Agents of Hope in Thailand

Get an inside look at what it’s like to travel with Freedom 4/24.  Martha Heinlein was a member of our trip to Pattaya, Thailand this past November. Read Martha’s reflection after working with women and girls in the red light districts of Pattaya.


…and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.- Romans 5:5

As I began to prepare for my Freedom 4/24 trip to Pattaya, Thailand in 2018, the word “hope” rang in my heart. I had traveled to Thailand three times before, so I knew exactly what I would be facing—a city that in peak season, fuels human trafficking to the tune of 50,000 women being bought and sold for profit. I knew I couldn’t be a savior—but I believed that I was called back to be an agent of hope—a voice of kindness and compassion that broke through the immense darkness—a reminder that even the ones who felt the most forgotten and unloved were in fact, deeply loved by us, and most importantly, by Jesus.

It’s been almost six months since I returned, and I’ve still struggled to put into words what I experienced during the 10 days I spent in Pattaya. I came face-to-face with a city that is arguably more depraved than any place on earth—every corner we turned seemed to be a little worse than the one before. Our mission was simple: go into the bars, build relationships with the women working there, and invite them to a Christmas Party where they would be honored, celebrated, and shown a pathway to freedom.


In the days leading up to the party, we wrapped presents, we prayed, and we spent our evenings in the bars, making friends with women who often remained faceless in a country that turns a blind eye to their exploitation. In the middle of hopelessness, a dim light was beginning to shine.

The day of the Christmas party, our team gathered to set up a banquet hall, prepared for 80 guests. We hung twinkle lights, decorated Christmas trees, set out gifts, and set up games. We covered the room in prayer, and we went out in the evening heat to meet our friends at the bars, and to bring them back en masse for an evening of celebration. The tables filled quickly, and our friends kept coming in droves. The banquet staff added more seats and more tables—volunteers left in a tizzy to purchase more gifts, while dozens of party guests did the limbo, played musical chairs, and made handcrafted earrings. The party was in full swing, and women from all over the city were still arriving. We crowded around tables, partook in a banquet fit for the King himself, and heard a message of—you guessed it—hope. Our speaker for the evening, a woman who pastors a church in Pattaya, shared the message of the Gospel in their native tongue, and our hearts were overflowing with joy as many heard of the love that Christ had for them for the very first time, and were introduced to the hope of a life of freedom that could come through moving into The Home of New Beginnings, Freedom 4/24’s partner organization. The 80 guests we were prepared for? That number nearly doubled, and 153 women were able to taste hope and freedom that evening.

I’ve been asked many times “why would you use your hard-earned vacation time to go and do this work in Thailand?”. My best answer is this—I am reminded of the story in scripture of the shepherd leaving the ninety-nine to go after the one. At the Christmas party, we are graced with a room full of “ones.” Women who are passed over, devalued, broken and afraid—but Jesus pursues each of them in the same way He pursues me. His heart is for them to know and walk in freedom that only He can give, and I am grateful to get to play even the smallest part.

-Martha Heinlein, Freedom 4/24 volunteer

If you feel called to be an agent of hope, you can find more information and apply for one of our Thailand trips here.


Planting Seeds in India

Get an inside look at what it’s like to travel with Freedom 4/24.  Olivia Dunn was a member of our trip to India this past April. Read Olivia's reflection after leading and spending time with trafficking survivors at a wilderness camp alongside our partner Freedom Firm.


I chose to go on Freedom 4/24’s trip to India to work with their partner Freedom Firm because I wanted to be involved in the fight to end sex trafficking and make a difference. I have heard and read so much about the issue of sex trafficking, and would often get overwhelmed and discouraged about how I could even begin to make a difference for those who have become victims of this abuse. I heard about Freedom 424’s trips from a friend at work and, after getting more information, I immediately felt at peace that God was leading me to India. This trip was an amazing opportunity where I could follow exactly where God was calling me and, not only find hope in the midst of such suffering, but also impact the lives of these girls.

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My favorite thing about the week was the relationships we built with the girls, even with the language barrier. Two girls specifically loved teaching me the hardest words they could think of in Bengali and laughed at me when I would try to repeat it back to them.

God taught me so much on this trip; the first lesson being, pure and genuine joy. These girls have been through so much hardship and suffering throughout their life, but you would have never known as you interacted with them. These girls were content and happy just being with us, playing games together, and making up for the childhood they missed out on. What a blessing it was to be a part of such an experience.

