#Opportunityisnowhere


Okay, be honest with me; how did you read that title. I dare you to vote:

Sometimes it seems like life dropped you off at the wrong street corner. You were supposed to be at Park Place or the Boardwalk and somehow ended up on Baltic Ave! Big difference there!

Everything that you do unto God is building a foundation of faith in your life. When you think you’ve missed your calling, be faithful where you are, pray and work unto the Lord in all you do and you will find that as long as you’re seeking Him, He is preparing you for what is to come. Seek HIM first!

Faith acts without delay. It doesn’t always make sense. But obedience (especially when you don’t understand) is the highest form of faith. God’s ways are higher than our ways. We cannot comprehend all He is doing or why things happen to be the way they are – but we can trust in His goodness to know that He will work all things together for good.

Sometimes I want to think I’m in the wrong place. I’m nowhere near the place I thought I would be by this time. It feels like there is nothing for me sometimes. Why would God bring me to such a place? Everything is seemingly at a stand-still. It is so tempting to pull back and just let things slide, wait on Him and do much of nothing. But I’m called to be faithful where I am even when I don’t understand why I happen to be here.

Opportunity is not nowhere, opportunity is NOW HERE. It is in this place I can take time to experience and truly know the heart of my glorious Lord. It is in this place that I can breathe deep and rest in who He is. It is in this place that I want to be found faithful living my life unto Him.

When you find yourself in that place, even when you think it seems mundane, be faithful nothing done unto the Lord is ever in vain. Take heart when you feel like opportunities, promises, and the fullness of what you’re  called to nowhere, because it is NOW HERE. Faithfulness breeds fruitfulness. 

#BeFaithful

#FaithfulisFruitful

 

Dream Beyond the Dream


I used to think I was a dreamer.

I always say that, “to dream is to go beyond yourself…” – and there is truth in that. However, today I realized I’m not the dreamer I thought I was. I have dreams that go beyond my capability – beyond me and into a realm where the only chance of them succeeding is God alone putting His hand into them. Then my dream hit me – really an internship opportunity – it sounded like a dream. It was everything I love and everything I want to do all in one. I would have said “yes” in a heartbeat. God had other plans…or rather has other plans. I still would love to be saying “yes” to this. Traveling all over the world, dancing, pioneering a creative arts ministry in a church and raising awareness for human trafficking — that sounds most incredible to me — and that is only the highlights. There is more.

When I think that this is my dream and it practically fell into my lap all for God to say, “no” I wonder what He has in mind store.  Then I thought about it a bit more and realized if the dream I envisioned can practically fall in my lap by being offered to me by someone else, maybe I’m not dreaming big enough. Though this I realize that God wants me to expand my vision. Before I didn’t think I could possibly think any bigger than I was…now…now is another story. It is most incredible what can happen when you dream with God. It opens a whole new realm of thinking. 

But dreaming is meant to go beyond casting visions…you’re meant to live them out.

dreamsedit

 

This week I have been challenged to dream with God and I am challenging you to do the same. If you can achieve your dream in your own strength you’re not dreaming – you are simply living a goal-oriented life.  We have lost the art of dreaming well. Let us go back to a dream-state with God. Nothing is impossible for Him.

What is your dream?

Love’s House


Haunted. That is exactly what Christian Dunn felt when he awoke in a cold sweat. He had been dreaming, but it was all too real. Could he even call it dreaming? It was a nightmare! After two weeks he still could not shake the look in those eyes.

Chris had been in India on a mission trip. Posing as customers, he and a friend infiltrated one of the brothels that was planned to be raided. Nothing could have prepared him for what he had seen there. Girls and women of all ages – some couldn’t have been more than eight years old were sitting there. All of them had a lifeless look in their eyes. The unmentionable horrors they had endured had killed their spirit. It broke his heart to see such injustice. He was sickened by the sight of it all. Just as much, he was disgusted at himself. To pose as the very thing he hated – a man that victimized these girls and women for cheap pleasure, made him sick to his stomach.

There was one girl in particular – she couldn’t have been more than ten years old. Dressed in her finery, her eyes were unlike the others. She must have been new to the brothel because there was still a spark in her eyes – there was still life in her eyes instead of the hollowness that was found in the others. The other girls did nothing more than glance at the men when they had come in. But this girl, she was different. Somehow she stood out amongst the others.

The women and girls did not have names. They had been stripped of their names when they were brought there. Whether they had been picked up or sold by their own families or had come on their own accord – they were not called by names, they each had a number – A number because they were not be human enough for a name for the unspeakable things that were done to them on a daily basis. Number 126 stared out at them. Her eyes held the truth of the shameful acts that she was forced into, but they also held onto a thread of hope that she could be rescued. She hadn’t given up yet. As she looked at Christian and Drew her eyes were hard as if to say, You won’t break me. After a moment or two though, they softened. The girl must have realized that they were not there to hurt her. They were not like other men. How she picked up on that, neither were sure. But in a moment the look in her eyes changed as if to beg them,help me! Save me!

 As Chris and Drew left the brothel, both had heavy spirits for the terrors that went on in that place. They felt disgusted at the fact that they even acted as customers for such a place. They prayed as they walked back to the camp. The night after tomorrow, there would be a raid on the brothel that they had visited. The women and girls would go free and be moved to a home which the team had just finished building weeks earlier.

