USA (MNN) — About 20.9 million people worldwide are trapped in trafficking, according to International Labour Organization estimates. It’s such a big number, it can be easy to look away and not do anything. But Operation Mobilization’s Freedom Challenge is taking it head on.
The Freedom Challenge’s Wyoming Climb is coming up July 31 through August 4. The deadline to register is April 15, and like all its climbs, it provides women a chance to put an end to slavery through hiking and fundraising. But this specific climb is a little different from past ones. It offers new factors so any woman–young or old, in shape or not–can join in.
Three different levels of hiking are being offered. There’s easy, which has no incline and is a nice walk. There’s moderate, which has a bit more of an incline and some hard breathing. And there’s advanced, which does stretch participants.
But even though some routes can get strenuous, the Freedom Challenge’s Tina Yeager gives the advice: “Say, ‘You know what? I’m going to stretch myself because those three days I’m stretching myself is nothing compared to what these children and women go through being used three times, four times a night for sex. It’s nothing when we can do that and be a voice and share and raise awareness in our communities for these women and children.’”
In the first day and a half of the event, missionaries from the Middle East, Latin America, and all over the world will share their stories of focusing on the problem of trafficking, working with victims, and interacting with the Freedom Challenge programs.
“All of them are addressing the issues of modern-day slavery or oppression of women and children in either the prevention, development, rescue, or restore process of that issue.”
The event will also feature Dr. Juli Slattery, the author of “Authentic Intimacy,” along with Pastor Joanne Hummel, who has played a key role in the Freedom Challenge since its inception. It’s also partnering with Solid Rock Outdoor Ministry to ensure the best climb possible, both physically and spiritually.
“[Solid Rock Outdoor Ministry will] be intentionally working with us on a day-to-day basis as we’re climbing to just pour into the women that are actually climbing. We’re intentionally creating an environment that will be just such an amazing spiritual experience.”
On past climbing trips, the Freedom Challenge has seen incredible stories of transformation. Several members have been lead to Christ, others have overcome addictions. It’s been a real bonding time for women to come before the Lord and new friends to be completely vulnerable and be changed.
“I really believe that when a woman says yes to serving other women, there’s a freedom that comes for them, as well,” Yeager says.
“Women come to me and they share their stories of rape. They share their stories of victimization. Now 1 in 3 women in the U.S. have been exploited by the time they’re 18. So many women have been exploited…When you look at that and see how many people are victimized, I want us as the Body of Christ to make an impact in those numbers.”
So far, 150 women have signed up for the event, but there are 200 spots available, and the Freedom Challenge wants to see all of them filled. The deadline is April 15, so hurry!
Each woman relies on her friends and family to help fund-raise $5,000. While it can be a scary amount, God can provide anything.
One woman received enough in a week after posting a video on social media. A group actually received all the money in one night after a presentation to their small group. Ask God what is the right step for you. If the Wyoming Climb is for you, He’ll provide.