“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Proverbs 31: 8-9 NLT
27 million and counting, 20 million are children and women
An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked each year
95% of victims experienced physical or sexual violence during trafficking
43% of victims are used for forced commercial sexual exploitation, of whom 98 per cent are women and girls
32% of victims are used for forced economic exploitation
In trips with teams to Cambodia, Thailand, and India, we experienced the horrors of human and sex trafficking first hand. We spent time with the victims and engaged with the terrific work of Operation Mobilization on the front line and our hearts were pierced.
In 2008 we organized a team to climb Kilimanjaro which included John’s friend of 30+ years and FaithQuest Board member Mark Anderson. Then after climbing Mt. Whitney together in September of 2010 with John and Lori Gash, Mark and his wife Cathey (Our friend pre-dating Mark and Director from our Y-Africa Board and Team) felt God speaking to her (from a state of exhaustion!) to lead the charge for developing THE FREEDOM CLIMB.
What is THE FREEDOM CLIMB? Cathey, Lori, and 46 other women begin their ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania on January 11, 2012, and with an amazing effort, 43 reached the summit January 15. For months before and since the event, the whole team had been raising awareness, prayers, and finances for women and children being oppressed, enslaved, exploited and trafficked. The Freedom Climb goal was to affect the lives of 10,000 women through projects that break the cycles of poverty, shame, slavery, and despair. These projects include micro-loans, education, skills training, and protection from exploitation with Operation Mobilization.
Why Mt. Kilimanjaro? The highest mountain in Africa at nearly 20,000′, its summit is known as Uhuru Peak. Uhuru is the Swahili word for freedom. Climbing Kilimanjaro is symbolic of the huge climb to freedom faced daily by millions of enslaved women and children worldwide.
All funds generated from this event were committed to key projects of the wonderful Operation Mobilization (OM) organization that we love and support. These projects combat slavery, oppression, and trafficking by providing prevention, rescue, and development for children and women in high-risk areas.
Operation Mobilization led the way and developed a terrific website packed with details on the projects, bios of the climbers, and more, with the first climb raising more than $500,000 for God’s work! Operation Mobilization’s great championing and the leadership has grown into many more challenge events and a real movement, all now called The Freedom Challenge We invite and encourage you to support Operation Mobilization and join in Freedom Challenge events, something we deeply believe in and support.
Click here to learn more, explore the website, and support THE FREEDOM CHALLENGE projects of Operation Mobilization!
This is all very special to us here at FaithQuest, in no small part because of Cathey’s leadership and her passing to true freedom with her Lord late in 2015. Please enjoy the great video about our sister you will see on the site!