Love’s House – it was called. Their theme verse was found in 1 Corinthians 13, “Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.” In this home the rescued victims would be taught to read and write with the word of God. They also had a ministry to counsel the victims of the sex trafficking that they had lived through. Each woman would be taught a skill to live on. It was a nine month program and worth every penny put into it, every hour spent working on it, and every life that was changed by it.

Many who worked in the home were volunteers and several were women who had previously been brought through the program who had found such a miraculous healing in Jesus that penetrated deep into the soul. The once hardened, lifeless eyes were now bright and hopeful and filled with purpose. She always had a smile and was the first to share her testimony with the new girls.

Healing hadn’t come easy for her. Mitali’s very mother was the woman who ran the brothel and she gone and sold her off to another. After being sent away to another town in India, Mitali had to learn to adjust to life in the brothel. In her heart she daily dealt with the hurt that her mother had sold her into this life – her very own mother. She could not understand the rejection. The pain of it stung deep inside her heart. But one thing that Mitali had learned over the course of her short life and with her time in the brothels – you had to do whatever it took to survive. That meant numbing yourself from all experiences. You had to become dead because to live hurt. To live meant not only the pain, but shame and emotions too raw and too powerful to even put a name to. She thought she had reached that place of a rock-hardened soul – then she was rescued. It didn’t happen in a moment, but it was a process. But it happened . And it was in Love’s House that she discovered what true love really is – and WHO true love is. It was here she met Love Himself – Jesus.

#31DaysofFreedom

This is a fictional story containing very true events. This happens many times. Please get plugged in and help save these girls. Give them a chance to meet Love. 

 

Spoken Word


From the Phoenix Dream Center:

Spoken Word on Sex Trafficking

 

Wordless Wednesday – Love146


Founded in 2002, Love146 works toward the abolition of child trafficking and exploitation through prevention and aftercare. www.love146.org

Your Life For the Gospel


“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot.

What do you burn for?

What in your life gives eternal value? 

You never know when your last day is. Are you prepared to lay down your life for what you claim to believe? Do you really burn for the gospel? Are you truly passionate about God, or are you in love with your religion?

The gospel will be an offense…persecution will come and persist, and in a paradox, instead of dying out, this will cause an uproar and a move of God – it will come out of the persecution.

Your life for the gospel – a life that makes sense in eternity. I life lived for God.

What burdens and burns in your heart?

My life for the gospel looks like invading the low and dark places that only the broken and shame are found. The victims, the abused, the prostitutes, the emotionally devastated, the hopeless, the runaway, the lost, the disillusioned, those who no longer see their priceless worth after being stripped down to what they see as nothing, the hurting – the broken women.

My life for the gospel looks like living the unloved and battered women and girls. To reach out and rescue the ones from which innocence has been torn away.

My life for the gospel looks like reaching into the dark places of a broken soul for the light the enemy has tried so desperately to steal from them.

My life for the gospel brings a restoration to the broken and a recognition of redemption. It brings hope.

What does your life for the gospel look like? What burdens your heart? Where can you make a difference? 

SOLD-THE SLAVE NEXT DOOR-GOD IN A BROTHEL


Three books I read and would recommend for anyone to get an understanding on the trafficking that is happening around the globe and in America today. I have included descriptions and each title is linked to Amazon. Any questions, please comment and I will be more than happy to answer!

Take a stand against trafficking today!

#31DaysofFreedom

 

book11) Sold – Patricia McCormick

Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch with her best friend from school, and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp. But when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family’s crops, Lakshmi’s stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family.

He introduces her to a glamorous stranger who tells her she will find her a job as a maid in the city. Glad to be able to help, Lakshmi journeys to India and arrives at “Happiness House” full of hope. But she soon learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution.

An old woman named Mumtaz rules the brothel with cruelty and cunning. She tells Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can pay off her family’s debt—then cheats Lakshmi of her meager earnings so that she can never leave.

Lakshmi’s life becomes a nightmare from which she cannot escape. Still, she lives by her mother’s words— Simply to endure is to triumph—and gradually, she forms friendships with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying new world. Then the day comes when she must make a decision—will she risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life?

Written in spare and evocative vignettes, this powerful novel renders a world that is as unimaginable as it is real, and a girl who not only survives but triumphs.

book22) The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today – Kevin Bales

In this riveting book, authors and authorities on modern day slavery Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter expose the disturbing phenomenon of human trafficking and slavery that exists now in the United States. InThe Slave Next Door we find that slaves are all around us, hidden in plain sight: the dishwasher in the kitchen of the neighborhood restaurant, the kids on the corner selling cheap trinkets, the man sweeping the floor of the local department store. In these pages we also meet some unexpected slaveholders, such as a 27-year old middle-class Texas housewife who is currently serving a life sentence for offences including slavery. Weaving together a wealth of voices–from slaves, slaveholders, and traffickers as well as from experts, counselors, law enforcement officers, rescue and support groups, and others–this book is also a call to action, telling what we, as private citizens, can do to finally bring an end to this horrific crime

book33) God in a Brothel: An Undercover Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue – Daniel Walker

This is the true story of an undercover investigator’s experiences infiltrating the multi-billion dollar global sex industry.

It is a story of triumph for the children and young teens released from a life of slavery and the rescuer who freed many hundreds of victims leading to the prosecution of dozens of perpetrators. And it is a story of haunting despair for those left behind in corrupt systems of law enforcement.

It is the personal story of Daniel Walker, one man who followed a path of costly discipleship, agonizing failure and unlikely redemption.

And it is a challenge to God’s people to join in the battle that all might be freed.

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