The first time I heard about Project Rescue was also the first time I heard Joni Middleton speak; her compelling message about her work with Project Rescue and her calling to this ministry greatly inspired me. Since that Sunday years ago, I’ve learned even more about this organization and I have come to highly respect their mission to bring freedom to girls and women bound in sexual slavery in the red-light districts of Asia.
Project Rescue is a unique, distinct ministry that is not just Christians preaching “hell, fire and brimstone”; it reaches victims in a holistic way by working to meet their needs physically, mentally and spiritually. It is a Christian, Biblically-based organization that works with the police, government and sometimes even the brothels to get the women, young ladies and their children out of this hopeless and horrific lifestyle; this first part of the process is simply known as “Rescue”.
The second part of Project Rescue’s program is known as “Restore”. This is where Project Rescue offers tangible provisions such as safe housing, medical care, counseling, education, vocational training to help the women learn skills to be able to provide for themselves and their children, hospice care for terminally ill women affected by AIDS, Christian spiritual discipleship and other such necessities to afford these women the opportunity to live new lives of liberation.
The third phase of the process is called “Prevent”. This phase is geared towards the community in bringing awareness and strengthening the people’s intolerance for sex trafficking and forced sexual slavery. Some community members have even begun alerting Project Rescue workers of families who are in the middle of negotiations of selling their daughters into slavery. Project Rescue can then come along side and provide basic necessities including financial help for these families who are so impoverished that they would feel that selling their daughters is their only hope. In this one way, workers have been able to redirect the course of many young ladies’ lives.
Since 1997 when Project Rescue was founded, the ministry has grown exponentially and become highly respected worldwide as an effective,
transformative ministry showing Christ’s love in concrete ways. There are now 11 Homes of Hope in India and Nepal, with many more plans of expansion into Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.
Last Sunday night, our church’s youth group held a silent dessert auction and talent show entitled “No Laughing Matter” for Project Rescue; people from the church brought homemade desserts for the auction and the youth presented their talents and also information about Project Rescue. Unfortunately, I brought my dessert and had to get back home to our cranky baby, so I missed out on all the fun, but the auction brought in $4500! And all of it is going to Project Rescue. Wow. That blesses my heart.
We read in James 2 about faith without good deeds being dead. This passage is really very simple, yet if we truly put it into practice how powerful!
14What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith, but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well” — but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. (NLT)
Our faith in Christ should produce actions that prove it. When we have been transformed by the revelation of Jesus’ redeeming love in our own selves, the fruit of that is a natural by-product of faith and action.
I understand that while most people will agree that Project Rescue is an amazing ministry, not all will be so passionate about it as to become involved with it and that’s fine; although making a dessert and writing a blog post about it is not as involved as I’d like to be (I want to be more a part of this awesome ministry in the future), it is what I can do at the moment. If we could all find something to be passionate about (an issue, a people group, etc.) and couple our faith and works together, how powerful that would be, no matter how seemingly small!
Jesus’ love is always paired with action. I’m not saying you need to give your money to Project Rescue or any other organization, unless you feel led to. I’m saying let’s all find something bigger than our selves, something that resonates within our hearts, something that’s completely
unrelated to our own gain…
…and let faith and works come together.