Category Archives: Missions

Hope in A Stranger’s Eyes

 

She smiles as she dances to and fro 
Around her do her dresses flow
Her Amma and Pitaa surrounded her with love
Yet in her future was pain undreamed of
In one instance it was all gone
Her parents from this world were withdrawn 
Alone and afraid 
There soon came a promise to be paid
Her grandfather consented
But little did he know the girl’s body would be rented
A promise of work 
Turned into years of hurt
More alone then before
Hope was left at the door
As she was abused time and time again 
She was bound in her mind by chains
Soon all her innocence was taken 
All of what she knew as right was shaken
The light left her once alive eyes
She was now a zombie with no left life inside
The years past in silence and abuse
There was nothing more to lose
No reason to go on 
No sign of a dawn 
Then one day she saw a glimpse of hope
In the eyes of a stranger she found strength to cope
There was something different and something magnificent
About the joy that was seen in the strangers’ existence 
Something about this stranger gave her hope to go on
A hope for a dawn
Soon was coming a way of escape 
In the long day that the brothel was raid 
In the midst of chaos she knew there was hope
Finally released from the surrounding darkness
Finally released from her chains
Yet something deep inside still remained. 
The hurt and guilt and pain
She thought they would never go away
The scars that she had on her young heart
She feared deeply would never part
She was soon brought away
To a place she knew would be safe
Again she saw the stranger and was surprise
And this time she had a chance to ask about that joy inside
In passionate tones the woman explained
About freedom in Christ and the sacrifice He made
About the blood He shed so she could have life
And how for her soul He paid the costliest price 
Wonder struck the girl as she realized the truth in those words
Eagerly she embraced
This God full of mercy
This God full of grace
She let go on her hate and her guilt that clung
To her soul and let it fall 
Unto the shoulders of her risen God 
She became a follower of her Savior body and soul
She finally found a way to be whole
Now many years later she’s back on the street
Sharing her Jesus will all that she meets
Because of one stranger that showed her God’s love
Now she’s become that stranger and is a servant of the Lord above
monthlymondaypoetrysmaller-1
She smiles as she dances to and fro 
Around her do her dresses flow
Her Amma and Pitaa surrounded her with love
Yet in her future was pain undreamed of
In one instance it was all gone
Her parents from this world were withdrawn 
Alone and afraid 
There soon came a promise to be paid
Her grandfather consented
But little did he know the girl’s body would be rented
A promise of work 
Turned into years of hurt
More alone then before
Hope was left at the door
As she was abused time and time again 
She was bound in her mind by chains
Soon all her innocence was taken 
All of what she knew as right was shaken
The light left her once alive eyes
She was now a zombie with no left life inside
The years past in silence and abuse
There was nothing more to lose
No reason to go on 
No sign of a dawn 
Then one day she saw a glimpse of hope
In the eyes of a stranger she found strength to cope
There was something different and something magnificent
About the joy that was seen in the strangers’ existence 
Something about this stranger gave her hope to go on
A hope for a dawn
Soon was coming a way of escape 
In the long day that the brothel was raid 
In the midst of chaos she knew there was hope
Finally released from the surrounding darkness
Finally released from her chains
Yet something deep inside still remained. 
The hurt and guilt and pain
She thought they would never go away
The scars that she had on her young heart
She feared deeply would never part
She was soon brought away
To a place she knew would be safe
Again she saw the stranger and was surprise
And this time she had a chance to ask about that joy inside
In passionate tones the woman explained
About freedom in Christ and the sacrifice He made
About the blood He shed so she could have life
And how for her soul He paid the costliest price 
Wonder struck the girl as she realized the truth in those words
Eagerly she embraced
This God full of mercy
This God full of grace
She let go on her hate and her guilt that clung
To her soul and let it fall 
Unto the shoulders of her risen God 
She became a follower of her Savior body and soul
She finally found a way to be whole
Now many years later she’s back on the street
Sharing her Jesus will all that she meets
Because of one stranger that showed her God’s love
Now she’s become that stranger and is a servant of the Lord above
(Note: there has been quite of WordPress buginess while writing this post so if something is screwed up I appologize. Currently I can not get the paragraphs to work right so again I appologize and I will try to get it working as soon as I can.) 

