Shouting FREEDOM | National Human Trafficking Awareness Day Monday, January 11th, 2016
Last summer, I felt God calling my heart to attend a women’s conference in Redding, CA. So with very little planning, I got on a plane and went. I was fully prepared to meet God there, but what happened on my trip out was just as important as anything that took place at the conference. (It seems like that’s how life often is.)
While I was catching my last connecting flight from Oklahoma, I saw Lisa Bevere standing by the window conversing with another woman. Truthfully, she was one of the people I had been looking forward to hearing at the conference, so I decided to take the opportunity to meet her. I decided to go over and casually stand near the two women, waiting for the chance to say hello.
I stood with my back to them, and I almost had the courage to introduce myself three times before I finally spun around said, “I’ve been listening to you! I just wanted to say hi!” (I will admit that it was a little awkward for everyone.)
But Lisa, being the wonderful woman she is, invited me into their conversation, and I am so glad that she did. Because that is how I met Michelle Lutz. We could go into detail about how God often uses moments like these. We could talk about how we are drawn to certain situations because of one thing, and end up finding something else we didn’t even know we were looking for. But we will save that for another day. All you need to know for now is that God placed Michelle in my life, and I’m so grateful that He did.
We spent the next few minutes, and then consequently, the next few days at the conference getting to know one another and sharing our hearts for ministry. Michelle told me her story and let me into her life – both of which are simply beautiful. I learned that until recently, she had been a worship pastor for a large church in LA. God had called her to take a season and focus on raising her babies and caring for her family, so she had stepped down from her position, but she knew that God had something else for her as well in the meantime.
In her own words, Michelle said,”I found myself praying and asking God what else He might have for me during this time. Yes, mom of 3 and wife to an amazing man, but what else? Through lots of prayer and leading of His Spirit, I am taking steps of faith in worship ministry. My heart is to not only to lead worship and write songs for congregational worship, but also to advocate for those who do not have a voice.”
So with her friend Phillip Meneses, she wrote a song called Freedom, and made the choice that funds from the single would go to support the A21 campaign.This non-profit organization believes that together, we can end human trafficking through prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships. A21 has an incredible freedom report published on their site that describes what they have been able to do in such a short period of time. They are doing unbelievable things!
Today is National Human Trafficking awareness day, and friend, the statistics are staggering. According to A21’s website, it is estimated that there are over 27 million people in bondage across the globe, and it is believed that only 1-2% of these people will ever be rescued. (Did you know that the average age of a trafficking victim is 12 years old?)
So today, we make a choice. We raise our for voices for each of those 27 million people… and we raise awareness for organizations such as A21 that exist to set the captives free. To go in for the one. To celebrate each life rescued.
Sometimes, we wonder what we can do to make a difference, and we feel like our help is insignificant in comparison to the enormity of the problem. But friend, we also have the chance to say, I will stand behind those who have a way of reaching the people I cannot. I will help extend their arms with my support.
I am proud to say that I support the A21 campaign. I am also proud to say that with your purchase of the song, “Freedom,” you won’t only be reminded to pray for those who are still in captivity, but you will have helped a tremendous organization reach the very people you are praying for.
Will you help us raise awareness today? Will you be a part of those crying out for FREEDOM!? I hope you will join me.