“NEW NOTE: For an update on the Freedom Fund 2014 and see our progress towards our goal, visit our Freedom Fund 2014 page!*

Let’s be honest. for many of us in the USA, as Christians (or just as humans, really), boredom is one of our biggest issues. Boredom is a surface level issue for larger problems, deeply rooted in our lives. We are bored with church. Bored with all the causes fighting for our attention and our cash. Tired of the normality of routine.

I suggest what we really crave is the Supernatural. Our obsession with superheros, the miraculous, our tendency to be addicted to elements that enhance our ‘normal’ experience….we want something more.

That’s because we were created for more!

For us at CVJC , it’s nothing short of a miracle when someone is set free from the modern day forms of slavery called labor and sex trafficking. When the addict says YES to a new life. When the “average Christian” sacrifices in serious ways to financially support our group, or gives hours of his time to further the mission.

“When you look around at our Christian communities today, what do you see in our handling of money and possessions that can only be explained by the supernatural work of God?” (Larry Alcorn) Money and possessions enslave us! When we release them to God’s purposes, we actually further the potential for supernatural working of the Holy Spirit. When we let go of our power, it releases God’s power.

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We have choices to make, each day.  Will we spend money on items that we know are probably as cheap as they are because of those exploited in majority world countries? Will we open our eyes to what happens to our brothers and sisters on a global level? Will we take time to truly see someone – and act on their behalf – in our own city?

Our prayer is that you take a step of faith TODAY. We can share story after story about how your financial support brings TRANSFORMATION and HOPE to others. Will you join us?

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Click here to give today and help us bring freedom to those in our community!

Or, support us by purchasing our coffee (in partnership with Lanna Coffee) or a journal, art by our own Brandi N, in partnership with Warrior’s Heart. You can also get both at our office at 1400 E Saginaw Way, M-F from 9a-1p!

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Lastly, THANK YOU to all who pray, give and act. Whether with us or our partners, it’s all for the same purpose. Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly.

Jessica Pittman, Co-Director

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“And are you over that fear now?”. . .

“Not yet…I may never be.”

“So they don’t go away?” . . .

“Sometimes they do. And sometimes new fears replace them. But becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it, THAT’S the point.” (Veronica Roth, Four)

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As I pondered these words, I marveled at their truth and transparency. I decided to take a minute to write about  them, as this concept of Being Free is central to ALL we do as a Coalition – for ourselves and those we work with.

I have heard people proclaiming that we should be FEARLESS – that this is the ultimate goal. Certainly, on the  surface, this concept is ideal and it’s what we strive for! Who doesn’t want to be able to jump off a cliff into the deep blue without any fear of what lies below the water? Who doesn’t want to be unencumbered by the nagging fear of failure, of rejection, of past mistakes haunting us?

Let’s consider this from the perspective of someone who has survived a great deal of trauma. Like the 500 Christian women abducted and sold for sex in Iraq, for example. Whether it is human trafficking, abuse, a severe injury or mental illness…all these things cause fear to grow. Even without traumatic incidents, many of us battle fear on a daily basis. It’s part of being human. We each face different fears and deal with them in our own unique ways.

Yet Roth’s words rings true. Until we enter the next life, we will have fears to overcome. We won’t reach perfection, though we strive for it. But we can be FREE.

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Free! Free from fear. Our Coalition believes this comes only from Christ, and the only way to ‘control’ fear is in fact to entrust our whole selves to God. Freedom is available to anyone who embraces it! Our fears, while still real and legitimate, do not have any power over us unless we let them.

When I see someone else who has faced and overcome their fear, it gives me strength, hope and deep joy. It fuels my passion. When I am part of someone else’s journey, even in a small way, and I see them step out into the unknown, taking a huge risk – it’s indescribable! And interestingly, often the external results are irrelevant. What matters is finding the courage to JUMP. To be brave. And bravery builds on bravery.

Fighting human trafficking can take courage. Escaping it always does. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Gal 5:1, NIV)

           …”To be free from _(fill in the blank)___. That’s the point.”

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~ Jessica Pittman, co-Director

 

You are welcome to join Valley Christian Center as they host our very own Jessica Pittman presenting “Seeking Justice Together” an hour long presentation on human trafficking in our community and how we can respond. Jessica will share a basic understanding of this broad issue from a faith based perspective; addressing some of the specific realities in our region and the available resources to serve victims and survivors. Q & A will be available during the last 15 minutes. This is a great opportunity to share with someone who is being introduced to this topic for the first time or who would just like to be connected locally.

 

Location: Valley Christian Center, 4649 E. Shields, Fresno, 93726

Today starts the Lenten season for many Christians. This season, whether you observe lent of not, we encourage you to spend time and seek God’s heart regarding justice and human trafficking, in your community and worldwide. Let Him show you how you are connected.
Be still and listen to what He wants to do in you and with you in this time. Devote time to prayer into this issue, pray for those who are impacted including the whole community, pray into the movement to bring justice and those involved. We will be providing points of prayer each day this season on our facebook page and Twitter
We encourage you to also check out bible studies and/or devotional to read through.
Suggestions:
Each day read and meditate on a different scripture concerning justice. Consider what it means and listen for what God wants to tell you. See our scripture list.
Download and use Not For Sale’s Fast For Freedom 40 Day Devotional

Visit our Church Resource page for more

Devotional: Be Still And Know I Am God
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
There are many scriptures where God is calling us to action to seek justice. Simultaneous, He calls us to be still and know He is God. One version says to “cease striving and know He is God.” We encourage you to ask Him, “what does that mean in my life?”
He desires for us to do justice, to act. We believe that He doesn’t want us only to act, He wants us to know Him, the God of justice, more deeply; to immerse ourselves in His loving presence as He speaks to our hearts about His justice, both in and around our lives. Out of this is where our ministry flows. He also desires for us to not strive, but to trust Him enough in this to be still. He will be exalted here. He will be exalted in His work of justice in our community, just as in all the earth, as He declared that He will not cease until He has established justice throughout the earth. It is not by our own effort, but His righteousness that we will see slavery end. In this victorious place do we partner in seeking justice. In the midst of the movement, we encourage you to rest, ask Him “what do you want to do now, in me and through me?
Not For Sale has provided devotionals and bible studies to aid in engaging Him concerning justice.