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God also taught me a lot about the power of prayer, and how nothing is too small or too big to bring to Him. I prayed a lot for energy and strength throughout the week, but the hardest thing was leaving the girls, and understanding that I would likely never see or hear from them again.  I learned that the power of prayer is no small thing. Praying for these girls after leaving India has given me so much peace, to know that I did my part and God will protect them. I learned how merciful and gracious God is, and how we must remember to not only pray for these girls He loves so much, but also for the traffickers and families involved.

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I am so thankful that I got to be a part of these girls’ lives and would encourage those thinking about going to India to really pray about where God is leading you. One thing I learned while deciding whether or not to go on this trip was to trust where God was leading me and run with it. The least I could do for these girls was to get out of my comfort zone and love on them to show them the love of Christ.


If you feel strongly led to go to India or on another trip to work with the women Freedom 4/24 exists to rescue, you can sign up today. There is still time to sign up for next year’s trip to India in February of 2019! Applications are due August 3rd:

Forever Changed by Uganda

At this time a year ago, I never could have told you how God was going to shape me into the person I am today. My life was changed in the best way last July when an incredible opportunity opened up and I had the privilege of going to Uganda with Freedom 4/24 to meet the wonderful girls at Christine’s House.

Even all the little miracles that God weaved together for me to get to Uganda still leaves me in awe of his care and provision. In February of 2016, I began to learn about the prominence of human trafficking in the world and I was introduced to Freedom 4/24. Their mission is to bring freedom and justice to victims and survivors of human trafficking both here in the U.S. and around the world. That month I began frequently praying over Psalm 72, “He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them. He will redeem them from oppression and violence for their lives are precious to him.” I felt anxious, like I knew of this huge weight that laid upon the lives of so many in this world, but had no ability to even begin to help lighten that weight from where I was.

In October of 2016, I was a sophomore at Liberty University and writing for the school newspaper. I had the opportunity to pick a story idea and finally felt like I had an outlet to bring awareness to human trafficking and the work Freedom 4/24 was doing in our community. I chose to write about their upcoming fundraising Gala. I was able to interview Tim Spaulding, the leader of Freedom 4/24 at the time, and he was the one who informed me about the team heading to Uganda. It was like my heart was awakened and refreshed by God’s perfect timing and preparation.

Leading up to the trip, my prayer was centered on the girls I would meet, the community that would be built, the conversation that would be shared. I also pleaded to God that my life would be wrecked and that I would not leave the same as I had come. As he always does, the Lord revealed that I had no idea what my hopes and words meant at the time I prayed them or what he was going to do in the moments our team was about to experience.

Arriving in Uganda after 35 hours of travel and almost no sleep was such sweet relief. I felt like two years of anticipation had led up to meeting these girls. We drove on bumpy streets, with so many colors and people out in the community, passing such vibrant life. We were welcomed at Christine’s House by the girls dancing and we all introduced each other, sitting together under huge trees on Koro Farm.

The girls' at Christine House doing a 'welcome dance' when we arrived the first night.

The girls' at Christine House doing a 'welcome dance' when we arrived the first night.

The next day we gathered in community at a church service and I remember locking eyes and laughing multiple times with one of the girls who was singing and leading worship. After church we both went straight to each other and she told me her name was Francisca. I spent the whole next day with her, where we learned how to cook chappati, sew a skirt, fetch 40 lb jugs of water from the well, and paint each other’s nails. After, we sat down in the grass in front of the house. All the other girls played games while Francesca told me her story, and a woman named Margaret who worked at Christine’s House sat with us to translate when we needed it.

Francisca said her parents had passed away, so she lived with her male cousins, but they would sometimes be verbally and physically abusive. One afternoon she came home from school to try and make dinner and they beat her for not having the rice ready. She decided to run away from home to escape this abuse. One night when she was away, she ran into four boys who gang raped her and left her on the streets. Francisca returned home and told her cousins what happened, proclaiming to them before she even knew about Christine’s House that she knew God would deliver her from her situation and bring her to a place of safety.

Francisca smiling wide after she shared her testimony and worship.

Francisca smiling wide after she shared her testimony and worship.

She softly began to sing songs with the lyrics, “Father, Father, you are my Father” and “Lord I surrender, I surrender all to you. Everything I give to you, withholding nothing, withholding nothing.” Her solid joy and faith in the midst of her suffering equally shocked and encouraged me. We spent so much of the week together and we became friends very quickly. I know she and I will remain in each other’s hearts and prayers each day until we see each other again.

