World Outreach: Anti-Human Trafficking Initiative in India – Part Two

God is blessing your partnership with Immanuel! THANK YOU.

NEWS from our Partner in India (name withheld)

A friend recently sent me this passage to read. 2 Kings 6:15-17, where armies are coming up against Elisha and his servant is afraid. Elisha says “Don’t be afraid! For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then he prays that God would open the eyes of his servant. The Lord opened the young man’s eyes and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire!! God’s ARMY had arrived to do battle.

This past month, my wife and I left a city in Northern India after spending time with the Anti-Human Trafficking (AHT) team. On our way to the airport, we saw a big crowd and found out that there were two young girls, between 12 to 15 years of age, who were being trafficked openly in the market. Though there were more than 120 people around, my wife and I were able to walk through and take the girls, which is a miracle in itself. We got the police involved and they arrested the boys who were selling them. Surely the Lord’s Army was far greater than those in that crowd!

The girls father had died and when their mother remarried, they were severely neglected. A pimp took them and they have been used by many men, sleeping in ditches on the roads, torn clothes and smelling horribly.

The two girls are now in police custody until the judge gives them to the AHT team to care for them and keep them safe. Our leaders are following up with the case. We are in need of renting another space for a new Safe House to take in more girls. Please pray for us, that God would work all this out for good.

nefarious 2

Friday, February 8th, 7-9:30 PM

Viewing of “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls.”This hard-hitting documentary exposes the disturbing trends in modern sex slavery. From initialrecruitment to victim liberation—and everything in between—the previously veiled underworld of sexslavery is uncovered in the groundbreaking, tell-all documentary. (not suitable for children – strong PG 13 rating)

Bright Hope will explain Human Trafficking and the initiative in India. We will also hear about local trafficking.Come and learn more about this and how you can be involved!! People are waiting to be rescued…what will you do?

Local Outreach: “A Two by Four to the Head” {Lake County Anti-Human Trafficking Initiative}

Because of our generosity to Accelerate, Immanuel is able to partner with God in the work of transforming lives! Here’s one way we’re coming alongside God in His mission!

by Lili Raven, Immanuel Attendee

Have you ever read something and felt as though you’d been hit with a two by four? I don’t mean literally. I refer to that feeling one can get when reading something and sense the Holy Spirit yelling “Pay Attention!” This happened to me more than a year ago, and it is something I have been praying a lot about. I was reading:

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
And to walk humbly with your God. -Micah 6:8
The Lord has taught me a lot about mercy, both showing it to others and accepting it myself. He has loved me enough to help me walk humbly with Him (sometimes a painful process, but I’m usually grateful on the other side). So what is my prayer? How do I act justly? What does it mean to seek justice in our modern world?
When I am confused about something in the Bible I usually read before and after the verse to gain some context. I backed up and read Micah 6:4 and out came the two by four again. It says:
I brought you up out of Egypt
And redeemed you from the land of slavery.
Slavery? I kept thinking “we don’t have slaves in the United States,” but I couldn’t get it out of my head. I kept praying and started hearing more and more about human trafficking. Trafficking is the selling of people for labor, domestic service and prostitution.
Human Trafficking
I have to confess I was really judgmental about persons in prostitution. The more I prayed, the more the Lord softened my heart. It occurred to me that no child dreams of selling themselves into slavery when they are older. Anyone who is not allowed to leave is a slave and a victim. Children should be protected but often aren’t. The majority of persons in prostitution started when they were underage. These poor people have been exploited and are broken to a degree I can’t even imagine. God has shown me they deserve my compassion not my judgment.
So what can I do? First is to pray. Pray for the victims, for healing, for hope and freedom. Pray for those who exploit others — for softened hearts and for them to also be healed (Remember Mercy? Hurting people hurt people. Healthy people do not do this!). I’m praying for repentance, for awareness, for forgiveness and for guidance. I’m educating myself about trafficking and what would help. Right now I have a lot of questions and very few answers.
It is very easy to feel hopeless or helpless. I have to remind myself that the problem is not bigger than my God. He has brought this to my attention for a purpose, and it is not beyond His abilities to accomplish what He wills. My job is to stay close to Him, to listen and obey and to hold on tight. Jesus is driving, and I have no idea where we are headed. I only know I am with Him and that has to be enough. It feels a bit scary, but I am working on trust. I had asked God to show me what child like faith looks like sometime in the past year.
Don’t you love it when God answers our prayers?
Lili Ravn is a Christian, wife, mother, friend and someday when God finishes with her,  she hopes to also be His obedient servant.
Lili is working together with an ICU team at Immanuel to help combat human trafficking on a local level here in Lake County. For more information contact team leader, Kate Brask, dave.kate.brask@sbcglobal.net.

The Monday After: Encountering the Holy: The Transforming Power of Hope and Humility {Dawn}

You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave church inspired by and filled with Truth, encouragement and passion on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the day, after the music fades and our cars leave the parking lot, pieces of the message tend to fade, too; somewhere along the way, we often lose that Sunday feeling. 

