We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement each Sunday … and somewhere along the course of the week, often we find ourselves in need of a little bit of something to help us through.

Welcome to Extra Strength: a mid-week pick-you-up for the soul. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for extra encouragement and challenge.

Extra Strength for Baptism Sunday. 

Baptism Sunday is absolutely one of my favorite days at Immanuel.

Twelve people were baptized between the two services. Each person came out of the water and was greeted with a friendly hug and a roar of cheering because they had just publicly stated their outward expression of an inward change. Each testimony told a beautiful story of redemption and how Jesus meets us at our lowest lows and pulls us right out.

11-17-14 prayerIt was made even better that we had a special guest who works with Bright Hope. Vinita Grewel has been dedicating her life to working at abolishing the sex trade in India.

All over the world, even in America, people are being taken and sold into sex slavery. 29.8 million people, to be exact. They’re either kidnapped or willingly given up by their families because they are told their daughters or sons will have a better life and good opportunities.

What they don’t know is that they will be taken to a brothel and will be beaten and raped daily. When they get out, they often have no where to go.

“These girls are not accepted by society. They are not accepted into christian community. It’s high time for the church to come out and be the church, showing love and compassion.”

That quote is from people, whose names also cannot be shared, who are also working to abolish the human trafficking in India.

If that isn’t a call to action, I don’t know what is. As Christians, we are supposed to care for those in need, no matter how messy their past.

Matthew 25:35-40 says,

“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’”

Even if it doesn’t involve directly saving someone from slavery, there’s always a way to help. Prayer is huge and always appreciated. When you give to Immanuel, you already support this anti-human trafficking initiative partnership with local churches and Bright Hope in Northern India. Not giving? You can begin giving to Immanuel and supporting this initiative by clicking here.

It’s time for the church to be more than a building; it’s time for the Church to be the Church.

Be Challenged:

  • Consider your own restoration and prayerfully ask God how you can be an ambassador of God’s grace and love to someone in your life. Maybe it’s your kids. Maybe it’s a co-worker. Maybe it’s your boss. Maybe it’s a stranger.
  • Ask God how He would have you respond to the information given about anti-human trafficking initiatives during the Sunday morning interview.

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