VOICES CALLING FOR THE END OF
MODERN DAY SLAVERY
Faces of Freedom Exhibit: Voices Calling for the End of Modern Day Slavery Author Editor Layout
Rob Swenson Margaret Basse Alyssa Wilson
PO Box 403 Erie, Colorado 80516
Biblical quotations are from the New International Version Bible. Zondervan Publishing House, GrandRapids, Michigan Copyright ÂŠ Freedom 58 Project Inc., 2016 All rights reserved No part of this book may be reproduced in any way without prior written permission of Freedom 58 Project PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
PASTORS, LEADERS, AND DONORS, TODAY, you know better than anyone else the pressing human needs
in your church and community alone. On a global scale, the poor and the oppressed continue to suffer as evidenced by the 35 million people currently enslaved through bonded labor and sex slavery around the world. According to the State Department, human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world, with annual net profits of $150 billion. This is more than the combined profits of Google, Nike, Starbucks, Disney, and the NFL . When I discovered two million women and children are exploited in the global commercial sex slave industry, I began to ask myself some questions. â€œWho can make a dent in this injustice? Does God have anything to say about justice and violent oppression of the poor? Is there a creative way for the church to finance this fight without sacrificing current ministry funds?â€? Most of us feel overwhelmed already. We are constantly in need of fresh vision, a revived prayer life, and a relevant church. We are losing the next generation of faith leaders (millennials) from a church perceived as dormant and insignificant. Our team knows from our past experience this generation is very interested in justice ministries. In fact, when justice sermons and involvement opportunities coincide, between 30%-70% of the congregation has a desire to do something to end modern day slavery. This is good news. Churches are waking up to Godâ€™s heart for biblical justice and His mandate to the church to emphasize the plight of the poor and oppressed (Matthew 25:34).
Freedom 58 Project is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit dedicated to increasing the capacity of Christ-centered churches and ministries to understand, apply, and draw their community to biblical justice. Freedom “58” references Isaiah 58 where God makes 18 profound promises to those who meet the needs of the poor and oppressed. Freedom 58 was created to change the conversation in the church and communities across the nation, taking people on a justice journey and deepening their understanding of God’s heart for the poor, oppressed, and biblical justice. If you’ve been thinking about how you could respond to injustice or how to engage people in justice issues, our team would love for you to explore this opportunity further. I would be happy to meet further with your staff, leadership, or personally. We are looking for churches who desire to partner well and are interested in increasing their capacity to respond to a specific set of “calls to action” that are touched on in our art exhibit, “Faces of Freedom: Voices Calling for the End of Modern Day Slavery.” Please review the following pages of paintings, stories, and suggested action items and spend some extended time in Isaiah 58 and Matthew 25:34 as you pray about next steps. Looking forward to co-laboring,
Founder and President Freedom 58 Project, Inc.
T ABLE OF C ONTENTS I 1 2 10
Letter from the Founder Reflection on Isaiah 58 Our Response Our Partners
11 Cru 13 Faces of Freedom Art Collection 15 Tiny Hands International 17 10ThousandWindows 19 Agape International Mission
21 Your Response 25 Resources
ISAIAH 58:8-14 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, Here, God declares 18 different and your healing will quickly appear; promises to those willing to offer then your righteousness will go before you, true fasting and sacrifice. Beginning and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. with a clear juxtaposition between 9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; the state of the people’s hearts and you will cry for help, and He will say: ‘Hear am I.’ God’s desire for His people, Isaiah If you do away with the yoke of oppression, goes on to speak of a new vision. with the pointing finger and malicious talk, A vision that would empower 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry believers to change the status quo and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, of the world through centuries; a then your light will rise in the darkness, physical representation of Christ’s and your night will become like the noonday. love as Christians weather every 11 The LORD will guide you always; storm alongside those suffering He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land under the hand of oppression. and will strengthen your frame. Our good news combined with You will be like a well-watered garden, faith-stretching action will serve like a spring whose waters never fail. relevant and attractive to a 12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins skeptical, hurting world. and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. 13 If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on My holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14 then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. 8
An art exhibit which raises awareness about the realities and effects of human trafficking and other forms of violent oppression in the world today. Faces of Freedom celebrates the survivors, . highlights our partner ministries who rescue and restore, and presents opportunities for the church to engage. Faces of Freedom features over 200 works of art celebrating survivors of human trafficking and other forms of violent oppression.