That week in Uganda I met so many other courageous and incredible girls:

-Monica was 8 months pregnant but worked harder than anyone else lifting bricks and wheeling them around the construction site when we worked on building the vocational center on the farm.

-Innocent was so small and competitive as she squealed and dove to the ground when we played gazelle, gazelle, lion (the Ugandan version of duck, duck, goose).

-Janet shared how at Christine’s House she has learned of the faithful love of Jesus, felt it displayed through the people there, and has understood that no condition is permanent because with God nothing is impossible.

-We got to visit Harriet, Scovia, and Brenda’s homes and villages. Their families told us stories of how their girls were raped by the man with a family of his own living in the hut right next to theirs, or how their daughters were deceived by a group of boys while walking to school.

The whole gang of girls living at Christine's house for summer 2017.

The whole gang of girls living at Christine's house for summer 2017.

In Gulu where Christine’s House is located, 60 percent of girls have been sexually abused. I learned much of the depth of the problem stems from the cultural belief that women are not close to being seen as equals to men. We visited a school a couple of hours outside of the town of Gulu to share with the young boys the importance of respecting and protecting girls now so they could practice respect when they were older, too. At this school, young girls were laughed at when they verbalized their dreams of becoming a pilot or doctor.

All of the students at Odek Primary School coming together after playing games and listening to our message in groups.

All of the students at Odek Primary School coming together after playing games and listening to our message in groups.

We held a march for women’s empowerment down the streets of Gulu with hundreds of school girls marching for their dignity, their education and their safety. You could see so many men and families gather and read the signs and think about the truth in our words and the disconnect between truth and current action.

Girls from many different schools in Gulu walking in the March for the Girl Child.

Girls from many different schools in Gulu walking in the March for the Girl Child.

We held a Run 4 Their Lives Uganda 5K and many in the community showed up to run, learn about Freedom 4/24’s mission, and be informed and empowered by all that was happening in Gulu. I was able to run with a girl named Constance who pressed on through the whole race while running in flip flops! She pulled me aside after and asked if I could pray for her to be able to prioritize schooling even when her father was pressing her to go another route. In Uganda, girls are encouraged by their families to marry men much older than themselves and drop out of school. I got a glimpse of a cultural belief that is so deeply ingrained in boys, girls, men, and women, that women can be for the taking.

Another trip member Grace Hildebrand and I with Constance and her friend who also ran in Run 4 Their Lives Uganda.

Another trip member Grace Hildebrand and I with Constance and her friend who also ran in Run 4 Their Lives Uganda.

The hardest part of the trip was trying to understand the reality of what happened to these girls, and wondering how a deeply-rooted cultural issue could ever be changed. There was such a juxtaposition between such heaviness in the Ugandan culture vs. the light and redemption a place like Christine’s House is able to provide in the midst of it. I went back and forth between my heart being shattered in despair by the stories I heard, to swelling in joy because of lives delivered and transformed.

One of the team members pointed me the truth of Psalm 13, “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death. But, I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.”

This is the only answer we can ever be content with when we cannot provide the full remedy, fix, or ability to save. Only the Lord can deliver individuals from sorrow or bring light to their eyes. Only the Lord can rescue, restore, and redeem. The girls at Christine’s House are secure in his hands because their lives are precious to him.

Through the opportunity to go to Uganda, God has definitely wrecked me, opened my eyes to a different life, and given me a heart for his people in bondage. He has comforted me, shown me more of himself, and how to be a better vessel for him in this world. He has given me the gift of meeting sweet girls that I will never forget, and the ability to give and receive encouragement together.

If you also feel tugged in these ways and desire to understand and step into the lives of girls who have been rescued through the work of Freedom 4/24, please do not say no to going on a trip of your own! I encourage you to take a leap of faith.

Forever changed,



To apply to go on a trip:

To watch more about the amazing girls and work being done at Christine’s House:

Rejoicing in Suffering

Get an inside look at what it’s like to travel with Freedom 4/24.  Lynchburg local Linda Galvez was a member of our trip to India this past April. Read Linda’s reflection after leading and spending time with trafficking survivors at a wilderness camp alongside our partner Freedom Firm.


A few years ago, I heard the founder of Freedom 4/24, Christine Gelatt, speak at Liberty’s Convocation on the issue of human trafficking. I soon became interested in learning everything I could about the issue and how I could help survivors of trafficking as well as those still enslaved. I began volunteering with Freedom 4/24, and then interned with them during my time as a student at Liberty. I knew the Lord was also calling me to go on a trip with Freedom 4/24, and while my heart was saying “Thailand”, the Lord was saying “India”. I finally applied and interviewed for the India 2018 trip and was asked to join the team. The fundraising seemed daunting, but I quickly started receiving donations and support from friends and family all over the country. Everything was falling into place for me to go and I had never been more confident of a decision.

