Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Answering a Silent Cry

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. There are more slaves today than ever before in history. It may be hard to believe that this heinous crime could ever penetrate our own borders. Yet the reality is that slavery thrives within every town and city in the USA. There are numerous forms of slavery that exist here; the largest of which is Sex Trafficking (ST).  ST is the second largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world; second only to drugs in annual profit. It is reported that sex trafficking is a $32 billion industry; an annual profit greater than Nike, Starbucks, and Google combined. Another hard reality is that the average age of women and children trafficked is 11-13 years of age. The numbers are staggering and they are climbing.  Now is the time to rise up, to take a stand, and make a difference!
The Freeing Captives project is an auxiliary of Freedom Ministries. Its purpose is to fight ST, both domestic and international, on various fronts; also working to bring hope, healing, and restoration to the victims.  I am the founder and director of the Freeing Captives project.  I first learned of ST at the age of 17.  When I heard of young girls being held in cages in the red light districts of India I was overcome by a passionate desire to see these girls rescued and restored.  It drove me to action.  I spent the next six years in research, study, and activism.  Through college I was actively involved in sex trafficking ministry.  After graduating I spent 7 months overseas in five countries; Switzerland, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and India.  I learned more about the global realities of the trade while spending time with survivors (women and children), with children of the night, and with rescuers.  I saw the faces of ST while walking the streets of the red-light districts in Mumbai, Amsterdam, and various Swiss cities.
One scene in particular is burned in my memory forever.  As I walked down the streets of Mumbai’s most notorious red-light district, surrounded by protective staff from a local ministry, I was struck by the reality and gravity of all that was around me.  Walking down the filthy streets, with brothels on either side; becoming ever more aware of the Pimps guarding the doors and eying us as we passed. The heat of July in India was oppressive and the dust in the streets swirled around us as we pressed through the streets.  We were instructed to stay close, move quickly, and not to attract attention by making eye contact with anyone.  Yet as we walked I knew there were women just behind the walls of the brothels; just behind the bars on the windows and curtains on the doors.  They were invisible to us but the reality of what they experience on the other side of the divide is sickening.  Being there was so surreal. Then, in a moment, I was drawn to look up.  And there I saw her and our eyes met.  In that second, two worlds collided, and an image was forever engrained in my mind.  There in the window, a woman; in an upper story of a brothel, peering out at me from behind bars.  I could never explain the look on her face, her demeanor, or the sense behind her eyes; emptiness, pain, and a broken spirit.  It pierced my heart and the image of that young lady became the face of ST for me; a lone girl, a dark room, and a blank gaze from behind bars.
I saw her face but most of the victims are invisible, and yet they are everywhere; they are in our own backyards.  So on my return to the United States I was ready to throw myself into the work of seeing captives set free in the USA and around the world.  I partnered with multiple nonprofit organizations working as advocates for victims of sex trafficking, bringing prevention, rescue, and restoration to survivors in the United States; specifically in Virginia.  I also took all I had learned from years of research, study, travels, and experience and I founded the Freeing Captives Project.  Through partnership with other organizations in the community Freeing Captives works towards prevention and awareness of sex trafficking, towards rescue, restoration, and healing for the survivors; bringing spiritual and physical healing.
In the past year Freeing Captives has presented awareness and prevention training to multiple groups; youth, teachers, students, and churches.   Likewise I have partnered with local organizations; creating teams of hundreds of volunteers, teaching, training, and expanding.  I have been part of coordinating events  designed to bring awareness and to unite organizations, ministries, and communities in combating slavery.  I have been in communication with the FBI, learning of locations where ST is thriving locally, doing research, and mapping out these locations for ministry.  And Freeing Captives has established prayer walks in these areas; we are in two cities at present and hope to have more established within the next year.  Yet one of Freeing Captives greatest ministry focuses is prayer.  I believe that prayer is the foundation on which every great revival is built.  And through the fervent, continual prayer of the people of God, the Kingdom of God is established, and captives are set free.  Thus I encourage the Church to get involved and I am on a prayer and restoration team; committed to praying for the women who have been rescued from ST in our area. Another major focus of Freeing Captives is restoration through relationship.  So I do one-on-one spiritual mentoring of young women who have been abused sexually, physically, and emotionally.  I have also recently become involved in a ministry reaching out to women in strip clubs; again focusing on prayer and restoration through relationship.
In all of these things I am really excited about the ministry that has occurred through the Freeing Captives Project in this past year; as well as the relationships and connections formed.  The ministry continues to grow.  Goals for this next year include the continuation and growth of the present ministry operations.  Developing and establishing prayer walks in more cities; research is already underway.  The biggest ministry development in this next year will be the addition of a number of trips oversees.  I am planning on taking at least one trip to South East Asia, maybe two; for 1-2 months.  I will be co-leading a group.  The purpose will be to train the group in sex trafficking ministry; spending time with missionaries and ministries, learning from them, encouraging them, participating in their work, working with survivors, and learning what it takes to do sex trafficking ministry.  The trip will take us to Cambodia and Thailand.  The group of young people will then return to the USA better equipped for ministry, ready and able to teach others, and with the tools they will need to begin sex trafficking ministries in the USA.  I am really excited about this opportunity but it will require greater finical support.
The ministry is growing but Freeing Captives does not have nearly enough money to even support the present operations.  At present I am about $900 a month short of my support goal.  So I want to ask if you would be willing to directly partner with me in the work I am doing to set captives free by becoming a financial partner.  I am in need of partners willing to give monthly; support will help pay for costs of ministry and living.  I am trusting God to raise up ministry partners willing to come along side of God in the work He is doing through me.  So I want to ask that you would prayerfully consider joining me as a financial partner; whether with a monthly gift of $25, $50, $100, $200, or any other amount.  If you have a passion for the work I am doing and if you feel God is leading you to give, then please give as you feel led.  Without God’s provision, your support, and your prayers this ministry would not be possible.  Thank you.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2nd Quarterly Update

