I'm so glad you are here! I hope during your visit you get a glimpse of God's heart for we become what we are gazing at. I want to be a blessing to you so I've made these Resources available to you and have the Missional blog tab for practical ideas of how to live on mission right where you are.
Currently I am writing my way through Judges sharing glimpses of God's heart and character for a weekday devotional. To check out the entire series so far head on over the the Judges Devotional. And if you are a blogger, come on over on Friday's for a blog hop.
"One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. The people of Gaza were told, "Samson is here!" So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, "At dawn we'll kill him." But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron." Judges 16:1-3
My husband Austin is leading a missions trip in Cambodia (taking 8 students and partnering with Agape International Missions). Just this morning he said on facebook, "Staking out a sex potential traffic situation in our hotel in Cambodia tonight. At approx 7:10 pm the 65 year old suspect gave cash to a well dressed cambodian woman in her thirties who was escorting an approx 9-13 year old girl. Aaron called for backup (Cambodian trafficking police) and we started to stake out the guys room. The girl is in the room across the hall with the older woman. Pray that the light shines into the darkness and that this girls' parents would know what love is." Later one of the students, Jake, said on facebook, "We got in contact with the agency and they have sent out undercover agents to stalk the guy to gather information to prosecute him. If enough evidence is gathered he can be tried in his home country for trafficking. Pray that they can get the evidence they need to charge him."
Then not a few minutes later in my time with the Lord I read, "Samson went to Gaza where he saw a prostitute." I'm struck. Coincidence? And then I read in my background commentary, "In the ancient world, women often resorted to prostitution if they had no other means of economic support, especially if they were widows or orphans." The same as today! My heart aches for the orphan and oppressed, the very people God so desperately loves that He defines Himself by how He interacts with them, Father to the fatherless and Defender of the oppressed.
And yet today there are more slaves today than any other time in history.
Let that hit you.
Have you seen this video? It was filmed at this years Passion Conference where 45,000 college students across the nation stood in line for 2 hours to give money to help stop this problem. Students putting their money where there heart is.
I imagine you've heard about this, especially if you've been around my blog long. Raising awareness about these horrific evils is something that needs to happen but it can't stop there. We need to be people who move from hearing to action. So how? How can we be part of displaying God's heart to a desperate world?
Well just yesterday I found out about this incredible opportunity.
My friends, Chris and Gloria are adopting from Ethiopia. They are awesome. Chris leads a Sunday school class at our church (David Platt's mentor Dr. Jim Shaddix is the pastor. Cool huh!) and Gloria co-leads a Bible study with me (the one I wrote actually). They are incredible parents and love Jesus a ton. They are partnering with a business that sells fair trade online coffee and are giving close to 50% of their profit to my friends. Isn't that incredible?!
My friend Angi and I have been talking about fair trade recently. It is more expensive but my friend Hannah (one of the girls in Cambodia right now) says it this way, "I look at the price of coffee and wince because it's so expensive. But then I think about what the slaves are going through to make my coffee cheaper and suddenly the price doesn't matter." And really I am learning that being a good steward does not always equal cheapest. So it might hurt the wallet to not be part of the problem of slavery, but it pleases and glorifies the Lord.
So the organization willing to help my friends in their heart for the orphan, Just Love Coffee has a "Vision of not only creating outstanding coffees, but coffees that are fair and sustainable. Fair- meaning that the coffee farmers are paid a living wage for their work. Sustainable- meaning that the coffee cherries are grown and harvested in a way that protects our precious natural resources... In early 2011, Rob and Emily began to discuss what more they could do through the company to help the plight of the orphan. What could Just Love do to not only help place orphans in permanent homes, through both domestic and international adoption, but help to prevent children in the developing world from becoming orphaned? Through friends, Rob and Emily had contributed to the non-profit organization Charity: Water, and learned about the immense need for clean water in the developing world to promote wellness. They decided that 5% of all sales of Just Love coffee would go to Charity: Water through the Coffee to Water program.
In our first two years of business, we have given away over $200,000 to adopting families, orphan care, and non-profit organizations. Every bag of Just Love Coffee you purchase, every cup you drink at a café, is a blend of coffee and love." Just Love Coffee
So will you head over to Just Love Coffee and buy some coffee to help my friends in their adoption of an orphan in Ethiopia? And seriously how cool is it to know that not only are you helping an orphan but you are not contributing to the problem of slavery in the world. How awesome is that!
And here is the ministry Austin and our students are working with helping rescue and restore physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Agape International Missions, they are super legit and I love them! (They've seen 22 brothel owners come to Christ in the last couple years.)
PS I do not get any financial gain for telling you about these awesome organizations.
Please share this post, and let's be the vessel God uses to bring in the money needed to bring this orphan home. (The buttons at the bottom of the post make it super easy.)
Here's my friends Angi and Sara talking about this today too.
I'm joining Pause on the Path, Finding Heaven, Raising Homemakers Women Living Well, Good Morning Girls, A Holy Experience, We Are That Family, Write it Girl, The Wellspring