Freeslaves.org is a faith-based project. It all starts and ends with the love of God.
I (Geoff) have been working with Emmanuel in Pakistan since 2013, after he contacted me and began work on translating the One with Christ Bible study series. I visited Emmanuel that year and spent a week speaking at different venues to Church leaders, teaching and encouraging them in what is a difficult spiritual environment. I was really touched by the heart of the people and their hunger for God as well as their need, both spiritually and physically. Over that one short week, a seed of compassion was sown in my heart.
A number of months later, I came home and wanted to spend some time worshiping God. I said “Lord, I just want to be like Mary and wash your feet.” Jesus replied in a small, quiet thought: “If you want to wash my feet then for you the people of Pakistan are my feet”. From that point on, we decided to invest more heavily in and focus most of our giving there as a way of costly worship. We have been giving and God has been gracious to provide for us and through us.
One of the cool stories of giving came after some severe flooding which left a lot of people in desperate need. I told God “I just wish I had more to give to the people in Pakistan.” He gave me a quick vision of a jar of oil, that I knew was a picture of the widow of Zarephath’s jar (a story in the Bible). It had just a thin layer of oil at the bottom. He said to me “Pour out what you have and I’ll fill it back up.” So we immediately gave more and were blessed to hear of the stories of how the money we gave arrived just in time for so many people in critical need. However, that month we had $3800 of bills to pay and no way to pay it.
God had spoken to us a long time ago that we were never to ask others for money to help with our personal expenses. We had to trust solely in God that He would always keep His promise to be our Provider. This time was no different. A week before our bills were due, I received a phone call and a person said “I’ve sold a house and I’m going to put $4000 into your bank account tonight.” Through that person God kept His word. He has never let us down or failed to provide for us, no matter how much we give. He has always given us everything we need.
This project is really an expression of our love and worship for God. Jesus came to set the captives free. He cares about those in slavery and so we simply seek to share His heart. We are doing everything we can to help set the captives free in Pakistan. And we would love you to join us.
Beauty for Ashes
The freeslaves.org mission began in response to the killing of Shazad and Shama Bibi in Nov 2014. Shazad and Shama were two Christian slaves who challenged the kiln owners over unfairly increasing the debt they owed. Shortly afterwards they were accused of blasphemy and then beaten, tortured, and burned alive in front of their children. This felt like it was not just an act of religious violence; it was a message to all Christian slaves.
Our hearts were moved. We discovered that there are tens of thousands of Christians currently trapped in slavery in South Asia. Most have sold themselves into slavery to pay for medical expenses for a loved one. The bank would not give them money. They had nothing to sell. The church had no money. So they took the only option that they could find: they sold themselves into slavery to try and save another person. Our hearts broke for the hopelessness that drove people into slavery. Our hearts broke for the conditions our brothers and sisters in Christ endure every day, year after year. And it’s with broken hearts that we reach out to make a difference. Now we buy them back. Through local churches we pay their debt, get them out, supply food, find accommodation and get people into work or started in business wherever possible. This is our response. This is our heart. This is our worship. And we’d love you to be a part of it.
This is one of the first families we set free from slavery. Since being set free, one of the daughters has returned to the kiln to minister to children. The father also returns to help to disciple believers in the kiln in the evenings.
I will always remember these people as the living fruit of our worship. These are the broken, the poor, the vulnerable, the captive and oppressed. These are the ones to whom the kingdom of heaven is given. We do not help them out of a sense of pity, but out of privilege. The honor is ours to serve those so highly esteemed in Heaven’s eyes.
So for us, the freeslaves project began with the realization that worship is more than a song. It is a life of sacrificial love. It is God’s heart in action. We’d love it if you wanted to join us in this worship. So if you can feel your heart beating and would like to set God’s people free from their slavery, please get in touch. We can’t wait to hear from you.