Join me in lifting up your voices

“There are people, vulnerable women and children, living in bondage here in Hampton, VA! They are living under abuse, manipulation, threat, and they are crying out for freedom, hope, and healing! The enemy has them trapped but as Christians are covered by the blood of the Lamb, and we have the power to demolish the stronghold Satan has over their lives. We can do this through our very presence; Satan quakes in the presence of God and God's spirit lives in US. We can also do this through our prayers; when we pray and declare victory, healing, hope, and release of the captives
we do it in Jesus' name and in His name there is power!

Join me in lifting our voices and tearing down the walls of oppression & bondage in Hampton; setting the captives free by first demolishing the power the enemy has over the victims, and then bringing in the victory of the Kingdom of God!

If you are a born again believer in Jesus Christ, please join us Tuesday nights at 6:45 pm for the prayer walk. Or if you cannot join us, please remember the prayer team in your prayers today. Our prayer team is in GREAT NEED of your prayers of protection and direction! Thank you so much!
ALSO, if you know of any other prayer groups, it would be a HUGE blessing if they too could be lifting us up in prayer; for covering and protection! Please spread the word, we need your prayer, your support, and your presence at the walks! Thank you!!!”

In my first quarterly update I mentioned that Freeing Captives would be beginning prayer walks; and so I have.  This particular aspect of my ministry has been in motion since April of this year, and we have really seen God doing exciting things through this ministry.  The prayer walks take place in an area of town reported by the FBI as a hot spot for sex trafficking; where prostitution and drugs have also run rampant.  Our prayer walk team is made up of born again believers with a desire to see God’s Kingdom come and will be done, demolishing strongholds, and seeing captives set free through fervent prayer.  The prayer walks take a route along a certain street; lined with eight hotels and a couple bars.  We walk the route and pray as we feel led.  Before going out God generally reveals the marching orders to me in prayer.  It has been incredible to see how God continues to confirm His word as we go out into spiritual battle along the streets.  During the walk, through prayers, visions, words of knowledge, and more, we have become aware of specific strongholds of the enemy’s, have come against them, and have seen many of them crumbling.  Through prayer at each location, our team has become aware of people who are literally in bondage, of areas where a drug ring has run rampant, and have learned of individuals who are struggling with various forms of brokenness both spiritually and physically.  We have also had the opportunity to pray for various individuals we meet along the street; bringing them the hope of Jesus Christ through our conversation and our prayers. 
It has been so exciting to see how things have begun to shift since we first began the prayer walks.  Spiritually there has been a noticeable shift.  We are no longer treading on enemy territory, rather we have gained a stronger authority as we have been faithful and obedient to step out and take ground from the enemy and claim it for the kingdom of God.  We have seen hotels changing hands, a prostitution ring bust down the road, we have become more recognized and welcomed by people who work along our prayer route, and have had the opportunity to pray for numerous people by name and in person. 
Our prayer as we continue this ministry is that God would open doors so we may go into churches; sharing with the people of God, God’s passion for people bound by sex trafficking, our call to respond, and give the Church the opportunity to join in the ministry.  There has also been interest expressed by a couple justice ministries in surrounding cities; people desiring to begin prayer walks in the trafficking hot spot locations of their own cities.  So I have received requests to do the research and potentially help others begin prayer walks ministries in their cities as well.
Along with working to advance Freeing Captives Ministries and expand our outreach, I am also partnered with a couple justice ministries in nearby cities.  The connections and opportunities gained through these have been very valuable and encouraging.  I have partnered with Release Me Ministries in Chesapeake, VA and have had the privilege of assisting the founder in giving a number of presentations about Child Sex Trafficking in the USA to Educators; working towards prevention of slavery in this way.  It has been so exciting to see people learn about the issue and respond immediately and passionately; desiring to make a difference and take a stand.  Many of the responders are unbelievers, but how much more exciting it is to see the people of God rise up and respond.  Because in the end true healing for victims of sex trafficking is only found in Jesus Christ!
For this next quarter my prayer is that God would open doors and give me clear direction as to the next steps to take in the ministry.  I would love to see doors opened and connections made so that Freeing Captives could do training in Churches and send out the call for the People of God to respond; to see Christians obeying the call to speak up, seek justice, defend the weak, and set captives free!  So please join me in this prayer.  Freeing Captives is also in great need of prayer warriors willing and committed to covering our prayer team in prayers of protection, strength, discernment, and direction.
For those of you who are supporting me financially, thank you so much!  There is no way to fully express what a blessing your financial gifts are to this ministry.  As things continue to progress for Freeing Captives, know that you are partners in this ministry!  Thank you!  And thank you to those of you who have been supporting the ministry with your prayers.  There is no telling how many times I and the Freeing Captives prayer team has experienced spiritual breakthrough in battle due to your prayers and spiritual warfare!  I am so excited about the work God is doing, and trusting Him to continue to direct and open doors and Freeing Captives continues forward in ministry.  It will be so good to update you again next quarter about the work God continues to do through this ministry and your partnership.

