Being a World Changer.

Creating families. Loving orphans.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Let’s chat about this idea of being a world changer.  It’s trendy these days, but what makes someone a world changer?

Eugene Cho made this statement recently, “I’m convinced that this might be the most overrated generation…We might be more in love with the idea of changing the world than actually changing the world.”

Truth.

1. World Changers are passionate.

Changing the world is not a hobby.  Abraham Lincoln did not contemplate ending slavery in his spare time.  Mother Teresa did not serve the poor when she had a free Saturday. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t send an occasional tweet about civil rights.  This is a lifestyle.  It’s living and breathing a passion for seeing {insert social issue} eradicated.  World changers wake up thinking about it, feel it creep into their thoughts during the day, and go to bed dreaming of a world without it.

2. World Changers…

View original post 1,036 more words

Rescue is Life Changing

Life is good.  And the Exodus Road is bringing that goodness to victims of modern day slavery all over the place these days.  They are bringing hope, life, and Jesus to these women and children and it’s powerful.

I hope to bring you encouragement that change is happening.  That lives are being redeemed.  That hope is alive and well across the globe for freedom.  That you can play a very real part in ending modern day slavery.

To start, I encourage you to watch their videos and subscribe to their blog.  This will keep you up to date and informed of their different projects and opportunities to participate in rescue efforts.

One of their current projects is, in my opinion, really awesome.  They are collecting rocks.  And each rock represents a rescue.  I love the visual aspect of this.  Each rock (currently 23 and quickly growing) represents a life that is now free from slavery.

John Bergquist, who traveled with Exodus Road this January, has compiled some pretty mind blowing statistics.  You can check out his blog here.  I would like to highlight some of them.  {Note, these are courtesy of Exodus Road and John Bergquist’s research.}

  • According to the International Labor Organization, in some Asian countries, their economies are built on the sex industry — from 2% up to 14%!
  • According to UNICEF in their The State of the Worlds Children 2012, somewhere between 22% – 50% are children, of which most are trafficked for the sex industry.
  • The UNODC report on human trafficking states that much of that activity happens in SE Asia.
  • However, don’t be fooled…trafficking happens right here in the US every day.  CNN is home to The Freedom Project and they report that the number of US trafficking victims is roughly equivalent to the number of murders each year. {The Slave Next Door by Kevin Bales}  And only 1% of human trafficking cases are prosecuted in the US.  See the graphic below from the Freedom Project:

freedom.number.t1larg.4.ok

Pretty incredible, right?  The Exodus Road is dedicated to changing these statistics.  But these are more than just statistics to them…they are real people who need rescuing.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? – Isaiah 58:6

From Passion 2013, which was focused on ending modern day slavery http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K69NdzPvwj0

Watch the Video

And finally. I would also like to share some of Matt’s, the Executive Director of Exodus Road, thoughts and his powerful words.  You can read the full post here.  He writes:

Victims of human trafficking are not lost forever, unless the very last one of us gives up.

And till the day they are free, I choose to hope and set my eyes on the horizon. There I see freedom coming–  freedom for victims of human trafficking and freedom for me as I seek it for them.  Freedom is the very aroma of God and love is his firm step.  I have never known joy as I know it today, as I too take up the smell and step of God.  Justice is the mix of these two elements, freedom and love.  When both are present, the Kingdom of God is realized.

Last night I witnessed the slavery of over two hundred women.  On my left sat a young virgin and on my right a young girl maybe twenty years old. Both for sale. All for sale. And I wanted this justice fueled by love for them so very badly.

This work that we are doing is a powerful thing in my own life. It stretches beyond my comfort, calls me to be courageous in the face of fear, costs me greatly and has shown me the face of God in ways that have surprised me.

Many people claim to know God.  If the work of rescue has taught me anything, it is that I know very little about God and am a fool to claim that I do.  I now believe that he is so much bigger than I will ever comprehend and his love, justice and mercy are equally unfathomable.

This is a big story, after all, that we are living.  A story of impossible odds, brokenness and courage, passion and justice.  It is the best story I have ever read, and I still do not know how it will end.

I am forever changed, and we are only at the beginning.

-Matt Parker.  Executive Director, The Exodus Road.   Jan. 2013

 

A Clear Vision

As I work on creating a clear vision for the future of Kupenda 127, my research has led me to many other amazing organizations doing phenomenal things.  I wanted to share some of these encouraging stories with you.  In the very near future, we will be releasing our vision for where we are headed.

Have you heard of Project 127?  They are out of Colorado and have made it their goal for Colorado to have no waiting children.  In 2007, there were more than 800 children waiting in foster care…today there are none.  Their mission is spreading…check out this awesome  news slip and article about what Arizona is doing to continue the mission.

This movement has also spread to Fresno, California.  Christian Alliance for Orphans has highlighted this program in a great blog that you can read here and here.  Or you can check out the full article from Christianity Today here.

And even right here in the Pacific Northwest, the least churched region in America.  CAFO also wrote a blog on the awesome upcoming events and programs in Oregon and Washington.  You can check that out here.  I am part of the planning for the Spokane Orphan Summit.  If you are in the Spokane area, I strongly encourage you to attend.  Portland churches are supporting their foster community, read this encouraging article here.

