So what is it we, Incurable Fanatics, actually do here?
How do we put our efforts into ending human trafficking by continuing our work in Cambodia and presenting Awareness Events in the US?
To our supporters, is our effort really making a difference? Is it significant enough to warrant your continued interest and support?
These are questions we consider literally every day. We get home dirty, tired and sometimes quite frustrated. Other times we get home dirty, tired and amazed at the power of God to change the lives of people.
Here is a sample of what we do, an average day looks like this:
Meet with a church planting pastor who has identified a village or community where people have come to Christ and while now saved and eternity settled, they still face poverty and poor education.
- Visit the village and its leaders to determine the existing skills resident, sometimes for generations, within the village.
- Find a way to capitalize for their benefit on the skills that are already present.
- Offer project ideas for the village to develop into commercial products – usually things that we can help them sell beyond their borders and achieve a more western margin. The margin is the key to overcoming poverty and poor education.
- Publically assign credit for any project development and success to the local pastor and church to elevate the stature and influence of the church in the village.
So, here is how that plays out. Saturday I met with the pastor and elders of an almost 10 year planted church. A church deep, very deep, in poverty. The families are primarily fishermen by trade but when the rivers and ponds are not swollen, human trafficking is common. Even within the starving families of the church who with great shame, still traffic children believing it is the only means of avoiding starvation and death. The situations are desperate beyond comprehension.
In a common village like this, we find plentiful skill in making and repairing nets. They know the right fibers, the right knots and the sources of the materials. This is a skill set passed down from father to child – they get it. Their lives depend on good nets made from good materials.
We present the opportunity to make other things. Items we can help them sell like bracelets and necklaces from the very same material and on the very same tables in the very same homes where they prepare nets. The new items they can make can be sold abroad at significant margins to the workers and the path to overcoming poverty and providing education begins to come into view.
And it is the local church-plant that gets the credit. Not us. Not the foreigner. Not incurable Fanatics. We are careful to make sure the local leaders are seen as the wise helpers and are present ourselves simply as people helping them. And the church begins to grow in stature and become an integral component of the community.
This is just one example. This is what we get to do every day. This is God allowing us to help the movement of His compassion into people groups who feel captive to earthly despair.
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor: he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1 ESV)
When we are invited to share in a church, community, or school in an Awareness Event with Made27 (Made27.com) we bring goods made in these villages by victims and at risk workers. We become a voice that they cannot bring to the world themselves. We become advocates for their freedom and their opportunities.
If you are an individual donor or a church that supports us regularly, please know we are enormously grateful to you for making our work possible.
If you are a business and sponsor our work, please use our stories in your business newsletters so that your clients and customers know what you are doing to advance freedom around the world.
If you have never been a part of our support team, OK, pray about it and maybe there will come a time when you too can engage and become part of the world-wide battle to end human trafficking. Because God sent his Son to set ALL the captives free. Together, we can work to set them free.
IncurableFanatics.org / Made27.com
Tax-deductible Donation portal: IOM-online.com (Missionaries, Asia, Pete & Debbie Livingston)