My freedom means if I want to become a teacher, I can study hard, apply for a job, and be the best teacher I can be.

This simple truth is often what separates the ‘haves’ from the ‘have-nots’. Your choices define your future; but when you don’t have the freedom to make your own choices, then there’s not much hope for your future. If you spend your life struggling to feed your family, you don’t have a lot of freedom. The same is true if you are living in any form of modern slavery. Your choices are bound by your circumstances.

So how do we change those circumstances to create opportunity and the freedom to flourish? Our response needs to be more than just rescuing victims who have been caught up in situations of modern slavery. It must also nvolve working alongside vulnerable and at-risk communities so they can grasp hold of their freedom and create a better future for themselves and their families.

For us at The Freedom Project, it’s about bringing freedom, one life at a time. Don’t get me wrong, rescues are invaluable, and The Freedom Project is directly involved in rescues in each location we work in. But if all we do is rescues, the job is only half done. We must also address the circumstances that allow exploitation to take place. We need to create programs that preventpeople from being enslaved in the first place and instead pave the way to freedom and hope.

That is exactly what The Freedom Project is doing through its prevention and restoration programs in India, Myanmar, and the Philippines. We partner with local communities to educate children and their families on the risks of exploitation, as well as equipping them with the opportunities to choose an alternative path – one of freedom that allows them to create their own futures.

One of our most effective prevention programs is soccer training in India, which I was able to witness first hand a few months ago. You may ask, ‘What does soccer have to do with preventing slavery?’ Well, that’s the beauty of it. As the young boys excitedly run drills, dribble the ball and score practise goals, they are learning responsibility, commitment, discipline and team work. In between sessions and games, the boys sit down to receive life skills lessons from the coaches. They are turning their lives around and choosing hope.

The boys are all from slum communities and are extremely vulnerable to (and many victims of) substance abuse, domestic violence, poverty, sickness, pornography, dropping out of school, criminal activity, exploitation and the list goes on… For many, they have never been shown guidance, or been taught that their actions have consequences. Now, perhaps for the first time, they have a role model who cares for and is investing in them. The coaches are a poignant example of hope, having come from the same place as these boys only a few years ago. The boys are keen to follow in their leaders’ footsteps – to be another success story rather than a statistic.

One such story is of Satish, who 10 years ago could be found wasting time in the slums and getting involved with addictive substances. He was introduced to our soccer program and began to learn the game. Not only did Satish excel at soccer, but he also overcame his addictions and studied well. He decided he wanted to influence other young boys and now shares his story of struggle, hard work and triumph as part of our coaching team. He is seen as a local hero – soft-spoken yet passionate about coming alongside the boys in their daily
struggles.

The coaches make sure the boys attend school, get help with their studies, have a place to sleep, get decent meals and are given opportunities to develop their gifts and abilities. They come alongside the boys and equip them to choose a better way forward and avoid the risks of trafficking. We want them to make choices that will protect their freedom and secure their future. We are passionate about creating this change – one life at a time.

Our prevention program is evidence that bringing freedom also leads to hope. At The Freedom Project, we focus on ending slavery by bringing freedom into lives of individuals and communities when they may be at risk of becoming involved in the world of slavery. But we can’t do it alone. We are a global movement of freedom advocates and we all need to work together to end slavery – one life at a time.

Find out more at thefreedomproject.org

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Marissa joined The Freedom Project in 2017 as Advocacy & Communications Director. With over 10 years’ experience in various international aid and justice NGOs, Marissa brings an extensive range of skills in coordinating the daily operations of The Freedom Project. She is passionate about women’s rights, fair-trade, ethical living and travel, and speaking to the Australian public about global justice issues

 

NOTE: This article was originally published in the Spring 2018 issue of Voices of Justice Magazine.

 

Freedom Through Forgiveness by Cindy Powell

Freedom Through Forgiveness by Cindy Powell

If you met her today, you would never know there was a time Maria Suarez had no hope for the future. Subjected to circumstances that would break even the strongest among us, she spent her days fighting to stay safe and sane. She wasn’t living; she was barely surviving.

But she did survive. Now that she is on the other side of the nightmare, she is speaking out. However, the first thing Maria wants you to understand is her motivation.

