International Ministries

Slum Shoes

March 11, 2009 Journal
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We are still feeling warmed by the glow of the recent World Mission Conference in Phoenix, Arizona – and not just from the beautiful, warm weather that blessed us for the weekend.  (We woke up to a temperature of -2 in Wisconsin this morning!)  It was such a blessing to experience the passion for missions within the congregations that hosted and participated in the 3-day event and in the stories of our missionary colleagues and home office staff – a passion for our Lord Jesus Christ!  The real highlight for us were the times of worship and prayer, when we considered the wonder of God coming to walk in earthly shoes, learned about the many shoes in which followers of Christ around the world walk today, and lifted up their needs before our Father, asking that our ears be tuned to the response the Spirit speaking into our lives.

Speaking of walking in different shoes (the theme of the World Mission Conference and for IM this year), we have been amazed at the response to the movie Slumdog Millionaire, and its portrayal of what life is like walking in the shoes of a child from the slums of Mumbai.  It is not an easy movie to watch because it is so graphic in sharing the painful realities of life for Jamal Malik.  Much of the movie was filmed on location in the slums, not on movie sets.  As we watched the movie it brought to our minds and hearts the family we visited on our January trip in India.  Glen and Rebecca Park are members of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln, Nebraska.  They work in India with an organization they have helped to found, called Freedom Firm.  Freedom Firm seeks to eliminate child prostitution in India by rescuing minor girls and prosecuting the perpetrators of sex trafficking.  The work takes Glen into the slums of Mumbai and surrounding cities.  Rebecca participates in the aftercare program of Freedom Firm.  Pray for the Parks, for Freedom Firm and other organizations that minister to children like the ones in the Slumdog Millionaire movie – that through the power of the Holy Spirit they can bind up the brokenhearted, bring freedom for the captives, and release for the oppressed.  If you would like to learn more about Freedom Firm, their website is www.Freedom.Firm.in and if you haven’t already seen Slumdog Millionaire check out what theaters near you are showing it (wouldn’t recommend taking young kids)!  International Ministries is also involved in freeing victims of human trafficking in many parts of the world – to learn more go to www.internationalministries.org and put your cursor over “Where We Serve” then click on “Ministry Focus Areas – Abolishing Human Trafficking”.  Consider what it might be like to walk in the shoes of these vulnerable and hurting people and listen for how the Holy Spirit may be asking you to respond.

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself.  He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what.  Not at all.  When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!  . . . It was an incredible humbling process.    Philippians 2:5-8, The Message