May the Lord bless you and keep you!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Every Tuesday Freeing Captives Ministries Hosts prayer walks.
Through various words we have received as a prayer team we realize that we are in need of major prayer covering! As we go out on our prayer walks in an area of town known for spiritualy dark and illicit activity, we are in great need of some serious prayer covering. So please join with us through your prayers for protection, and for the covering and hovering of the Holy Spirit; over both us and over the geographical location of our prayer walks. We could also use your encouragement as part of the Body of Christ; so if you receive any words during your prayer time, please share it with us. God is really moving in power through these walks. Hopefully I will be able to give you all an update soon.

 So, please remember the prayer team and the walk in your prayers today; and throughout the week.

ALSO... if there are any prayer groups or prayer chains in your church, it would be a HUGE blessing if they too could be lifting us up in prayer; for covering and protection! Please spread the word, we need your prayers! Thank you so much!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Quarterly Update

This year, in partnership with local justice initiatives, I have coordinated over 100 volunteers fighting human trafficking in Virginia, helped coordinate fundraisers and awareness events, did a lot of networking between people and justice organizations, and so much more. I have made important connections with FBI agents, political figures, law enforcement, lawyers, councilors, medical staff, and more. God really used these opportunities in an amazing ways, and we trust God will continue to use these connections in the future.
Yet just this month God very clearly told me it is time to
remove myself from the roles I have played in other justice
ministries and focus on my own ministry. God led me to begin a prayer walk ministry in Hampton, VA; in the sex trafficking hot spots. So I am excited to see how God would use this and how He will continue to lead me in ministry.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Porn Stats

Pornography is a blatant act against God’s direction and will for His people.  It takes what God created for good and distorts it in a vial way that causes devastating affects for millions of people all over the world.
Pornography actually feeds the illegal industry of sex trafficking; it plays a huge role. Not only does the viewing of pornography create a demand for women and children to be sold for sexual acts in the slave trade, but many of the individuals portrayed in pornography are actually victims of sex trafficking themselves and are forced into the industry. So pornography is used as a major part of the Sex Trafficking industry. Yet it also plays devastating roles in the lives of people viewing and partaking of pornography. It destroys marriages, families, friendships, it leads to atrocious uses of sex and it feeds an illegal industry that sexually exploits vulnerable women and children. Viewing pornography also distorts the view and value which partakers of pornography have of both women and children. Thus pornography has devastating effects beyond one life; it injures so many others and it also helps keep the slave trade alive. We have to take a stand. It must stop!!!

What Scripture has to say:
Matt. 5:27-28, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery'; 28 but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart."
1 Cor. 6:18, "Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body."
Col. 3:5, "Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry."
Ps. 72:4, “He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; He will crush the oppressor.”

Monday, February 13, 2012

Holiness to the Lord

            It has been a while sense I last wrote; life has been very busy.  In the last month a number of people have asked the question, "what are you up to these days, aside from ministry; what do you do?"  Well this question always stops me in my tracks.  My every day is consumed with ministry tasks; it never ends.  My biggest problem has been making sure I make my work day come to an end and allow myself time for mental, spiritual, and physical rest.  Things have really taken off and it has been exciting to watch God open doors and also provide incredible opportunities for ministry networking.

