Because of Jesus We Don’t Believe the Lies
My name is Andrea, and I am the Director of Freedom and Restoration for Everyone Enslaved (FREE), a non-profit organization fighting human trafficking in Berks County, Pennsylvania. FREE’s mission is to raise awareness about human trafficking, advocate for the enslaved, and shine light in the darkness. Our local vision is to see human trafficking, in particular, sex trafficking and sexual exploitation, eradicated from our community. A global vision we have is to see human trafficking eradicated from this world.
When I took over this organization in September 2015 I told the Lord it’s His organization. Yes, I am the director. But my title as director is an earthly title. We like to give ourselves titles on this side of heaven, don’t we? They help us define things and understand things better I suppose (they can also puff up our egos). But the word “director” is merely a word. Sure, I do all the things a director does to keep an organization running smoothly and to keep an organization moving forward in its mission and vision, but at the end of the day, only God can pull this off. That’s why He is the real director here. He is who I answer to. I must keep Him in His rightful position. After all, He is the King of kings, and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16). He NEVER falls off of His throne!
I must admit, in the several months I have been the “earthly” director of this organization, I have had a few times where fear has set in. Who am I kidding…fear has set in more than a few times. How does one fight human trafficking anyway? It’s a horrific injustice against human beings, the very human beings who were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). It’s a painful burden, but a burden the Lord placed on my heart many years ago.
Last year, as 2015 rolled in, the Lord kept putting the word “obedience” on my heart. Obedience. Being obedient to the Lord takes a continual dying to self. It’s continually saying not my will, but yours Lord. So when the Lord placed taking over FREE on my heart I said yes….after a few days of saying no.:) But finally yes!
Thoughts began to run through my mind. How was this organization going to move forward? What is our mission and vision? I wasn’t sure of all the details, and I still am not, but one thing I have always been certain of is that Christ is at the beginning of this organization, the end of this organization, and everywhere in between. I am a follower of Christ. And while I am a social worker/social justice enthusiast at heart, Jesus Christ is the reason why I do what I do. He is the reason I want to shine light in the dark places. It’s not my light I am shining, it’s His light. I am just running the race to Heaven making pit stops along the way; serving, loving, giving, sharing who He is and what He’s done in my own life.
But one question still remained in the beginning, do I outwardly say Jesus is at the core of this organization? Do I tell people this? I can be His hands and feet, but I don’t have to mention Him on Facebook or our website, right? I don’t want to offend anyone, or make anyone uncomfortable. I certainly don’t want anyone to feel excluded. All are welcome. This is all great, right? Whew, glad I figured that all out.
Except for one little thing. I refuse to do that. Do what? I refuse to hide Jesus. No, my intention is never to offend someone. No, my intention is never to exclude someone. Yes, all are welcome. Always. But that’s only because of Jesus. So, yes, you will see the name of Jesus on our Facebook page, and you will see Him on our website. You will see Scripture, and prayer requests and prayer gatherings. You will. He is why we do what we do at FREE. Could we be so prideful to think human trafficking is a battle we can win by our own efforts and in our own strength? Absolutely not. It’s impossible. But with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
So I write to tell you Jesus is the reason we fight for the enslaved. I also want to tell you DON’T BELIEVE THE LIES! When I doubted how to move forward it was the enemy saying, “You don’t want to offend people by mentioning Jesus, do you?” “You can’t put Scripture on Facebook.” “You can’t put prayer requests up.” “You can be like Jesus, but you don’t have to mention Him, that will turn people off.”
It’s all lies, folks! Nothing but lies from the pit. I almost believed those lies. But praise God for His Holy Spirit within that speaks truth (John 14:16-17). Because of Jesus we don’t believe the lies. Jesus brings life and freedom. That’s what victims of trafficking need. They need to be physically set free, emotionally set free, and most of all spiritually set free. Let us pray freedom over the victims!! Let us boldly declare freedom in the name of Jesus, the name above all names (Philippians 2:9).
Don’t believe the lies. People DO long for Jesus, the lover of their souls. People DO long for Scripture to meditate on, and prayers to lift up to the heavenly realms. People do long for unity and justice in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is truth!
God is moving. He is waking up His people. He is raising up an army. Fighting human trafficking can be a scary battle. It’s a spiritual battle. It’s light against dark. But guess what the great news is? Light wins!! So we don’t have to be filled with fear, because if He is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31).
FREE is calling all of our sisters and brothers into this battle. Will you join us? Let’s do this together for the enslaved. But may it all be for the Glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5