Learn to do right, seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
This past Sunday was Freedom Sunday at Crosswalk along with many other churches across the nation. A weekend set aside to promote awareness about slavery around the world and a call to partner with International Justice Mission to end it. Slavery still exists. With more than 45 million slaves in the world today, it’s worse than ever, and the number continues to grow. We are talking about sex trafficking, child and adult slave labor, and the abuse of power over anyone unable to stand up for their rights. When you’re not protected from violence, the streets aren’t safe.
Our guest speaker at Crosswalk, Ana Sierra, lives in the Dominican Republic and serves as an Aftercare Specialist for IJM’s Latin America offices. Our latest short term missions team was able to spend time with her on their recent trip to the Dominican Republic. Ana pursued multiple degrees in Psychology, and after becoming a Christian, decided to use her education in a mission setting with IJM. When becoming aware of IJM it all seemed like an overwhelming task and she asked God “why aren’t you doing something about all this injustice?” She heard the words “I am – you are there, do something.”
At one point in her message Ana said something that made me pause. “As you can tell, I’m an Introvert.” With those simple words she became transparent and seemed to be saying she was fully aware she was not a polished speaker. At that moment I saw a young woman, following God where He had called her, and willing to go anywhere outside her comfort zone to speak for IJM. Praise God for her courage. I was moved.
To listen to Ana’s message go to Crosswalk’s website. If you are interested in learning more about how you can partner with IJM and their work around the world, click here or talk with our Missions Pastor Angel Hernandez.
Tonight we conclude 18 days of prayer to celebrate the giving of $2 million to Faith Promise missions over 18 years. Make your way to the worship center at 6:30pm for worship, a time of reflection by Pastor Angel, and prayer. Our regular kids program will take a break, but kids will have a place to go, and dinner will be served from 5:45 – 6:20pm. A perfect way to come together as a church community to remember and celebrate the importance of our partnership with missions around the world. There is no kids program tonight, but childcare is available for parents during the prayer and worship time.
In closing, perhaps you identify with Ana, and consider yourself to be an Introvert. Inviting your neighbors and work friends to church is uncomfortable. This is why Crosswalk hosts community outreach events throughout the year. Our Annual Community Trick or Treat Party is Friday, October 27 from 6:30 – 8:30pm and a perfect event to invite your friends to. Costumes, food, music, trick or treating around the quad, and more. And we all know kids want to live in their costumes all weekend! This year’s theme is Where’s Waldo? with a hunt built into the evening to find the real Waldo. What can you do? Volunteer, bring lots of candy, and spread the news.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Seeking more courage,