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Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

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Photo from Compassion

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My whole being will exclaim,
    “Who is like you, Lord?
You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,
    the poor and needy from those who rob them.” – Psalms 35:10

A huge hotbed for child slavery is at Lake Volta in Ghana. The Volta reservoir is one of the largest made-made lakes in the world and where many children are forced into hard labor by the local fishermen there. Fishing is the main economy of many of the communities in the surrounding area. Children (as young as 5 years old) are usually deceived into long hours of very dangerous work with no pay. Many are subjected to intense violence from their “masters” if they don’t keep up with the work. They are either abducted by the fishermen or sold by their families to them for little money out of desperation because they are poor. Many are deceived because they are promised a good wage and meals upfront by the men who recruit them. The work is hard because the fishing nets get caught in the dead trees that are all over the lake. These children struggle to bring up the nets or they drown trying to free the nets from the trees. In the Lake Volta region, 1 in 3 children are labourers and more than 20,000 are considered in slavery today.

Prayer IS the work!

Organizations like IJM (International Justice Mission) seek to rescue these children out of slavery. They work in the communities and with the local authorities to detain and arrest the fishermen responsible for taking these children as slaves. They work with the local lawyers to prosecute these men. They provide a safe house for the children that are rescued so they can heal and rehabilitate and eventually be reconnected with their families.

Ways to pray:

  • Pray for peace rehabilitation, healing, hope, strength, and good health for the rescued children of Ghana.
  • Pray that God would lead the right people to apply for the positions available and that those doing the recruiting and hiring would bring the right people on board.
  • Pray for the upcoming conferences that they would lead to changed hearts and repentance with the local fishermen.
  • Pray for IJM and their offices on the lake. Pray for new satellite offices and their presence in the area. Pray that they reach out to regions where children are still trapped in slavery.

Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. – Hebrews 13:3

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CNN Freedom Project recently did a documentary called “Troubled Waters” about the situation at Lake Volta. You can watch it below. (Note – I know there are other reporters out there that say not all the children that work on the lake are in slavery. The point of my post is to raise awareness to the situation and pray about it. Only God knows the details of the situation and will bring justice to where it is needed).

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I’ve been a huge supporter of Blood:Water Mission for some time now. I love their passion for clean water in communities in need and their projects to build water wells. On occasions I will partake in their water challenge fundraiser around lent season. When I traveled to India, I had the opportunity to dedicate a water well. To see the joy in people’s faces who have never had clean drinking water is something I’ll never forget. It cost $1200 to build a water well in India and I am raising 10% of that from giving up some my personal pleasures of life during lent. Watch some of these videos for the Save a Life campaign for Rwanda and be inspired by the work Blood:Water is doing. You can give to my campaign here. Thanks! God Bless!

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I’ve been inspired lately about stories of people going on the mission field. I have a good friend who just went to Uganda to work with Watoto ministries. She has been a God-send and has really encoraged me in my faith and in my own journey. The story of Katie Davis has always been impactful to me as well. She too is doing ministry in Uganda with Amazima ministires and her story and heart for the orphans there are so inspiring.

 

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Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action

1 John 3:18

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About thirty of us headed down to downtown Phoenix to be a part of Feed my Starving Children’s One Million Meals campaign. FMSC is expanding and they held this 24 hour event that was trying to pack one million meals and raise one million dollars for the expansion. I serve with FMSC every six months and love being a part of a team of people who bonds together to make a difference in the world. FMSC is a food packing ministry that uses volunteers to pack food that is shipped all over the world to poverty striken areas to feed children that suffer from malnourishment. This event was held at the Phoenix convention center and they had time slots that you could sign up for over the weekend. Our group took the call and did the 3am to 5am slot. We were tired, but in the end our group packed 72360 meals – enough to feed 198 kids for a year. Overall in the 24 hours, 2,966 volunteers packed 1,023,408 meals (enough to feed 2804 children for a full year)! They also raised over $500,000 for the expansion. It was a blessing to be a part of this and a blessing to serve alongside my amazing friends.

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I've become an accomplished photobomber

I’ve become an accomplished photobomber

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A little while back I was able to give to the Forgiveness School project financially. My buddy Dimitri from Land of a Thousand Hills is in Rwanda right now at the school and posted this on his blog (please read and follow his journey). I’m excited for him to be there and happy to see what God is doing at the school through Thousand Hills for these children!

A Journey to Rwanda

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The Forgiveness School. A project in the works for a little while now and at last it is nearing completion! The church next to the school has doubled in numbers from 500 to 1000, the orphans home is in full swing, and the school itself is growing very fast due to the credibility of the infrastructure. I love seeing sustainable, community led progress in communities we have invested in!

This VIDEO was taken by me upon our arrival. The children are always happy to see us arrive and they so joyfully greet us with a dance or two.

We met with Pastor Ildefonse and some of the children in addition to checking on the logistical finalizing steps of the school’s completion. Before we knew it, it was time to head out. We now have a plane to catch. Our trip is unfortunately nearing an end.

Thank you so much for…

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Today is World Water Day. It’s a day set aside to raise awareness for the more than 700 million people who lack access to clean water. When I was in Kenya, I joined many at an orphanage in making the trek back and forth with big jugs to bring water to the home. In India, we dedicated water wells to a couple of villages and I saw great joy in the faces of these people who had gone so long without clean water. Here in the states, we take water for granted. We forget how important water is to people. 300 million in Africa alone lack access to clean water. Charity:Water and  Blood:Water Mission are two organizations near and dear to me that are making a difference in the world today with their water projects. Take some time to get yourself educated on what is going on in the world today and how you can help.

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This is My NormalRuLost&Found                                         

There was a theme that was rampant among the majority of our entries at this year’s Justice Film Festival: Sex Trafficking.  This is an issue that can be seen worldwide.  But the continent that undoubtedly received the most coverage in entries was hands down: Africa.

At this year’s film festival, you will see see short and feature length documentaries that cover the need for water, HIV prevention/education, stories of poverty and children that face daily turmoil that is hard to imagine.  The storytelling is authentic and heart strings will be pulled.

Don’t miss Jina Teji, the 12 year old featured in Ru: Water for Life. Her world revolves around walking a mile and back to fill a jerry can of water three times a day to sustain her family…

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