            My typical day is comprised of various tasks relating to different aspects of human trafficking ministry.  I spend time composing, sending, and replying to emails related to the fight against Human Trafficking in VA; talking with volunteers in the movement and with groups interested in learning more.  I also coordinate over 100 volunteers for a local justice initiative.  I spend time on the phone coordinating with people in the Hampton Roads area who are playing vital roles in the movement to end trafficking.  I have meetings on a regular basis with individuals who are working in the same realm of ministry, and with individuals or groups interested in learning more about how to be involved.  When I am not coordinating with people or networking I am focusing on building relationships.  I am helping lead the young adult’s ministry at my church.  Every week a number of hours are dedicated to planning events for this ministry, making preparations, and building relationships with members of the group. 

            Some exciting events and meetings have taken place in the past two months.  On National Human Trafficking Awareness Day I was a part of a group that put together an event to bring awareness to surrounding towns and raise support for the fight against human trafficking; the Justice Jubilee.  We had an incredible turn out and many people signed up as volunteers for our local justice Initiative.  In advertising for the Justice Jubilee I was also given the opportunity to make a commercial for local radio stations; raising awareness about human trafficking.  Another amazing opportunity arose when I was able to meet with an FBI agent, who is a Christian and eager to become more involved in the human trafficking ministry.  I was also recently connected with a local church whose youth group is working on a human video about human trafficking.  I was able to spend time with them, watch the drama, tell them about human trafficking, share my testimony with them, and answer questions.  I will be speaking to their church briefly about the issue in March, as I have been invited to introduce the drama to their church body.  These are just a few of many storiesabout the incredible opportunities that have arisen as I continue to follow God's leading.

            I am at peace about where God has me in ministry at the present, even though my ministry is not taking the form expected.  But God has made it clear that I am doing what He has called me to do for the present.  For this season my ministry is to do just what I am doing.  When I ask God what opportunities to pursue further or how permanent my commitments should be, He gives me the sense that I am only taking on these specific tasks for a season.  My call to human trafficking ministry has not changed.  But with each season God will reveal the next step in my response to that call. 
            God has shown me that I am not to put down roots too deep for the time being.  But I should be faithful in the ministry He has given me at all times, until He reveals the next step.  While I am being obedient right where I am, God has reminded me yet again to focus on pursuing holiness; as He told me to do while I was in India.  As basic as this may sound it is a daily battle to respond to this call according to His will.  It is so easy to be side tracked with tasks or responsibilities, or by the comfortable distractions of the world.  Yet Christ said to, "be holy as I am holy", thus seeking holiness is foundational.  I believe that ministry is futile without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.  And as I heard a prophet in India say, "power and holiness cannot be separated".  Scripture makes it clear that while righteousness is a gift, holiness is a choice.  1Thes. 4:7-8 says, “For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit. Then in Hebrews 12:14 God again directs that we, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord”.  Choose holiness.
I know I have written about pursuing holiness before, but it is something that God has really impressed on my heart.   Holiness is a huge concept and it would take a long time to really dissect it.  But it is intricately linked with self control and a decision to daily choose godliness over the ways of the world.  But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:20-24).

As I work to accomplish the tasks of ministry, God has shown me that my primary pursuit is to be for holiness.  God has declared that as a believer I am part of a holy priesthood.  In the Old Testament we see that the priests wore a plate on their chest on which was engraved the words, “Holiness to the Lord”.  We are to live lives Holy unto the Lord; this is my call, it is our call, and it is a high calling.  For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people’” (1 Cor. 6:16).  The temple is where the presence and power of God resides; as a holy temple the presence and power of God resides in us.  As God has said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them.  I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord.  Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.  I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God’” (2 Cor. 6:16-7:1). 

When we are obedient to God’s call to holiness we will know the power of God.  In choosing holiness I will know a deeper relationship with God and in this I will receive the rest, strength, encouragement, and guidance I need for future ministry; as I seek His Kingdom and His righteousness in holiness. So along with my ministry tasks, this is my tasking from God; I am to pursue holiness and God will take care of the rest. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I just took action in the fight against modern-day slavery by asking President Obama to help end slavery at home and abroad, in our lifetime. Will you add your name to the letter?

If we reach our goal of 27,000 names, your signature will stand for an estimated 1000 slaves who are waiting for freedom right now. Please add your name today so the President knows Americans care about ending slavery once and for all!

Sign Your Name & Stand For Freedom | International Justice Mission
There are 27 million people in slavery today. Let’s get 27,000 people to tell President Obama we want to end slavery. Add your name: