Tag: A21

9 lives

Growing up on a farm, we had an abundance of cats. Most earned their keep by hunting mice. With corn in the corn crib and feed grain for the cattle, our farm offered a buffet to unwanted rodents and, in turn, a never-ending supply of food for the cats.  Our cats enjoyed several buildings to live and dine in: chicken house, hog pen, summer kitchen or wash-house, and barn.

Occasionally, some of the female cats ventured into the surrounding fields for privacy as they delivered a litter of kittens. Unfortunately, some encountered machinery such as a combine, tractor, or hay baler as they faithfully refused to abandon their kittens.  Some lived, though injured, and eventually returned to living a normal cat life.  They were living proof that cats really do enjoy nine lives.

Last week, 9 lives of a very different sort were celebrated. A 21 , a non-profit organization devoted to ending slavery around the world, rescued 9 lives. In Ukraine, two women were rescued and 2 men were rescued from labor exploitation.  In Thailand, two women and 3 children were rescued. Praise God! 

Nine lives freed from bondage. Nine lives starting over and free. Nine lives now hopeful of tomorrow.

Perhaps in time, smiles and laughter will come from those nine mouths. I won’t pretend to understand or comprehend the emotion associated with any of those nine rescues. But I can join in praising God for new beginnings and second chances. Nine lives coming out of the darkness and into the light. Nine lives free to continue to become whom God created them to be.

God is a God of second, third, and fourth chances. And, yes, even more than 9. God doesn’t keep track. Thankfully, He is always a God of another chance.

I don’t know if this applies to cats or not, but I am certain it applies to those 9 precious lives and to my life too.

Starting over and free.

  Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24 (NIV)

Photo credit: A21

A21

Christine Caine is an Australian firecracker. Speakers get and keep my attention when they speak passionately and fervently. She does both and then some. I have heard Christine speak several times and her energetic realness left an impression on me. I have read several of her books and give them a “thumbs up”.

She loves Jesus and her caffeine intake is probably off the charts. Christine and her husband, Nick, founded the A21 Campaign to combat human trafficking. A21 stands for “Abolishing Injustice in the 21st century”.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. It is sad that this horrific problem is so prevalent that we need an entire month to heighten awareness. But it is. It is flourishing in developed and still-developing communities around the world  whether we want to see it or not; whether we want to believe it or not. Just because we choose to stick our heads in the sand doesn’t make the problem any less serious nor make the problem go away. It is a real problem affecting real people, children and adults.

Recently, I have started following A21 on Instagram. I discovered after emerging from under my rock that being on Instagram is a rather pleasant experience. I enjoy seeing quick snap shots of what people post: intriguing photo-op locations, smiling faces,  yummy foods, catchy phrases and inspiring verses set against  beautiful landscapes.  I enjoy scrolling through and “hearting” them. Nothing else is required really, so it doesn’t stress me out.

Then I received some posts from A21. They have rocked my world.

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These words should rock everyone’s world and the rocking shouldn’t stop or subside until every child and adult who are being held as slaves are set free.

These words are not a quick, cute “like” on Instagram and scroll on. These words demand a bowed head and heart prayer of “thank you, Lord”.

 

Dearest Heavenly Father,  Please wrap Your loving arms around these freed ones. Heal their bodies, minds and souls. Keep whispering in their ears that they are safe now. Let them know with every cell of their being how much You deeply love them.

As I continue to receive the celebratory “Breaking News” posts from A21, I will be rejoicing and praying but I will also be writing.  A21 accepts encouraging letters and cards for the survivors in their restoration facilities. How cool is that! What a great opportunity to love-on someone who needs to know they are valued and worthy. So I am picking up a pen and paper. I am going to pour out on paper a whole bunch of love and support to a very brave survivor. If you want to learn more about this, click here

It doesn’t matter that I don’t know the name of the woman in Ukraine who is now FREE.  God knows her name and He hears my prayer for her. He is the ultimate Rescuer.

Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82:3-4 NIV

Let’s Walk Worthy!