Months turned into weeks, and weeks into days. We left on April 3rd, and arrived in India on April 5th. It was a long and exhausting trip where we began encountering attacks from the enemy upon entering the country. I could tell you countless stories from the moment we arrived in India to the moment we left. Looking back, it all went by so fast, and the days are almost blurred together for me. It’s funny because you think you know what to expect going into a trip like this. There’s this nervous excitement going into the preparation and even being there, and then the Lord just surprises you with what you experience. Each of us in our own way had to trust that God would meet and sustain each of our needs that week.

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One thing God definitely reminded me of during and even after this trip was His grace and mercy. The enemy can try to bring us down, whether that’s physically, spiritually, or mentally - but God is greater. My greatest burden leaving camp was, “Where will these girls go now? Who will watch after them now and make them laugh, and encourage them?” The day we were leaving, we met with Freedom Firm’s founder and God used her to tell us exactly what we needed to hear: “You were obedient in coming to India; now leave in peace knowing the Lord used you all to plant a seed in their lives.”

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We may not know where the girls are today, tomorrow, or 3 months from now, but God has them in the palm of His hand, just like He has us. They received love and acceptance that they had not ever received. I received love from these girls and grace from God that I had never received. When I think about India and this trip, I think about everything we suffered through, and let me tell you – we suffered. But Romans 5:3-5 reminds us:

“More than that, we rejoice in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

It was hard to come back to the States and rejoice in that suffering; it was hard to be in India and rejoice in that suffering! It has taken me time to process this trip, but I can look back now  and, while I still cringe at the smell of curry, I’m rejoicing because I know I endured, my character was strengthened, and I still have hope that God used our team to plant a seed in those girls’ lives. I rejoice because I know they have suffered greatly, but God did a greater work that week in their lives and in ours.


If you feel strongly led to go to India or another trip to meet the women Freedom 4/24 exists to rescue, you can sign up today! Applications for next year’s trip to India in February of 2019 are due August 3rd:

Uganda 2018: Winnie's Story

Winnie and her parents.

Winnie and her parents.

On the outside, Winnie appeared to be a lighthearted, happy fifteen-year old with a gentle smile. She expertly executed the rhythmic, Ugandan dance steps, laughing as the Freedom 4/24 team, a group of women ranging from their teens to 40s, awkwardly tried to follow her movements. The team would never have suspected the darkness of her story.

Eight ladies from Lynchburg, Virginia journeyed to Uganda from June 5 through 15 with the overall goal of serving at Christine’s House, a safe house for exploited minor girls. Christine’s House exists out of a partnership between Freedom 4/24 and Sports Outreach Institute (SOI). Freedom 4/24 provided the funds to build the house and currently funds the annual operating budget, while SOI provides the staff to facilitate the day-to-day operations. Throughout their time in Gulu, the team was able to quickly bond with the girls of Christine's House. They shared their stories and testimonies, worked alongside the girls in their chores, and even have a good old-fashioned sleepover at Christine's House! As a result, the girls willingly shared their stories on the last day the team was with them. The girls expressed emotion and brokenness over some of the horrible things they had experienced, and opened up in ways that had not been seen before in the history of Christine's House. Winnie was one girl who shared her story.

The team sharing testimonies on their first day in Gulu.

The team sharing testimonies on their first day in Gulu.

On Monday, June 11, the team went to visit Winnie’s home to meet her parents and learn more about her life.  Both her parents, Charles and Grace, appeared to be warm individuals who cared for Winnie and though they lacked money and resources, wanted the best for her. Winnie suffers from a heart condition that prohibits her from engaging in any intense activity, and she has to take expensive medication for the problem. Grace shared her concern over once finding Winnie passed out when she arrived home due to this heart condition. Charles talked about how grateful he and Grace are for the services of Christine’s House and for helping Winnie overcome the difficulties of her “situation”. He said he was going to court hearings on her behalf but no one has been arrested yet. At this point, the Freedom 4/24 team was not fully aware of Winnie’s story, only that it involved some sort of exploitation typical of all Christine’s House girls.