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Filed under Christianity, Justice, Missions, Monthly Monday Poetry, Passion, Slavery

Project Rescue

 I’m obsessed. I realized that quite awhile ago but it’s hitting me again.  What is this obsession of mine, you ask? What is this thing that when I hear it I instantly sit up strait in my chair and excitedly look at my friends with a smile on my face? Or make me want to break down weeping with sorrow and pain? This is a relatively new obsession for me and has grown as my knowledge grows. So what is it? Slavery. Particularly when it comes to young women who are sex slaves. It breaks my heart and all I want to do is to weep with these girls.

 I have to wonder if some of you broke out your calendar, checking to see if there was any “justice” or “freedom” holiday. :) No, it’s no holiday, unless “Olivia is Uber Passionate Again Day” but that happens almost weekly… maybe it should just be a day of the week. Wouldn’t that be fun? :) And yet it’s more serious than just that. It’s one of the things that God has laid on my heart with an incredible burden and I can’t ignore this call on my life to pursue justice.

A few months ago I was looking around Leslie Ludy’s website and stumbled across Project Rescue. I was so excited to find this anti slavery mission that was not only working with mainly women and doing mostly aftercare work but was also mainly located in INDIA!!!! (Those of you who don’t know, I also have a slight, moderate ok, huge obsession with India and a burden for the people there.) Last night I looked at their site again and was overcome with a renewed passion for these young women and a deep desire to help.

 Not only is Project Rescue providing medical care, education, counseling, and a home to victims of human trafficking, they are offering hope and freedom in Christ! They are boldly and apologetically a Christian mission and they share the light of the gospel to those in the darkness. So please go to to their website and check them out! It’s such a fantastic and needed ministry. Just think about the ripe harvest waiting to be gathered when it comes to these sex slaves! What a desire for love and hope that must dwell inside of them and there is no one else who can better satisfy their desire than Jesus! For He has already said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

 So what can we do to help? Well of course we can pray. That is a huge thing that is so important. But in addition to that I think that educating ourselves and others is a great place to start. Project Rescue have some great article links on their site like this article from the New York Times about sex slavery in Asia. Also you can find stories of former slaves on their site as well. If you are on Facebook I would encourage you to join the Project Rescue cause as well as the group they have. Not only is this showing support for the organization but it can also open up windows of opportunity to share with friends. One last thing that is unique is that you can buy items made from the survivors in Nepal HERE.  Pashmina shawls, hats (they are really really cute!), journals, bags, and table runners. All very beautiful and  are giving these women a chance at a new life (and you don’t have to worry about the workers being paid fare wages for once!).

 God loves the fatherless and the opressed and hates injustice. We are the hands and feet of Christ on earth. Our responce to seeing injustice is action, or at least it should be. What will your responce be?

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Filed under Christianity, Faith, Justice, Missions, Passion, Slavery

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

Today is a holiday that I hope will someday not exist. No, I don’t just want this to just stop being a holiday, I want the reason for this holiday to go away. “What is this holiday?” you may ask. Well today is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. 

It’s a holiday that we hope to someday eliminate, yet it’s a holiday so little amount of people know about. Slavery seems so far off and foreign, even a problem that isn’t quite real to us. It is a shame the number of people who think that slavery was ended by the civil war. I have seen the surprise people have about modern day slavery in my church’s campaign against slavery. Thankfully this in an issue that is getting more notice. People are starting to realize the huge problem human trafficking is and they are spreading the word.

Slavery and Human Trafficking is one of the great evils in our world, and something we need to raise our voices against and fight against. We need to take a stand for the weak and enslaved, those who can not speak for themselves. As Christians we are called to seek justice, “learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” (Isaiah 1:17). Also in Micah 6:8 it says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”.

Justice is something that is very near to God’s heart. He is perfectly just and He loves justice (Deuteronomy 32:4, Psalms 33:5). We are commanded to not pervert justice or to deny it but we are to follow it (Exodus 23:2,6, Deuteronomy 16:19,20) (NIV). The Bible continually commands us seek justice and that God does justice. There are 138 passages in the ESV version of the Bible that include the word justice. So when we see injustice, we can not ignore it. To ignore it is to sin (James 4:17).