THIS EXHIBIT Empowers churches to help end modern day slavery Develops a biblically-based understanding of justice through the 30-day devotional provided for participants Engages your congregation through four weeks of justice specific topics
Provides a clear call to action to respond justly in the name of Christ
Noble Man. Rhonda Garton. 10ThousandWindows
THE EXHIBIT INCLUDES Diverse paintings recognizing the dignity, honor, and beauty of each survivor. Paintings were donated by artists from around the United States and parts of the world for the purpose of ending modern day slavery. Some other countries include: Canada, Ireland, Mexico and Thailand.
EACH PAINTING CONTAINS The story of the survivorâ€™s path to freedom Facts about the scale of the modern day slavery Information about the ministry partner Bible verses which shed light on the issue and the solution
A description of the artistâ€™s technique and attributes of the painting
Avarielle. Lynne Gleason. 10ThousandWindows
Avarielle* has triumphantly overcome her commercial sexual exploitation by landing a professional job as a data encoder in a workplace that prioritizes the dignity of their employees. Her infinite value for who she is and what she can achieve is the foundation for her upward mobility. She was encouraged by 10ThousandWindows staff who counseled her toward the career she desired and then equipped her for it. Through her hard workâ€”and the donations to 10ThousandWindows that fund their workâ€”Avarielle is no longer vulnerable to exploitation. Instead, she is an inspiration and role model. *Pseudonym
She was a young girl who suffered injustice, violence, and oppression. Found abandoned at a train station, she was taken to an orphanage where she was isolated from other children. Her caretakers thought so little of her they locked the door of her room so that no one would feed her. At fifteen years old, she passed away from intentional starvation. Her story continues to speak as one of many voices calling for the end of the violent oppression of the poor.
This is Meena who was brought to rescue by one of our partners, Tiny Hands International, in Nepal. Bangladesh and Nepal have over 30,000 women and children who are annually trafficked into India. In response to this, Tiny Hands staff station themselves at the border between Nepal and India intercepting traffickers and women who have been deceived with a promise of a good paying job. This job paid well for her traffickers, but meant a horrific life of sexual enslavement for Meena. Meena and her child were painted by renowned artist Michelle Rushworth. Meena's painting is her voice calling for the end of modern day slavery and her cry to those willing to join together to deliver more girls like her to safety. Meena was deceived and enslaved for two years by a trafficker. She often considered suicide, seeing it then as her only hope for freedom. However, Meena’s dreams of one day being reunited with her daughter gave her power to endure her grueling reality. Eventually, Meena made her escape from her cruel trafficker. Meena accepted Christ’s forgiveness and extended forgiveness to oppressors. She became a border patrol officer in an effort to find and intercept girls before they’re ever trafficked. Meena sadly passed away along with her newborn in early 2015 while in childbirth. Thanks to Tiny Hands International and artist Michelle Rushworth, Meena's voice will speak forever.
Freedom 58 collaborates with Cru’s work with college students in the U.S. and around the world. As a caring community passionate about connecting people to Jesus Christ, Cru’s campus ministry helps young adults develop a passionate, growing faith. Freedom 58 partners with Cru to ignite conversations about and deepen student’s knowledge of a God who loves justice.
A trip to the border can take days. Passing through the border takes only seconds. The difference between them is the amount of time, which only matters when you realize what’s at stake--or more accurately, who’s at stake as cars pass out of the mountains of Nepal into India.
Thirty thousand people are trafficked through the Nepali border every year. Because of Tiny Hands International, thousands of women and children are intercepted and rescued by Transit Monitor Officers before ever arriving at their destination. The bondage of slavery is now replaced with restoration to their home through the care of Tiny Hands’ prevention programs.
Courageous Witness. Vidya Rae. Tiny Hands International
Artist Vidya Rae depicts Nepalese survivor, Armarita* in the Classical old world style to honor her courageous fight to end modern slavery. She is depicted as angelic to give her dignity and a voice for her courageous testimony against her oppressors. She was offered a substantial amount of money to not testify and although extremely poor, she refused the bribe. *Pseudonym
Red Frame of Honor. Chris Saper. 10ThousandWindows
In much of the world, money means power. In the developing world, money also means protection. Without any of these, you become vulnerable to abuse and violence, slowly closing the window of opportunity you once had forofaopportunity better life. you Thisonce reality many hadforces for a ality impoverished people into situations unimaginable.