The following day, the last full day the team was in Gulu, Winnie opened up to tell her story. She and her friend left school one day and on their way home, a group of six guys started chasing them. One of the men grabbed her friend and hauled her into the bushes. Winnie continued to run but her leg got cause in mud and the five remaining men overtook her and dragged her off the road to a sewer in the bushes. They strangled her and threatened to throw her down the sewer if she didn’t cooperate, then gang raped her, and abandoned her in the bushes. Winnie passed out and was left there overnight. When she awoke the next morning, she walked home, covered in blood. Winnie also talked about how she lacked support at home, so she did not immediately tell her family what had happened to her. Her father, Charles, had abandoned Winnie’s mother and her many siblings and had remarried a woman in another town. When Winnie would visit her father, her stepmother would purposely force Winnie to carry heavy things and perform hard labor and when Winnie did not comply, Charles would beat her. Winnie wanted to complete her education, but her father refused to pay for her schooling. At times, she had to perform hard labor in spite of her heart condition to cover her school fees and care for her family. The team later discovered that Charles had only been present for the home visit because he had found out the Freedom 4/24 team was coming.

Playing a round of "Chicken, Chicken, Goat"

Playing a round of "Chicken, Chicken, Goat"

Winnie’s story reflects the complicated layer of issues surrounding many of the girls at Christine’s House. The Freedom 4/24 team tried to wrap their mind around the dichotomous image of Winnie’s father, the cultural norms that allowed for women to be viewed as insignificant, and the lack of safety, education, money, and general resources depicted in this story.

Winnie concluded her time of sharing by thanking Christine’s House for bringing her out of a very bad situation. She talked about how she prays now and sees how prayer is helping her. Christine’s House is providing Winnie with a safe place to heal, to receive trauma counseling, to learn new skills, to be surrounded by staff who care for her and other girls who have also been through equally hard situations and can support her in her healing. To see Winnie now - dancing, laughing, and living each day in freedom - demonstrated to the Freedom 4/24 team that as confusing and angering as her story is, Winnie’s life is transitioning from ashes to beauty. She is being transformed, and healing is evident. Below is a video of Winnie and Christine’s House girls singing a song they wrote, expressing appreciation to Freedom 4/24, Sports Outreach, and our founder Christine, herself.

Winnie (far left in the second row) and the other girls at Christine’s House singing in Freedom,
“By the love of Christ, we are now free.”

Going the Distance for Freedom

“Today was race day - the day I trained for... talked about... fund-raised for - and today was the day I was running not just for myself but for freedom. I partnered with Freedom 4/24 to be a fundraiser and use my race to raise money for their non-profit organization. I love to run but today I truly felt I was running for a greater purpose.”

Have you ever thought about running a 100k ultramarathon? Bethany Williams, Assistant Director of Health and Wellness at Liberty University, was up for the challenge. She conquered the Waldo 100k Ultramarathon in Oregon, all while raising awareness and funds for Freedom 4/24. Read her story and get inspired to fight human trafficking in your own way:


Bethany’s Fundraising Event: August 19, 2017 / Waldo 100k Ultramarathon, Western Oregon

How did you first become aware of Freedom 4/24 and human trafficking?
I first learned about Freedom 4/24 and human trafficking while in college. I got more involved by running the first “Run 4 Their Lives” 5k in Lynchburg.

What about the cause of fighting human trafficking resonates most with you?
When I first heard about human trafficking, I felt a passion stirring in my heart.  I believe God has called us to be a voice for the voiceless and advocate for the hurting.  When I heard about human trafficking, I wanted to fight through raising awareness and doing whatever I could to help provide freedom for the women.  Through believing and following Jesus, I have experienced freedom and wanted these women to be able to experience freedom also.

What gave you inspiration to run the Waldo 100k for Freedom 4/24?
I have done a lot of local races and wanted to do a race out west for a long time.  In order to run the Waldo 100K, your name has to be drawn from a lottery so I was very surprised when I got in.  I had been asking myself the question through running in 2017, “Why do I run?”  I run because I love the outdoors, it’s great exercise, it’s stress relieving, and I believe God has given me the ability to run so I run for his glory.  It hit me one day that I could use this race to raise awareness for Freedom 4/24, especially as this race was very unique for the running community that I am a part of.

What was training like for the Waldo 100k?
Training was hard…and fun.  I knew I would not be able to really train for the elevation I would experience so I focused on good long runs with hard climbs. This consisted of long runs in the Blue Ridge Mountains that were around 20 miles.  I tried to run doubles most Wednesdays (a run in the morning and a run at night) to practice running on tired legs.  I also tried to run back-to-backs, so a long run Saturday and long run Sunday.  A lot of the running community was training in the summer too so I ran with lots of friends!

