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Posts Tagged ‘children’

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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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The government has asked the church to help out with the foster care/adoption crisis going on in the U.S. There are over 14,000 foster care kids in the foster care system in Arizona alone. Mission Community Church, Redemption Church and City of Grace Church have joined together to help solve this problem by spearheading a movement called Arizona 1.27 (based off James 1:17). Learn more on how you can be a part of abolishing this need.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27, ESV)

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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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Tonight I had to have that tough talk with my son about death. As a father you always look for opportunities to connect with your child about real life situations. But death is a hard one because you don’t know what goes on in a child’s head when it happens. I know the experience will be beneficial in the long run, but it’s still never fun.

A family from my former church was in a car accident and their 13-year-old was killed on Monday. He was a friend of my son’s and in his discipleship group. The church called me to let me know that night. Tonight his group leader took all the kids out to talk about it and to celebrate his life. I was in student ministries for many years and have led boys in this age group and it is not easy to try to chat with them about this subject. I know for me I try to do less talking and let them ask as many questions as they want.

When I told my son, he sat in silence for a bit. I asked him how he was doing and he said ok. I’ve grown really close to both my kids over the past couple years because of family tragedies. So I’m very thankful to the Lord for these moments to bond. My kids are growing up and will soon be on their own. I didn’t have a father who was there for me during the tough trials of life (I do now..), so it’s important for me to make sure I’m there for them. I pray for this family and I feel for their loss. Being a parent is a wonderful thing and I am so blessed that God gave me two great boys to raise. But this tragedy has made me realize I could lose anyone one of mine at anytime. So I’m going to cherish this moment I had with him to connect over this.

Please pray for the Galaska family who lost their youngest child in that accident. Their oldest child needs your prayers! Visit their CaringBridge page. Blessings!

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1 million meals / 24 hours/ 5,000 volunteers

April 12-13, 2013

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