Director’s Report – August 2019
Again–another “biggest” month for the Freeslaves project! A massive thank you to all our donors, and a great welcome aboard! to our first-time donors. You guys are amazing!
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Thank you to our sponsors who made for a great month of redemption.
Families set free: 13
Number of people: 56
Years enslaved: 2-35 years
Average length enslaved: 14 years
We were again thrilled to bring joy in the midst of tragedy. The Nazir family (pictured above) suffered in slavery for 25 years after taking a loan to try and save Mr Nazir’s mother, who unfortunately died. This is a common story we often encounter. But now thanks to our sponsors, the family is free to begin life again away from the bondage and abuse of bonded-labor slavery.
The Faisal family below were enslaved after Faisal was attacked and then arrested, and then beaten by the police, to the point where he needed emergency medical care. He was then ransomed by the police to his mother who took a loan from the brick kiln. Look at the incredible difference in his face! Thanks to our donors, Faisal can put the injustice behind him and start life again with his son and mother.
“I would like to give you a short report of what the Lord has been doing in August.
I had a wonderful trip to Singapore & Malaysia with my family. We ministered to poor communities and had a blessed trip. The Lord touched many lives and we also started to support a refugee school in Malaysia. We also had wonderful evangelistic meetings & seminars in different cities where people were saved and restored to Christ.
This month we also helped some villages who had flooding and we redeemed 13 families. We were also very busy arranging venues and catering for our October event. We are expecting many families to celebrate with us and many leaders to attend our seminars and meetings. There is a lot to do but we are all excited to be putting on such an even for the people of Pakistan.
Thank you to all our supporters. We deeply appreciate your love. Thank you and God bless you!”
As part of our follow-up, Dilbar and Emmanuel enjoyed reconnecting with Lazar and Sadique (pictured right). Lazar has a job as a cleaner and Sadique is a security guard.
Other than arranging work for our freed families, August has seen work steadily progress on the Freedom Kiln Project. We are preparing to launch a significant crowdfunding campaign in a few months time to raise enough money for the land, an agri-business and our own kiln. It’s a huge project, but has the potential to create work for over 100 families and also generate profits for the freeslaves mission.
Part of our preparation for the launch is to extend our social network, so we will soon be asking our amazing donors and freedom heroes to share the freeslaves cause with their friends and networks.
August was a quite month for our refugee work, with Emmanuel connecting to Pakistani refugees in Malaysia and offering to help support a small school for refugee children, while they wait for the UNHCR assylum process to take place (see below).
August was a difficult month for some of our remote communities with devastating floods. As well as losing our school, many homes in our village were completely wiped out.
Together with Faris (our Freeslaves partner in Hyderabad) we were able to send relief within a day. Thank you to our donors who provided emergency shelters, water and food for the villages that were worst affected. We are incredibly grateful for your kindness.
Our seven schools are all going well. This month we added a school for Pakistani refugee children in Malaysia on a trial basis. These children are from families that have fled violence and the threat of death in Pakistan. They are doing their best to adjust to a new life in Malaysia while they wait for the refugee process to unfold.
If anyone in the USA or NZ has good quality laptops or phones they no longer need, please consider donating them to our team in Pakistan. They can be sent internally in the US or NZ for our team to take over in October.
Transport is a real key to growing the ministry. Currently our team are renting vehicles or taking buses to get to kiln sites and carry out the redemption work. A dedicated vehicle is now a priority to get the team rolling!
Please contact us if you can help with any of these immediate needs. Thanks!
Overall, the Pakistan team is doing well in August. Kashif Gill and Shakeel had this to say:
“The Lord blessed me with a new boy in August! He was born with some breathing problems, but praise the Lord, our team members all prayed together and the Lord healed him!”
“In August, we did follow-up with families we set free. We were so excited to see how they are living new lives. They have got good jobs and the children are going to schools. They also are fellowshipping in churches. Praise God!”
The October trip is coming up fast! During this trip we plan to:
- Bring together as many of our freed families as possible and hold a big banquet to celebrate their freedom
- Interview different families as part of our video production work
- Visit schools and do some development work with our teachers
- Increase our capactiy to redeem families by extending our freeslaves network of leaders and support people. To do this, we are putting on two separate two-day seminars in Lahore and Islamabad. The more people we can add to our support network, the more families we can free, so this is an important part of our trip.
This October Event is going to be a fantastic opportunity to bless the people of Pakistan and help to set more families free in the future. If you would like to help contribute to this event, please make a donation at freeslaves.org/donate
I once had a friend who took a group of young people into a gym for a game. He threw a ball into the middle of the court and yelled “Go! Get the ball in the goal!” Everyone ran to get the ball and fought for control while they tried to get it in the goal. But there was no goal. At times the young people were confused, but they were quickly distracted by the competition over the ball. The goal was barely given any thought. Everyone was having fun playing a chaotic, confusing, and ultimately futile game.
For so many people, this is a picture of our spiritual life. We are so zealous for God, so busy in activity for Him, that we forget to consider the goal. We simply do not think to ask God what we are called to do and why. Yet there will come a day when our time runs out and it will be game over.
Hebrews 6:1-3 (BSB)
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits.
Eternal judgment is one of the essential teachings that we all must learn because it defines our goal. Once we know where our goal is, we are instantly empowered with a framework and direction for our life. Jesus often speaks of the Day of Judgment—it is coming, it is real, and we need to get ready.
The best way to prepare for judgment is to understand exactly what we will be judged on. I think of it like being a clock maker. If I made a clock and had to give it one single command, it would simply be: tell the time. That one command would communicate the whole design and purpose of the clock. Jesus does the same when He commands us to love one another. It is a statement of our design.
Judgment is always connected to design. If we were to judge a clock, we would judge it by its ability to tell the time accurately. So what will God focus on in the final day of judgment? Nothing but His design of love. We can see this so clearly in the parable of the sheep and the goats. In it, Jesus judges the people exactly according to His design: Did you love me by meeting the needs of my people? Did you love me by loving one another?
This is one of our key motivations for the freeslaves project. We want to love Jesus by meeting the needs of His people. And we want people to be a part of it, not because they feel guilty or feel pity, but because they are inspired to live in their design of love.
If this sounds like something you’d like to learn more about, then please go to onewithchrist.org and download a free copy of our devotional book First Love or simply contact me ([email protected]) and I can email you a copy.
Thank you again for all your ongoing love and support! I’m looking forward to working with you over the next month to bring redemption, life and joy.
Geoff Woodcock – Freeslaves.org
Finally…August Before and After!
Around half of the people set free in August