Sunday 10th November
After a splendid Scottish cooked breakfast with the Paterson family, it was a great pleasure to worship at Wick Baptist Church, where we were given a very warm welcome. It was a poignant reminder of just how much we have to be grateful for in the light of the sacrifice made by so many so that we may have the freedom to make our own choices. Many paid the ultimate sacrifice for their countrymen, families and their descendants.
Matt Alexander spoke in both morning and evening services and particularly challenged me that we should look out for each other more and not take the attitude that we are not responsible for our brother or those in the community.
In the evening meeting they invited me to share of my experiences of the long walk to freedom and talk about the work of the International Justice Mission. The Church and individuals gave generous donations for the walk to IJM, so that I can officially announce we will have raised enough for 5 rescues once all the money has been banked (over £25,000), and I would love to make it to 6 rescues … which would be twice our agreed target of £15,000 (3 rescues). As Desmond Doss said in the amazing film ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ made to show the Battle of Okinawa in WW2 ‘just one more…’
The verse on the notepad of the man in front of me in Church was freom Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future’. It was written to the Jewish exiles many years ago but is equally relevant today … a promise to free people from captivity when we pray.
Suffice to say that more calories were consumed today than were used up treading the coastline of Scotland … back to reality in the morning!
Great news from Zoe today about another very recent rescue:
Praise God for a rescue operation that happened recently and resulted in three children walking free! These children were enslaved and forced to work in the fishing industry in Ghana for over two years. Upon rescue, the children shared with social workers details of their gruelling work conditions. One of the children, an 8-year-old boy, said his job was to scoop water from the canoe. He would be caned by the slave owner whenever he did something the man thought was wrong. This young boy was afraid of harsh winds and storms but had to go on the boat to avoid being caned. Please pray for the children and for their healing from the trauma they experienced.
Following the rescues, IJM Ghana saw its first convictions on human trafficking charges. Four arrests took place and the case was heard the day after the rescue. Two suspects pleaded guilty to human trafficking and received a five-year prison sentence. “These were our first convictions and will be critical to a future where children are no longer being sold or treated as commodities in Ghana,” Will Lathrop, Country Director for IJM Ghana said.
(IJM have many rescue plans. God has just one – Jesus – his great rescue plan for everyone to live; freely, forgiven, with him forever. It’s the most exciting journey in the world, I hope you will all be joining us on it. We love talking about our faith journey, please ask us! Ed)