Int’l (MNN) — Operation Mobilization’s (OM) Freedom Climb immediately made dents in the sex slave industry when it first started in 2012.
Now, you can take a hike to help make an even bigger dent.
Over the last years, the Freedom Climb has helped to rescue thousands of sex slaves and to keep thousands more from being forced into the industry. The efforts have given women the confidence they need to stand united and declare their rights.
OM’s Tina Yeager shares the story of one community in which women had become reluctant to dedicate their children as sex goddesses to the temple. OM held self-help groups and was able to give women courage to refuse their husbands and the temple.
“When all was said and done, they were able to convince their husbands not to do it,” Yeager says.
“Their children were not going to be married until they were 18. By the time they were done–because of the movement, because they learned their rights, because they now had value, and they also were standing together unified–they were able to change the whole community in a world where women telling their husbands that they’re not going to allow this, is unheard of.”
More than 50,000 women have gone through OM’s self-help groups, a lot of which have been supported through the Freedom Climb. And in the last 2 years, self-help models in India, which were sponsored by the Freedom Climb, prevented around 2,400 children from dedication to temples because one hundred villages have refused to do so.
“It sounds very simple, but it changes generation after generation because of a self-help group that these women attended,” Yeager says.
After seeing the effectiveness of the efforts being made, a sort-of ripple effect took place.
Yeager shares, “Over and over [we] received women saying to us, ‘Well, we want to be engaged, but we don’t want to climb. How do we also get engaged with helping to end modern day slavery and oppression and sharing the Gospel around the world?’ So we’ve said to them, ‘We hear you.’”
That’s why the Freedom Climb transformed into the Freedom Challenge.
“We will continue to do many challenges, one of which will be Freedom Climbs. So those aren’t going away. But we’re broadening it by really focusing it to the individual person, saying you can make a difference and really challenge yourself to do something.”
Whereas only women who would be willing to climb mountains, such as Mount Kilimanjaro, and raise $50,000, could participate in the Freedom Climb, the Freedom Challenge now gives all women who want to make a difference a chance to do so.
This Spring, OM is launching a campaign where groups of ten women will be aiming to walk one million steps. For each step they take, they’ll be raising money for freeing trapped women and children.
“Our goal is–over the next five years–to free one million women, and we would love to challenge the church across the U.S. to help us do that,” Yeager says.
Yeager says the fundraising price might sound scary, but really, God is in it, and He will provide.
OM has witnessed women raise more than $60,000 in a matter of weeks, even though they were nervous about the price beforehand. They’ve seen women heal after giving so much and dedicating themselves to saving others.
Take a step out of your comfort zone and sign up today!