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} is our attempt to carry the Sunday message into Monday mornings by walking together and sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Each Monday, a voice from the pews will give personal perspective to the words we soaked in on Sunday. 

So follow along each Monday as we seek to integrate that Truth into our daily lives; leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

The Monday After Sunday, January 27, 2013: Encountering the Holy: The Transforming Power of Hope and Humility 

By Dawn Kelley

Reading through Isaiah has been like looking at the mirror of our nation.

What a fallen nation we are!

In the New Testament, the church is described as being one body with many different parts; it’s likewise for our nation. We are one nation with many different parts, but sadly many of those parts of our nation have turned from God. We have forgotten who our God is! We have forgotten how awesome our God is! We have forgotten that our need for Him is far greater than what we can imagine! We can do nothing on our own.

Our pride serves as a powerful reminder that we are a fallen nation just like Judah in Isaiah’s time. We are a spoiled nation that has that has decided that we don’t need our Father; and sadly, like with Judah, it only leads to a fall.

Nations don’t fail on a whole alone; we fail when the various parts neglect to recognize their need for a Head. Imagine the chaos of a body without a Head! I am one of those parts, and I must take responsibility for my role in this falling nation. I am very often easily impressed with myself … I don’t always rejecting following people, instead of submitting myself to God, our Head.

I have to remember not to put my trust in everything else or anyone else because that keeps me from knowing God more deeply. My challenge this week is to reject following people and rather submit to God, the Head of our body — to boast in who He is and remember I was made to love and worship Him!

May you, in humility, do the same.

Because of your generosity to Accelerate, Immanuel is able to partner with God in His work of transforming lives! Thank you!

Dawn Kelley is the wife of Andrew and the homeschooling mother of four, Jaden, Niya, Makayla and Aiden. She loves to read and write in her spare time, and she currently uses a personal blog to share her adventures in motherhood and womanhood.

ICYouth: The Grandness of God {Grant}

Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to partner with God in His work of transforming lives. Every Friday, we’re taking a peek at how God is working in the lives of our iCYOUTH students. These servants of Jesus are walking daily by faith as they navigate the hallways and relationships inside their school walls and beyond. Our weekly series highlights what God is up to in their lives in their voices. Leave them some encouragement by commenting!

by Grant Everly

In our ever-busy lives we often lose sight of the magnitude and intricacy of our God. This past Sunday at Impact we talked about this truth. Often times we allow ourselves to dilute or even neglect just how incomprehensible God is. Our attitudes towards God, put simply, just don’t sound like those of a people who realize with Whom they are dealing. In reality we take things too lightly when it comes to God. It’s sad, but often times unfortunately true.

If we take a step back just to simply marvel at the power and vastness of God, I think we’ll find that our outlook and actions toward God will change. Francis Chan touches on this idea of us taking God a little too lightly in his book Crazy Love. He spends an entire chapter talking about how powerful reflecting upon God can be. In the chapter, he makes many references to just how spectacular God’s creation is, both the big things and the small things. Chan mentions outer space, and how the God that wants a personal and intimate relationship with us is the same God who created over 350,000,000,000 galaxies and is also the same God that designed caterpillars with 228 different muscles in their heads. Chan mentions many more intriguing facts about the expanse and intricacy of God, but perhaps more importantly, Francis Chan exposes that we frequently lack a heart that is awestruck by our God.

We live in a world in which Jesus and God have been watered down to the point where we sometimes don’t even realize just how powerful they are. We see people with shirts that say “Jesus is my homeboy.” We read the Bible and often times don’t even take it literally. We look up into the stars and don’t even think about how they got there or how God could’ve created them. This sort of nonchalance when it comes to God, I believe, is quite dangerous. In upholding these types of attitudes, we completely neglect just how unique our God is, and how unique it is that the God of the universe wants a relationship with us.

That’s quite compelling when you think about it; the same God who placed those 350,000,000,000 galaxies in the sky and who created an insignificant caterpillar with 228 distinct muscles in its head wants a relationship with you.

When looking at God through this lens we move away from our previously naïve nature and move into a state of awe and reverence when we look at our Father. Psalm 104 stresses this revering attitude. It describes the complexity of God and God’s creation. I would encourage you to read the entire psalm. It was simply too long to be put in this blog.

My biggest hope in writing this is that we would all be willing to take a step back from our busy lives to simply reflect on God and how spectacular He is. The incomprehensible and intricate qualities of our God are just too important for us to ignore, and once we take the time to acknowledge them, our relationship with God may change a little bit for the better; and hopefully we will be awestruck by how amazing our God is!

Grant Everly is a sophomore at Warren Township High School and regularly attends church with his family and iMPACT on Sunday nights. He plays soccer, enjoys sports and has passion for learning more about Christ and growing in Him.