10ThousandWindows provides holistic aftercare for survivors of trafficking and exploitation in the Philippines, teaching tools and skills for emotional health and future job preparation. College scholarships are given to victims seeking higher education. The support 10ThousandWindows gives ensures survivors are prepared to integrate back into their community with full-time employment and the ability to sustain themselves and their families financially.
Life is a Gift. Sheri Farabaugh. 10ThousandWindows
MARISSA* When Marissa* was in elementary school, her mother died, which made Marissa responsible for the care of her younger siblings. Because of her fatherâ€™s insufficient income, she was forced to work as a house helper for a few pennies per hour starting at the age of nine. This crime of child labor trafficking was accompanied by verbal and physical abuse. Yet, 10ThousandWindows provided hope for a much brighter future. After career counseling, Marissa applied for and received a scholarship to attend college. Her job prospects are very promising once she completes her degree. *Pseudonym
“The very children I held hands with and saw running in the streets were not just trying to survive poverty. Many were living in hell, enduring torture. I couldn’t believe it was right under my nose and I didn’t even know it.” AIM remains a safe Hidden from Don Brewster haven for survivors and his wife Bridget were to safely heal. Girls hundreds of thousands leave Agape feeling of children caught in empowered and prethe horrors of sex slavery pared to reenter their in Cambodia. community without In response, they decided the risk of returning to quit their jobs, sell to the sex trade. their house, and move back to the children they’d only just left. In 2006, AIM opened to provide quality aftercare for the girls once rescued from the AGAPE INT’L MISSIONS.org streets and brothels. 19
I Have a Dream. Tanya Larina. Agape International Mission
Have you ever considered that the drug trade utilizes a consumable commodity but human trafficking can use the slave over and over? In Cambodia women like *Dara are calling for the end of Human Trafficking. She can be one of the voices calling for the end of human trafficking and other forms of violent oppression. Artist Tanya Larina uses a contemporary style to give *Dara dignity and honor. *Pseudonym
YOUR RESPONSE Initially, many churches feel overwhelmed when confronted with the scope of this problem. When 35 million people live in slavery and 2 million women and children are trafficked annually, what can one person or even a whole church do to help? We invite your church to begin a justice journey. Ask God to act on the promises He makes in Isaiah 58. Invite Him to deconstruct the idols of this world, to open your congregationâ€™s eyes to His work in the world, and to show His power on behalf of the poor. According to Isaiah 58, church members may realize their gifts and passions have a place in the Kingdom.
Pomp and Circumstance. Douglas Aaberg. 10ThousandWindows
GINA* Gina could hardly believe it. She finally had it: the promise of a job as a singer and dancer in a foreign country--finally her big break in her dream of becoming an international performer. She was thrilled to pursue the opportunity, but her dreams soon began to fade. After flying to Malaysia, she was trapped in a bar, where the patrons were not paying to â€œhear her songs.â€? Gina bravely escaped and after returning to the Philippines, trained for a career in hotel management completing a two-year college degree with the help of 10ThousandWindows. *Pseudonym
WHY ART? Can art change the conversation and change lives? Absolutely! Each portrait in the Faces of Freedom exhibit sheds light on our worldâ€™s dark, broken places while simultaneously painting a picture of resilience, redemption, and hope. May these stories move you to prayer, advocacy, and action. You have the power to change lives; one rescued slave, one perpetrator going to prison, one judge who changes his mind about the rule of law for the poor, or one police officer who acts nobly, ends a great paralysis and encourages the Kingdom to break through.
My Red Frame. Deb Jones. 10ThousandWindows
Art at its best draws attention not only to the way things are but also to the way things will be, when the earth is filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea. That remains a surprising hope, and perhaps it will be the artists who are best at conveying both the hope and the surprise.
â€” N.T. WRIGHT Surprised by Hope
WORDS TO ACTIONS
Dream Job. Michael King. 10ThousandWindows
Charmaine* was stranded when her parents split up, leaving her to survive on her own. She was only a minor at the time. Charmaine described herself as â€œa lost girl looking for a home: searching for love in a family, searching for the strength and courage to face it all.â€? This search led to a prospective job as a babysitter. The job interview turned out to be a trap and she was enslaved for 18 months. 10ThousandWindows provided essential aftercare services and later trained her for a job in a professional business environment. She now works as a data analyst at a fair-paying job.
