Freedom Challenge says goodbye to founder

By December 30, 2015

International (OM) — It is with heavy yet thankful hearts that we remember Cathey Anderson, Operation Mobilization’s (OM) The Freedom Challenge founder and visionary, who passed on the morning of 22 December 2015.

(Photo courtesy of The Freedom Climb)

(Photo courtesy of The Freedom Climb)

Even while battling pancreatic cancer, Cathey continued to lead international Freedom Challenge Climbs to help end human trafficking.

She was truly inspirational. This summer, after two very aggressive rounds of chemotherapy along with radiation treatments, Cathey still led a group of Freedom Climbers for a 10-Day Freedom Challenge Climb through the Alps. She climbed to Mount Everest Base Camp last year and Mt. Kilimanjaro the previous year to raise awareness of modern-day slavery and to raise funds for the work of The Freedom Challenge so that more and more women could be set on a path to freedom.

She was unstoppable in her mission to help those who do not have the ability to help themselves out of oppression. “My wish is that all women and children would know their God-given value and worth. They are not objects to be used for financial gain or personal satisfaction. They are uniquely and wonderfully made, and no one should take that intrinsic knowledge away from them. We will keep on being a voice for each one of them.”

Cathey and her husband, Mark, joined OM in 2010. After retiring from a teaching career in 2008, she began traveling internationally and realized that many of the freedoms women enjoy here in the U.S. are not what many women around the world experience. The Lord gave Cathey the vision for the Freedom Climb, and it began as an effort to bring hope for a better tomorrow and change the future for women and children around the world.

Cathey’s wish was “for all to continue the dream God birthed in her: To free the oppressed and enslaved, and for every woman to know that Jesus is the lover of her soul.”

We can continue Cathey’s legacy: we can climb, we can fund-raise, we can run events, we can be a voice for the voiceless. We can continue to make a significant difference in the lives of women and children who struggle under the weight of injustice and oppression.

We are so grateful to Cathey for this work of God that she so faithfully started and which we can now carry on to completion.

Cathey leaves her husband of 30 years, their four children, and six grandchildren, and the tens of thousands of women and children she has helped directly and indirectly globally.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers or gifts, donations be made in her honor to the Cathey Anderson Freedom Climb Fund.

This fund will become an endowment to continue the dream Cathey had to free women and children and stretch those women who are helping in these efforts beyond their comfort zones and watch God do an amazing work in them.

There will be a Celebration Service in Cathey’s honor in the San Diego area on January 9, 2016 at 10:00 AM. Further details will follow.

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