Tuesday, May 24, 2011

As Our Own

One of the blogs I try to keep up with is Living Proof Ministries. Several weeks back, I checked it out and learned about a ministry that has totally captivated me ever since that day. I probably check out their website at least every other day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Seriously. And even though I haven’t had the time to blog (and really shouldn’t be now cuz it’s past my bedtime), I have been itching to share about this ministry, As Our Own.

Some of you know that I attended Trinity International University for a year while I still lived in Illinois. The class that had the greatest impact on me was Intro to Christian Ministries with Dr. Greg Carlson. God really used Dr. C and that class to speak to my heart about true ministry and to open my eyes to the needs around the globe. I was only at TIU for a year but if it was just for that one course, then it was worth it. Sometimes I sat in class in my seat against the wall fighting back tears because of how God was dealing with me. During the Missions week, a missionary came to our class and talked about ministry and orphans. That day something happened in my heart and I suddenly had a burden for orphans and for missions. It wasn’t that I didn’t care before, but the eyes of my heart had not yet been opened. Throughout that semester, I would sit and ponder on the amount of orphans in the world and would think specifically about girls in India. I didn’t know why, I just did.

The following year, I went on a mission trip to Costa Rica where our team helped out an organization, the Rahab Foundation, that reaches out to sex trade victims and their families. I learned more about human trafficking and how huge the problem is, not just in Costa Rica, but throughout the world. Something deeper took place in my heart that week and a piece of my heart was left there. I have never forgotten the faces of the people I met – the men, women, and children affected by sexual commerce.

Earlier this year, my Dad went on a mission trip to India with United Evangelical Mission International. Since that time, my burden for India has grown increasingly. So has my desire to know more about the magnitude of human trafficking and my burden for those enslaved. I read that present day human slavery is ten times worse than it was before the Civil War. Thousands of children are affected by this, particularly in countries of extreme poverty, like India.

This ministry I recently learned about, As Our Own, is a Christ-based, community driven movement in India that rescues vulnerable children from certain enslavement and exploitation, caring for them “as our own.” They focus on rescue, aftercare, and prevention. They rescue children from treacherous situations, provide lifelong aftercare for the rescued and transform communities to prevent high-risk situations that create the need for children to be rescued in the first place.

The more I read the statistics and read the stories of those who are bound in a life of slavery, the more I want to do something. A day does not go by when I don't think or pray about this. I want to do something. I've been asking God how He can use me to make a difference.

There are several ways to take action. Obviously a big way is to help financially. Other ways are to pray and to spread the word. I so wish I had tons of money to send to help rescue and care for these beautiful girls in India, but I know God hears my prayers and maybe by my spreading the word here, someone will feel led to give. Check out As Our Own's website so you can learn more about the epidemic of human slavery in India and their ministry to the people there. The needs seem overwhelming, and they are, but it’s important to be educated about this serious problem. There is a great amount of helpful information on their site and it has helped to know how to pray specifically.

I am praying for As Our Own, and for ministries like United Evangelical Mission International, who my Dad went to India with. God loves India and wants to do a great work there. Let’s pray for these strongholds to be broken in Jesus' Name.

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. – James 1:27 (NLT)




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