THE FINAL “PORTRAIT” OF THE EXHIBIT Often when people begin to understand the burden of violent oppression, they want to take action. The question then becomes, “How?” The work of rescuing and restoring those in human trafficking requires specialized training. We may not be able to knock down brothel doors, defend a trafficked survivor in court, or help in the rehabilitation process. However, we can support those who are and bring an end to human trafficking through our words and actions.
Psalm 45:6 “Your throne, O God will last forever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your Kingdom.” Proverbs 14:31 “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” Proverbs 29:7 “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”
Powerful Voice. David Gage. Freedom 58 Project.
FOUR SUGGESTED SERMON TOPICS WEEK 1 God of Justice – Psalms Psalms 23 Protector
A shepherd for the afflicted
Psalms 97 Righteous
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne
Psalms 96 Just
He makes things right
Psalms 10 Defender
Hears the desire of the afflicted
Psalms 49 Redemptive
Redeems our life from the grave
Psalms 107 Good
Goodness that transforms lives
WEEK 2 Elements of Justice
Isaiah 58:1 Raise your voice
Loosen the chains of injustice Set the oppressed free Share your food with the hungry Provide shelter for the wanderer Clothe the naked Don’t turn away from your own flesh and blood.
WEEK 3 Jesus and Justice Luke 4 Luke 10:25-37 Matthew 6:9-13 Lord’s Prayer
Open our homes to the poor
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their neglect of justice and mercy
Matthew 25:31-46 Romans 3:22-26
Jesus’ sacrifice brought justification for those who believe
WEEK 4 Life and Justice James 1:27 Acts 10:34-35; 17:26 Job 29:14-17
Life infused by social consciousness
Believers share their possessions
Matthew 9:35-38 Revelation 21:1-5; 22:1-5,12
CALL TO ACTION WORD With these paintings and stories we bring the issue of modern day slavery closer to our compassionate hearts. Each beautiful story of redemption awakens us and points the audience to biblical justice. We have designed several ways to spread the word for those that continue to suffer horrific oppression while encouraging growth in understanding and intimacy with Christ. We have developed a Faces of Freedom 30-day devotional for each member of your church. Resources weâ€™ve created are accessible through the Freedom 58 website, www.freedom58project.com, including bible studies, focus groups, videos, and more.
FAITH-FILLED ACTION FAITH As we grow in our understanding of injustice and human trafficking, our actions carry more weight, our prayer life changes, renewed purpose arrives, and we become mature followers of Christ. We’ve created Advocacy Cards for the congregation to sign to their Congressmen, calling for government expenditures and legislation for the end of human trafficking.
GIFTS We are all in different seasons of life. However, we all have gifts that can be used in the fight to end human trafficking. As with anything, restoring justice and ending human trafficking requires funds. At Freedom 58, we do not take that lightly. Sponsor the Faces of Freedom exhibit to rescue, support, and provide for former victims of human trafficking. We have “Answer the Call” donation cards to share the mission of Tiny Hands International, Agape International Mission, and 10ThousandsWindows. This partnership goes outside the church walls to raise funds in the community to increase the financial capacity for doing justice and extending mercy. 31
HOW CAN WE SERVE THE POOR AND OPPRESSED TOGETHER?
If a person has grasped the meaning of God’s grace in his heart, he will do justice. If he doesn’t live justly, then he may say with his lips that he is grateful for God’s grace, but in his heart he is far from Him. If he doesn’t care about the poor, it reveals that at best he doesn’t understand the grace he has experienced, and at worst he has not really encountered the saving mercy of God. Grace should make you just. — DR. TIMOTHY KELLER
“I have often prayed over the years that God would allow me to use the talents He has given me to further His Kingdom and Glory. I just never knew what that looked like until I was asked to paint a portrait for Freedom 58.” — DAVID GAGE Member of The Portrait Society of America “The Faces of Freedom offers hope in an otherwise hopeless situation. I urge your support of this worthy and vital project. These are not just pictures...they’re human beings.”
ROGER CROSS President Emeritus of Youth For Christ/USA
“Creating original portraits for the Freedom 58 Project gave me immense joy and challenged my creative spirit. God provided this amazing opportunity which allowed me to contribute and feel connected to other women around the world who are in need.”
— SUSIE MOTTASHED Freedom 58 Artist “Compassion calls us to relieve the pain of the suffering of human trafficking; justice compels us to remove the cause of the suffering.” — MARK POLLARD Freedom 58 Board of Directors Member