For the past two years our Fellowship has had a wonderful partnership with IJM (International Justice Mission). I want to commend this ministry to you. Through this partnership, FAIR’s Winter 2017 appeal Rebuilding Innocence focused on establishing an aftercare program for children rescued from cybersex trafficking in the Philippines. With the support of many generous churches, individuals and businesses, FAIR has received $152,000 [DW1] through this appeal to launch a two year pilot foster care program for these children. I look forward to being able to share stories of the progress and impact of this project with you in the future.
FREEDOM SUNDAY is September 24
I wanted to communicate to you another opportunity to partner with IJM this September. Read the following from Rachel Brouwer of IJM:
“The Bible tells us that God cares deeply about all aspects of spiritual devotion (worship, prayer, fasting) when it engages His people in confronting injustice. Isaiah 58:6 says, ‘Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the ties of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free…’ These words are not just for the people of Israel, but for us today.
Slavery still exists. But God has a plan for it, and it begins with God’s people. Transformation happens when the global church prays and acts. To that end, we invite your local church to join the global movement called FREEDOM SUNDAY. On September 24, join hundreds of faith communities globally as they focus on the reality of slavery in our world and pray for its end. We’ve developed information and prayer resources to help facilitate this time of prayer.”
You can find and download the resources HERE:
Fellowship Pacific Church involved in helping to END Slavery
I recently connected with pastors Mark Clark and Randy Watson of the Village Church, Surrey, BC. This is a recent Fellowship Pacific church plant that has grown to approximately 4,500 people. The church has been working with our partners at IJM in recent years. I learned that they sent a short-term mission team to India to learn more and minister to those caught in slavery. The close partnership between IJM and Village Church is led by pastor Randy who serves as the missions director:
“Village Church desires to see justice and empowerment advanced in our community and around the world. This spring a team from Village Church arrived in India to see the work of one of our partners that focuses on rescuing and restoring people trapped in slavery.
“During our time in India we met with over 20 rescued survivors of slavery and heard their stories of trauma, loss, and redemption. All of these individuals had completed a two year restoration program and were being equipped to return home to spread awareness in their own communities.
“I sat and listened to the story of a young woman who ended up enslaved because she borrowed money to pay for her husband’s funeral. He suddenly passed away, and she wanted to provide a funeral that would honour his life. The lender enslaved her and her two young daughters were left with another family in her community. Seven years later she was rescued and reunited with her daughters. Her vulnerability and bravery to share her experience was incredible and it made tangible the redemptive work of Jesus in her life.
“One of the organization directors said, ‘We have been able to see lives transformed, our lives have been touched, and we have been transformed too.’
“It was a privilege to be able to meet these individuals and the team that have spent their lives rescuing and serving those caught in this horrific situation. I believe that the church should be known to run to meet the needs of the most vulnerable.
“When we were speaking with the executive director of the office she said, ‘Church is our hope for ending slavery, be it in India or the other parts of the globe. If church is not involved we are not going to eradicate slavery at all.’
“This statement is a commission to us all, that we as the church must rise to the challenge of being aware of, and involved in the injustices in our community and around the world and work together to bring them to an end.”
What can your church do on FREEDOM SUNDAY?
Have a blessed week