So what can we do to fight against slavery? What can one single person do to end such a huge problem? The answers is that there is a lot we can do. The first and foremost thing to do is pray. God is sovereign and He can turn the hearts of kings (Proverbs 21:1), or slave owners. John Newton, the author of the most loved hymn “Amazing Grace”, was a slave trader before he became a pastor and an huge influence in the life of William Wilberforce, who was the leading force in ending slavery in England.

Second thing we can do is to spread the word. Let people know about modern day slavery and human trafficking. As I said earlier, this is a problem that most people don’t know nearly enough about. Use the God given opportunities you have to let others know.

Third thing is to give money. International Justice Mission(IJM) and Free the Slaves(FTS) are the two best organizations that I have found for fighting slavery (they are also great resources to get more info). I know that for IJM, the cost of freeing a slave is $500 dollars. FTS has on their website a list of how much things like sending a former slave child to school or such costs. They also give you the opportunity to sponsor one of their workers on the front lines. I would encourage any of you who have a passion for ending slavery to try to start a campaign in your church or school, or even do a justice concert or other event and have an offering for IJM, FTS, or any other abolition organization.

Let’s not ignore this problem any longer but raise our voices in defense of the weak, oppressed, lonely, abused people out there that are suffering under slavery. I want to leave you all with the word to one of my favorite songs by Tim Hughes:

“We must go, live to feed the hungry
Stand beside the broken
We must go
Stepping forward keep us from just singing
Move us into action
We must go”

 

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Filed under Christianity, Faith, heroes, Justice, Missions

Longing for Persecution

I have to admit something to all of you; I am sick and tired of nominal and lukewarm Christians. It is one of my greatest annoyances. I hate how our churches and youth groups are filled with people that say they are Christians, have “prayed a prayer”, and don’t do “bad” things, yet it stops right there. They are without all fire and passion and even love. Their “Christian” life only extends as far as Sunday mornings and other church events, except for the fact that they don’t take the Lord’s name in vain or such. It is a sickening ailment of the American and Western church.

When I look at the American and Western church then also look at the persecuted church, I am shocked by the difference. In the underground and persecuted church, people risk their lives to just go to a church service or to own a Bible. In the Western church, most people miss church to spend time at their cabins and to go hunting (at least where I live) and Bibles are in abundance, yet we barely even take time to read them. The persecuted church will not deny Christ even if it comes down to dying, when the Western church will deny Christ for the sake of popularity.

Now I know full well that there are Christians in the Western church that are willing to die for their Lord and Savior and have a passion for him, as well as people in the underground church that deny Christ or who betray others in the church. This is just a generalization of the majority.

There is such beauty in the persecuted church. I have been reading Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand and the stories he tells of himself and others that have been persecuted for Christ’s sake under the communists are amazing and heart wrenching. The love expressed by the underground church is nothing less than beautiful.

We need that. We need faith that stands the roughest storms. We need courage that will take a stand for what they believe and say, “Here I stand I can do no other”. We need lives that are ready to be laid down. We need passion alive in the hearts of those who claim to know the King of kings. We need to have the fire and power of God at work in the church of America. We need the stuff of the persecuted church.

The change starts with you and me. If we don’t have passion, fire, courage, strength, and faith present in our own lives we can’t expect it from the people around us. We are to lead by example and show the radiance of Christ in our own lives. I also think we need some persecution and testing to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. We know nothing of persecution, but I know that in the years ahead we might get a taste of it. I know that it will be good for our church and will take away the dead and nominal Christians and just leave the ones that are truly followers of Jesus. Then maybe we will start to show some of the beauty of Christ. God bless.

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Filed under Christianity, Faith, Missions, Passion

Massacre of Christians in India

 I picked up this article from Andrew on his blog and I just had to share it with you all. Those of you who don’t know, God has given me a passion for India and for the lost there so this really affected me. I will be spending much time praying over the next few days and I hope you will do the same.

“Dear beloved sponsors and friends of Good News India…We have never seen anything like this.   We knew that Orissa was the most resistant and hostile State in India as far as the Gospel is concerned. And we brushed off the continuous threats and harassment we faced as we went about His work.   But none of our staff imagined that they would see this kind of carnage… And it seems to be totally under the radar of the  Western Media ….