“It is all about giving. I want to give, to help, to save and prevent others from ending up where I did.”

Maria’s life started in humble, yet secure surroundings. She grew up in a small rural village where everyone knew everyone and trust came easily. When she was fifteen, Maria and several members of her family immigrated to the United States. Soon after, she met a woman who offered her a job cleaning house for an elderly couple. Trusting the woman, Maria eagerly agreed. However, nothing happened for a while and Maria thought the woman forgot. When the woman finally returned and approached Maria again, everything happened quickly. Too quickly. Maria wanted to tell her family, but the woman told her to get in the car if she still wanted to work. She insisted there was no time for anything else—this job had to be quick and fast.

Quick and fast lasted nearly 30 years.

Together they drove to the house of an older man. Maria didn’t know the area and didn’t speak the language, so she had no idea where she was. They left Maria in the living room while the woman and man went to speak in a back room.  Everything in her gut told her something was off and that she should run. But she held onto the hope that everything would be alright, so she stayed.

It was the last time she hoped for much of anything for a very long time.

The man, who initially smiled sweetly and pretended to be kind, had purchased her for $200. He told Maria she was his slave and he could do whatever he wanted with her. And he did. Within 24 hours, after Maria tried to protect herself during a scuffle, the man locked her outside without a stitch of clothing. When he brought her in later, he raped her after she had fallen and been knocked unconscious. This was only the beginning of the nightmare.  He became her daily tormentor subjecting her to sexual, physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual abuse. The man claimed to be a “witch” and engaged in occult rituals and practices.   Although she was able to contact her family at some point, his threats to their safety and daily mind games kept her quiet and compliant.

The nightmare continued for six long years. After this, the story took a turn straight out of a crime novel. A young man renting a converted garage apartment attached to the house became enraged by the older man’s constant noise and intrusion. During a confrontation, he beat him in the head with a heavy wooden board, killing him instantly.

You would think this would have been the end of Maria’s nightmare. Instead she found herself in a different kind of prison. This time a literal one.

Before the police arrived on the scene, the young man handed Maria the board and told her to hide it under the house. Maria was used to doing what she was told so she complied. Although she immediately cooperated with the police—even showing them where the board was hidden—she was ultimately charged and convicted as an accessory to murder.

She had no record, had not participated in the crime, and had herself been a victim, yet due to the ineptitude of a fumbling attorney who was later disbarred, she was sentenced for 25 years to life.

Despite this gross injustice, prison was a welcome reprieve. When she was arrested Maria says, “I fell to my knees and wept tears of relief. I knew I was finally safe.”

Still in her early twenties when she was sentenced, Maria had no concept of a 25+ year prison term. As the years passed, the relief faded. Anger took its place as the fog of the previous decade faded and Maria woke up to the reality of her situation. The man she had feared in the day began to haunt her dreams. Even from the grave, his torment and control over her life continued. That is until Maria did the unthinkable:

She forgave him.

Seeing her daughter’s torment, Maria’s mother urged her to pray knowing her freedom would only be found through forgiveness. It wasn’t quick or easy, but in choosing to forgive, Maria not only found freedom, she found peace.

Even more importantly, she found hope.

Maria was still physically behind bars, but for the first time since her ordeal began, her heart was free. She began to live again—even in prison. She got her GED. She learned English. She became involved in advocacy groups.  She spent much of her time helping others.

Through one of these advocacy groups, the Board of Prison Term Investigation, Maria’s wrongful conviction was finally reviewed and overturned. On May 25th, 2004, after 22.5 years behind bars, Maria was finally as free on the outside as she already was on the inside.

That’s when Maria’s remarkable story of hope really blossomed. She started the Maria Suarez Foundation, a survivor-led nonprofit dedicated to eradicating the enslavement of youth in Southern California. She also started Green Ants, a cleaning service that employs survivors of human trafficking, offering them a sustainable future.

“I want to help others who are at risk. I want them to be aware of their surroundings and able to recognize the signs of those being victimized, so they can report it. I want this generation to be aware, so they avoid the hole to begin with.”

