How do we grow in our desire to be missional?
As we talk about living our lives on the outter ring of the Anatomy of a Disciple there is often a lot of confusion and frustration about what the journey to a more missional life looks like. What we are beginning to understand is that as we join God on his mission is it a process of 6 important and repeating steps:
We must grow in our awareness of what is going on in the city and community around us. We must have new eyes to see what is happening around us. We must understand God's heart for the issues and what our response should be to them. The information must move from our head into our heart. We must begin to evaluate the current responses to the issues. We have to look at how people are acting or what the general attitude is about the issues at hand. We must experiement and put our faith into action. In the process of experiementation we must reflect on our action. We must ask, how did that go? Was there a better way? How did I feel about engaging that issue? Etc. Finally, all these steps lead to a deeper commitment to joining God in his mission. So in that vein here are a couple of ways that you can raise your awareness to what is happening in our city and find ways to join God in what he is doing in our city.
Fresno City Summit
City Summit is a 2-day gathering to equip you to see yourself and your city in a new way. This year’s City Summit will equip you as a student, youth pastor, mentor, or citizen to see yourself and your city in a new way.
Our theme for this year is What Was, What Is and What Will Be based on Isaiah 65:17-25. We will spend some time reflecting on what God has done in this city, what he is doing among us right now and we will take some time to dream about the city Fresno will be in the future.
Pink House & The Hub
Be Challenged, Stretched, Transformed in Urban Leadership!
The Pink House / The Hub is now taking applications until April 20th! Live in the inner-city of Fresno, CA for 10 months while doing ordinary life in biblical community. Develop a heart for the inner-city, people, and God as you engage Biblical Community, Urban Ministry, and Leadership Development, and learn from key leaders that are making a difference in their own cities.
If you feel called to check us out, see our website at www.fiful.org. Encourage a student, friend, or family member who is passionate about Christ to apply! Program participants will be transformed forever!
Central Valley Freedom Week
February 19-26 is Central Valley Freedom Week, an opportunity to be educated, inspired, and empowered to fight human trafficking, modern day slavery.
Slavery still exists.
There are an estimated 27 million people being trafficked worldwide. It is estimated that over 100,000 children from within the United Sates are being trafficked in the U.S. yearly.
Most people think that slavery only occurs in other countries, or if it happens here, it's only in the metropolitan cities. But human trafficking exists everywhere where there is a vulnerability. That includes Fresno and the Central Valley.
It is a hidden crime, so unless we know about what human trafficking is and what it looks like, we may never recognize it occurring in our community. But it is very much here and breaking down the lives of those who are caught in not only physical, but unimaginable emotional, psychological, and spiritual bondage.
In the past year, 47 survivors have been identified and rescued. We know that there are many more and as awareness builds, more victims will be identified and more rescues made. Fresno Police Department Human Trafficking Task Force, Central Valley Against Human Trafficking, and community organizations and outreaches have been working to identify, rescue, and help victims of trafficking.
In the Central Valley, anti-trafficking workers say that there are or may be victims of labor trafficking in agricultural labor, massage parlors, nail salons, restaurants, and in homes as domestic servants, and victims of sex trafficking on the streets or through the internet as pimp controlled trafficking/prostitution, at truck stops, at residential brothels, and at agricultural sites.
The average age of victim entering sex trafficking is 12-14 and it is believed that most prostituted females are victims of sex trafficking.
Human Trafficking feeds on other issues in the community. It is the exploitation of vulnerability. And it is the responsibility of the church, along with the community to address those issues.
However, we also have a growing number of people and groups that are standing up and seeking to create change. They are bringing awareness, seeking creative solutions, and getting to the roots of the issue in our community to address the problems that allow human trafficking to continue.
Greater than this, Christ is the God of Justice, who promised that He would not grow weary or discouraged until justice has been established in all of the world (Isaiah 46). He declared that He would bring His freedom to the captives (Ps. 61, Luke 4:18-19). He has already been at work to bring freedom to all those oppressed.
We are at the beginning of this, but we are confident that slavery will end in the Central Valley.
We invite the members of the Well Community, and those throughout the community to respond to His call to partner with Him in bringing justice in every area of human trafficking and connected with human trafficking.
- Visit the Freedom Week Website to see the schedule of events and how to participate.
- Plan on participating in Freedom Week.
- Tell others and invite them. Here are ways and resources to do so.
- Devote time to spend with God, seeking His heart concerning justice and human trafficking and asking Him how He is leading you. God has great things planned for His people in this.Visit Freedom Week’s Christian resources for bible studies, devotional, and other devotional resources.