Let me explain…. A militant Hindu priest and 4 of his attendants, who were zealously going around the villages of Orissa and “reconverting” people back to Hinduism, were gunned down by unknown assailants in Central Orissa  last weekend.  Immediately the Christians were blamed. The cry rose up…”Kill the Christians!” And the horror began…. In the past 4 days, we have first hand witness to hundreds of churches being blown up or burned and many, many dozens of Christian tribals have been slaughtered. For no other reason than they bear the name of Christ.

Night and day I have been in  touch with our Good News  India Directors spread across 14 Dream Centers in Orissa… they are right in the middle of all this chaos.In Tihidi, just after the police came to offer protection, a group of 70 blood-thirsty militants came to kill our staff and destroy the home. They were not allowed to get in, but they did a lot of damage to our Dream Center  by throwing rocks and bricks and smashing our gate, etc. They have promised to come back and “finish the job.” Our kids and staff are locked inside and have stayed that way with doors and windows shut for the past 3 days. It has been a time of desperately calling on the Lord in prayer.

More police have come to offer protection.  In Kalahandi, the police and some local sympathizers got to our dream center and gave our staff and kids about 3 minutes notice to vacate. No one had time to even  grab a change of clothes or any personal belonging. As they fled, the blood thirsty mob came to kill everyone in the building. We would have had a mass funeral there, but for His grace.  In Phulbani, the mob came looking for Christian homes and missions. The local Hindu people, our neighbors turned them away by saying that there were no Christians  in this area. So they left. We had favor. The same thing happened in Balasore.

All our dream centers are under lock down with the kids and staff huddled inside and  police outside. The fanatics are circling outside waiting for a chance  to kill. Others were not so fortunate. In a nearby Catholic orphanage,  the mob allowed the kids to leave and locked up a Priest and a  computer teacher in house and burned them to death. Many believers  have been killed and hacked into pieces and left on the road…. even  women and children.  At another orphanage run by another organization,  when this began, the Director and his wife jumped on their motorbike and simply fled, leaving all the children and staff behind. Every one  of our GNI directors that I have spoken to said: “We stay with our  kids…. we live together or die together, but we will never abandon  what God has called us to do.” More than 5000 Christian families have  had their homes burned or destroyed. They have fled into the jungles  and are living in great fear waiting for the authorities to bring  about peace. But so far, no peace is foreseen. This will continue for another 10 days…. supposedly the 14 day  mourning period for the slain Hindu priest. Many more Christians will  die and their houses destroyed. Many more churches will be smashed  down. The Federal government is trying to restore order and perhaps things will calm down. We ask for your prayers. Only the Hand of God  can calm this storm. None of us know the meaning of persecution. But  now our kids and staff know what that means. So many of our kids  coming from Hindu backgrounds are confused and totally bewildered at  what is happening around them. So many of their guardians have fled  into the jungles and are unable to come and get them during these trying times.

Through all this, I am more determined than ever to continue with our  goal: the transformation of a community by transforming its children.  Orissa will be saved… that is our heart’s cry. If we can take these  thousands of throw-away children and help them to become disciples of  Jesus, they will transform an entire region. It is a long term goal,  but it is strategic thinking in terms of the Great Commission.

What  can you do? First, please uphold all this in fervent prayer. Second,  pass this e-mail on to as many friends as you can. We must get the word out and increase our prayer base for this is spiritual warfare at  its most basic meaning. We are literally fighting the devil in order  to live for His Kingdom. The next 10 days are crucial. We pray for peace and calm to pervade across Orissa.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please pass it on and help  us to get as many people to partner with us on this cutting edge  effort to fulfill His mandate: Go and make disciples of all nations…. Prayer works!     Blessings,    Chip & Sandy Wanner    Col 2:2 MBI   /  Team Facilitators to YWAM frontlines”

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Own Your Life? (Continued, They Found the Secret)

 Well when I wrote the previous post I thought that I was done. Well obviously not. Let me start with how I decided I had more to add.

 On Sunday there was a small table with some books on it that were to give away outside the church library. They were books that usually looked older and were the ones that weren’t used as much. On that table was a book called They Found the Secret: Twenty Transformed Lives that Revealed a Touch of Eternity. I looked at the back and it had Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, John Bunyan, Oswald Chambers, and D.L. Moody so I decided to take it. I enjoy biographies, even if I already own a ton.