Maria Suarez didn’t just survive, today she is thriving. Her journey from bondage to freedom was costly, but if even one person avoids the same fate because of her willingness to speak out, Maria’s story of hope will live on.

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The Maria Suarez Foundation is actively looking for like-minded volunteers and partners to help build a safer and more hope-filled world for at-risk youth in the Southern California area. If you’d like more information on how you can help, visit www.mariasuarez.org, or email Maria at mariquitasdream@yahoo.com. Please also visit the Green Ants Cleaning Service site at www.greenantsinc.com, and if you are in the local area, consider them for your housekeeping and cleaning needs.

NOTE: This article was originally published in the Spring 2018 edition of Voices of Justice Magazine

 

Digging Deep by Andrea Aasen

Digging Deep by Andrea Aasen

Within the hollows of any tree is a root system that runs deep.  This month, I have been reminded of the “roots” of injustice that occupy nations, keeping individuals and entire regions captive.  Roots such as poverty, lack of education, hopelessness, and breakdown of the family all contribute to why injustice, such as human trafficking, exist. Like a root system, these issues intertwine and diverge to create layers of complexity.  Not only that, but roots have offshoots that plant them even deeper into the ground. For example, systemic poverty alone is rooted in a number of issues, such as economics, social discriminations, and politics.

Somebody once asked me this question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer she explained is simple, “one bite at a time.” When looking at the issue of human trafficking, I am often reminded of this elephant.  It can seem enormous and overwhelming, especially when we talk about the multi-layers nourishing this injustice.  Stopping human trafficking can seem like an even bigger task, perhaps comparably as difficult as eating a 12,000-pound animal.  But if we stay in fear and intimidation, slavery will continue through generations to come.  It is only when we begin to unravel and uproot these issues, one-by-one, that we will see an end.

Preventatively, we can stop trafficking before it starts, if we all do our part. Our team in Cambodia sponsors children from poor families that would otherwise not have the opportunity to go to school. This is a simple way that we can address one of the roots that leads to human trafficking. The children we help are from poor slum and street communities, who if not educated would most likely end up working on the streets, putting them at-risk for future exploitation. While helping these children, we have found that one-by-one we are breaking the cycle of poverty that leads to exploitation.  I am proud to say that many of the kids we sponsor in education are now empowered and are top in their class.  One little girl just received mention that she is #6 in the nation, for her grade level.  Wow! This generation will not face the vices that future generations endured, because whole root systems are being removed. We are just one of many groups addressing issues within the nation connected to education. Just imagine what will happen when we all do our part.

I remember a 9 year-old girl from Canada who desperately wanted to help poor children.  She reached out to me to ask about the needs and decided she would sponsor children from poor communities, so they could attend school. She prayed and processed ideas to earn money and decided she would make bracelets and sell them to raise funds. Together, with her friends, she sold enough bracelets to sponsor 11 children for one full year of education! I was so inspired at her ability to look at her gifts, attach her faith, and use them to change a whole community. She looked at the issue and was not overwhelmed, because she began by looking at one child and one need at a time.  With each child came another, and eventually, she was able to help eleven.

Digging deep and addressing these issues will eventually have a big impact on persons, communities, cities, and entire nations.  Maybe you can’t sponsor a child’s education, but you can bring hope in other ways.  Wherever your nation is, you can begin addressing the roots of injustice within your community. Perhaps a root in your area is a lack of information on why or how human trafficking exists in your city or nation, so you could create awareness by sharing in schools, your workplace, or in your neighborhood.  If poverty is an issue, you could help at a local food shelter or be a listening ear to those who are poor in spirit. Whatever your gifts, experiences, or spheres of influence, begin by using what’s already in your hand. Your actions will have deep impact that will eventually change whole nations.

Love has a face.

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Andrea Aasen is the Director of Extreme Love Ministries. She is a visionary leader with a heart to see justice released to the nations. Andrea has a desire to see women and children empowered and walking in their God created destinies.  She believes in the power of LOVE to transform nations and individuals, and as a result, has developed various community, business, and advocacy models to support and protect victims of human trafficking, abuse, and other forms of exploitation. 

 

This article was originally published in Andrea’s regular column “Love Has a Face” in our March 2018 issue. 

 

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