And finally, a video about a family who adopted 5 siblings from Peru.  While today’s post has been mostly about domestic programs and movements, our heart is for the orphan — no matter where they are from.  And this video is encouraging too, because domestically most waiting children are older and have siblings…  And we need families to step up and take in these kiddos too.

I hope these videos and articles encourage and inspire you.  If you would like to partner with us in some way, please contact me.  And please be praying for us and we move through the next weeks of changes and new exciting happenings.

Use Your Power For Rescue

I wanted to share an amazing opportunity to support a fantastic organization.  The guys (and gals) at The Exodus Road are changing lives.

They need to fund some upcoming investigations.  The time to end child sex trafficking is now.  Please check out this link for info on buying this fantastic shirt and supporting this organization.

 

I also encourage you to follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

They are working in the trenches to end trafficking.  Right now, they are in SE Asia working with investigators and local police to assist in investigations and prosecution of traffickers. And they need our help to keep these missions going.

So show them some love and get this awesome limited edition tee-shirt and show not just them but the world that you are committed to end human trafficking and the trafficking of child sex slaves.

Letter to an Investigator

Blog for Rescue
The Exodus Road is such an amazing organization.  They specialize in covert operations to free victims of trafficking and bring the traffickers to justice.  They have presented an awesome opportunity for you to be a part of this journey.
I can only imagine what it is like to be an investigator in these dark, scary places.  Where your life could literally be on the line at any given time.  How difficult it must be to gather evidence to form your case, leaving victims in these brothels until the police can arrest their captors and bring them to justice.  And what about when the system doesn’t work?  Your case is dropped and the criminals get off.  How discouraging.
201849_127741400633297_100001923148390_195066_402960_o-600x448
Laura Parker, an Exodus Road staffer, wrote in her open letter, “Thank you for pairing action with conviction, and thank you for your sacrifice on behalf of the oppressed. I know that you seldom get thanked or recognized, seldom get the pats on the back that you very much deserve, but please know from this family, you are a bit of a hero.  A lot of a hero.  Because you do the work that so few have the guts to do. You stay up late at night, and you choose to expose yourself to things the rest of us want to ignore.”

And they are extending to you an opportunity to write a letter too!  Handwritten letters (our preference) can by mailed by January 5 to:

The Exodus Road
PO Box 7591 Woodland Park, Colorado 80863

OR you can simply submit your letter online.

They will print, translate, and deliver the letters in person to these AMAZING investigators in January.  They will also make copies so each letter gets to each investigator.

A simple gesture that can reach so far.  These guys rarely (if ever) get a thank you — especially from strangers around the world!!

I would like to challenge my readers to send a letter — my goal is 10 letters.  I will be writing one and my daughter too.  So, if just 8 of you sent a letter we could meet that goal.  Comment or message me so I can see if meet this goal.  It only takes a few minutes but could provide needed encouragement to keep these guys going!

Watch the Video

 

Unity — Reflecting on Making Jesus First & Living Second

Reflecting on Week 7, Day 7: Unity from Doug Bender’s new book, Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First {buy it here:  Live Second and bonus! If you buy before December 15, author Doug Bender is offering an amazing bonus which you can find here.}

Check out: John 17:20–23

I chose this topic to finish my posts, changing my original selection to this instead  in light of the Sandy Hook shooting that took place yesterday.  (#sandyhook)

I have spent the last two days wrestling with emotions, praying, and crying — and enjoying the beautiful moments I have had with my daughter.

Events like Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Clackamas, Virginia Tech, 9/11 — they all impact us.  They remind me that evil exists and that we can’t fix everything.

But Jesus can.  He can take begin the healing through our pain.  He is the great Comforter.

A beautiful thing happens after tragedy — people come together, they pray.  A resounding call to prayer went up yesterday.  People that are not usually one to talk about faith or prayer were praying, attending vigils, thanking God for their life.  This gives me hope for our future — that people realize where healing and comfort truly comes from — God.

My daughter, Fiona, spent the night last night with her grandparents.  She had heard about the shooting earlier in the day (she is home schooled).  Apparently while she was at my parents, they must have been watching the news.  She came home and definitely wanted to talk about it.

She said she wanted to call her friend right away to make sure they knew what was going on.  Then, the tears began to fall.  She said that if she was back at her old school, she would feel terrified to return.  I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but the pain that she was feeling almost surprised me.  I didn’t expect to hear her fear.

She wanted to try and find a vigil to attend.  She wanted to feel that unity and solidarity of community to overcome that fear.  To be a part of something bigger, to feel like she doing something.

Our country has felt so divided through the election and politics.  For a brief moment, we all stop to feel each other’s pain, to hold each other and comfort one another.  And realize God holds the key.

While I know that this feeling of unity may not last, it encourages me to push forward — that healing comes through unity.  And that Jesus can unify us.  But we must do our part.  And that really begins with living second.

Love Jesus.  Love others.  Live Second.