 This book isn’t a normal biography! Not in the least sense. Last night as I read the Introduction and the first chapter that was on Hudson Taylor I was blown away. This book isn’t of what these people did, it isn’t about what their ministry is, it isn’t about how they touched the hearts of the world. It is about their spiritual journeys. How they found the secret of life. What made them such amazing people. Let me share with you a quote from the introduction;

 “Every now and then we come across a life that is radiant, revealing a richness, a warmth, a triumph that intrigues and challenges us… Out of discouragement and defeat they have come into victory. Out of weakness and weariness they have been made strong. Out of ineffectiveness and apparent uselessness they have become efficient and enthusiastic.”

 A huge part of this was focusing solely on Christ. Caring for nothing else other than him. That is how these men and women found the secret. They came to a point in their lives were they could no longer go on without Jesus. They came to a place where they were broken and tempted, hurting and lonely, when they cried out to the Lord to fill them. To take their meager lives and make them so much better.

 Throughout the first chapter I was underlining passages and writing notes in the margins. I was just finding so much truth in this book. This is what I wrote at the bottom of the last page of the chapter:

I must decrease so that he may increase. Only Jesus should matter. I am nothing, he is everything. He is the God of everything, I am dust. I have nothing to offer, he has everything. May my life be exchanged for one far more beautiful. May he fill my every thought. May he give me rest, joy, and a peace that passes all understanding.

 So that is what I took from what I have read of this book so far. I would love you all to read this book too. I think it will be a great encouragement. Another thing I learned is to not judge a book by it’s cover. I really hope that you guys read this book and it will strengthen you all.

In Christ Alone, Nobody <><

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Changing The World

 Before I start I want to say I am sorry for my lack of posting. I have been busy, and lazy. I have many ideas I am just poor at saying them the way I want. Without further ado.

 This post came out of a conversation with Josh. He had asked when I started school and when he heard I didn’t start until September he asked me what I was going to change the world before school started. I wasn’t quite sure. There are so many things that are little things. Or don’t make a huge impact in one month (he said this over a week ago). Like my LC2LC campaign (we have gotten over $250 so far) that wont be done til December. Or even the really little things like keeping good attitudes, being helpful and respectful to my parents, being kind to those around me, blogging. All the things that don’t seem to make a difference, but are things that are important to molding who you are going to be. So I was praying last Monday and I asked God for his help on this matter. So I made a list of things to remember while trying to “Change the World”. I think this post will be very helpful for many of you because I know a lot of people that read this that are amazing people with passion to reach the world for Jesus in some way, shape or forum.

  • Pray, ask God how HE wants to use you to change the world, for him
  • Be careful that the focus does not become on yourself, but use it to bring glory to God. It will be hard not wanting to be admired. It is hard to be humble. You will have to be careful not to seek worldly recognition. (Matt. 6:1-4)
  • Do something that you are passionate about.
  • Don’t be afraid to do all the little things that might actually change the world. Don’t underestimate the effect kindness can have on people’s lives. Befriend the friendless. Live a life of devotion to God (including practical out pour), shining his light through you. (Matt. 5:16) Reach out to the outcast. Keep a hopeful and peaceful attitude. Love unconditionally and nonselectivly(I don’t think that is a word, but I can’t think of better wording).
  • Be ready to share Christ with everybody and anybody. (Remember that salvation is the most important thing. Offer living water along with physical water. Offer spiritual freedom with physical freedom.)
    Don’t say any job is too low, but take on Jesus’ attitude to lowly tasks. (John 13:1-17)
  • While trying to “change the world” keep your own spiritual life in high priority. Make sure your own relationship with Christ doesn’t suffer. Keep meeting with God and gaining your strength from him. You will need it.
  • Be quick to give any and all glory back to God.
  • Seek Godly counsel to pray for you and encourage you. To help you sort out what God’s will is for you, and to keep you grounded in humility.

 The humility part is one that I struggle with. I like people to say, “Wow. That is so great!” I want people to pay attention to me and I like to be honored. I need to remember that I can either get rewarded here on earth, or in heaven. The heavenly rewards will be far greater.

 I often see people who want to go out and change the world, yet they don’t want to go out and change their town. Or change their home. They don’t want to do the little things that nobody sees. Those little things might be the most important. The things like being in prayer and Bible reading set the foundation for your entire life. Being kind to a misfit may make all the difference in their life, it could even save their life.

I hope this was a blessing to you.

In Christ,

Olivia

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