It’s almost 3pm on Thursday. Online registration for this year’s Run For Their Lives is going to close in roughly an hour. If you’re questioning as to whether or not you want to run, let me share this with you.
Yes, you will hurt. You will sweat. It will not be easy.
In those moments…remember her.
If circumstances were just a little different…had you been born in Thailand instead of in the wonderful country we call home…this girl’s story could be your cousin’s story…your best friend’s story…or even your story.
Saturday morning, sacrifice a few of your comforts so she can be given a brighter hope.
Let me share Austin-Lee’s story with you. Last year, Austin-Lee ran the 5k. She had just had her 2nd baby a couple months before, and this was her first post-kid race, but she ran anyway, because she saw a greater purpose. Here’s her story, here’s why she ran for their lives.
Run For Their Lives: Austin-Lee’s Story
I first heard of Freedom 4/24 through Brentwood Church. *This is the church that Billy and I used to go to when we lived in the ‘Burg. Amazing place…we really miss it!* They are trying to minister to girls who are being forced, by poverty, into prostitution. It’s a desperate situation for these girls, and their families, and they are selling the only thing that they have left in an attempt to survive…themselves. The stories on the website are heartbreaking, and make me realize how much I have been given…so that I can give it back.
On Saturday, while it seems like such a tiny thing to give in the face of such a huge need, we gave our $24, our time, and our prayers, as we ran for these girls. Volunteers wrote names on our arms so we could have a reminder of why we were running.
I realized as I was running, that as hard as I was pushing myself, my pain during a 30 minute race is nothing in comparison to the life that these young girls are forced into. I have the freedom to run, and am free in Christ also. This race, and the money that was raised, will give 803 *the number of people racing* more girls a chance at that same freedom.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.The Lord sets prisoners free. Psalm 146:7
We are excited to announce that we have some new t-shirts coming your way this weekend! They will be available at Run For Thier Lives on Saturday for just $24! Here are a couple sneak peeks.
Last year, on October 24, 2009, something big happened in Lynchburg, VA. 803 people: young and old, student and professional, child and grandparent, decided to make a sacrifice. Instead of sleeping in on that damp, dreary, cold morning, they ran. They ran out of the overflow of what they had been given. They ran because they realized for one day, they could make a sacrifice so someone else could be given a freedom. They ran for their lives.
This year, the door is open again. We saw you show up big last year, and we’re asking for bigger this year. On October 23, this Saturday, we want to see 1,606 of you, double the amount of runners from last year’s race, participate in something that will not only impact this community, but that will make a difference in the lives of 1,606 women on the other side of the globe. Just for Saturday, put your excuses and comforts aside, and give a few hours to run for the life of another. Give the broken and beaten down, the tired and weary, and dejected and heartbroken a chance to be given freedom, and to be restored.
Lynchburg, on Saturday morning, show up big and make a difference. We’ll see you there!
One thing we love here at Freedom 4/24 is hearing about what you, our followers and advocates, are doing to take ownership in Freedom 4/24′s cause in your sphere of influence. We love hearing about people taking the gifts God has given them, and using them for a greater purpose. Janette is one of those people. Here’s her story.
Singer/Songwriter Janette Marin has recently released her new album Surrender. She is using her platform as a performing artist to raise awareness of the sexually exploited women in Southeast Asia. Human trafficking has been on Janette’s heart for years and when she heard about the mission of Freedom 4/24, she immediately began to brainstorm a song about the women who are affected by it.
About her song Free Them:
Marin told us, “I was excited and I wanted to do anything I could to help. Through the launch of this cd there were ups and downs…but the burden on my heart only grew stronger. I was driving in my car one day praying to the Lord for Freedom 4/24 and about these women and started singing and writing this song. He readily gave me the words and it has become my prayer over these women and children – some of the most marginalized in the world. My prayer is that God would free them and that they would come to find that He is their only source for this freedom.” Marin goes on to explain, “This song being part of my first project is such a joy because I want it to be the heart’s cry of other people as well. I want us to feel the burden of this. It is so very real and is not to be ignored. This is what made me decide to give Freedom 4/24 a portion of the sale. It is the least I can do- to use whatever gifts God has given me to bring the message of Freedom to them. I hope that this cd continues to raise awareness about this issue and causes people to move and do anything they can for these precious women. This is a chance at freedom that we have the opportunity to provide, and it is a privilege to get to do so.”
A portion of the sales from this CD will go directly towards the efforts of Freedom 4/24. We love the hearts of people like Janette Marin, who use their amazing gifts and talents to give hope to these women…to be a voice for the voiceless.
To listen or purchase Surrender, check out http://www.myspace.com/janettemarin