How did the stories of survivors help you cross the finish line?
It is very common in ultras to experience pain in the race, especially during the end after 50 miles where you still have one last mountain to climb and 12 or so miles to finish.  Whenever I felt soreness, fatigue or pain, I reminded myself that I was running for more than myself, I was running for the freedom of these women.  I thought about how the survivors experience so much and yet keep preserving.  I thought about different stories I had heard from Thailand and India and really wanted to run hard and push through so that they could have hope.

You exceeded your fundraising goal. What was your fundraising approach?
I sent out letters to my family and good family friends.  Then, I posted online on Facebook and Instagram.  In addition, whenever people asked me about training for Waldo, I told them I was fundraising to fight human trafficking and that they could donate. But honestly, while I put in time and energy, it was God who provided. He surprised me each time I got a donation.

How did you celebrate crossing the finish line?
My goal was to finish sub 16. I had to run from mile 52 to mile 62 in less than two hours.  I ran across the finish line with my arms up in victory then leaned over.  My husband gave me a big hug then I leaned against the ski wall, exhausted.  We ate some delicious pizza to celebrate and continued to celebrate the next day with some good friends we have in Oregon.

How would you encourage someone else considering doing a run or other fundraiser for Freedom 4/24?
Do it!  Life is short and I believe our life is more fulfilled and we experience more joy when we do things that are bigger than ourselves.  I had trouble asking people about donating money but then I put that aside because I am passionate about the cause and believe it’s worth fighting for.  If you look at fundraising that way, you will find it naturally flows into your conversations and people will give when they are ready.


What are you passionate about? Whatever your passion is, you can use it to bring freedom and lasting change to women and girls around the world. Are you ready to join the fight? Start today by creating your own fundraiser at or like bethany, run for freedom as an individual or part of a team in a charity partner run:


Bringing Freedom: 2017 By the Numbers

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Bringing Freedom: 2017 By the Numbers

It's with great excitement we share how 2017 fulfilled our mission with the largest impact to date since Freedom 4/24 was founded!

These stats are a DIRECT RESULT OF YOUR SUPPORT, and demonstrate how Freedom 4/24 was able to specifically enable our partners to bring freedom and justice to women and children trapped in human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

2017 International Impact

Our team celebrates as the last nail is put in the boards of the Freedom Garden built in October at the Home of New Beginnings Pattaya. 

Trips & Grants

In 2017:

  • Freedom 4/24 led 5 teams to our 3 international partners

  • Participants serving on all teams: 50

  • Total Freedom 4/24 grants given to Home of New Beginnings, our partner in Thailand: $40,000

  • Total grants given to Freedom Firm, our partner in India: $22,000

  • Total grants given to Christine's House, our safe house in Uganda: $61,500

  • Total grants given to Sports Outreach Institute Kenya Mission (allocated to Girls of Destiny program, a preventive youth program for girls in the Mukuru Slum): $3,000

A resident at Home of New Beginnings.

A resident at Home of New Beginnings.

Thailand: Home of New Beginnings

  • The second safe house in Pattaya became operational with beds ready to receive women leaving the sex industry.

  • Current residents at Home of New Beginnings (HONB) Pattaya: 4 women + 1 child

  • Residents at HONB Bangkok: 8 current, 12 overall in 2017

  • Bangkok residents pursuing high school diplomas: 6

  • Bangkok residents pursuing college diplomas: 2 current, 1 graduated this year

  • Funds raised to build the new Freedom Garden (shown above), which will help provide vocational training and financial support for HONB Pattaya: $16,748
  • Number of Freedom Garden mushroom houses producing harvest to be sold at the market: 3

  • Number of women from red light districts who attended 3 Christmas parties thrown in Bangkok and Pattaya: 235

Some of the 2017 residents of Christine's House.

Some of the 2017 residents of Christine's House.

Uganda: Christine's House

  • Graduates from the 8-month program at Christine's House: 16

  • Babies born to residents: 11 total-7 boys, 4 girls

  • Runners at the 2nd annual Run 4 Their Lives Uganda 4-Miler & Awareness Walk: 438

  • Participants in the Gulu Awareness Walk: 934 marching, representing 29 schools

  • Funds raised to build and furnish new Vocational Center (shown above) to provide continued training for girls exiting Christine's House: $66,000
  • Funds needed to complete Vocational Center: $30,000

The Freedom 4/24 India team high-fives a teenage trafficking survivor as she completes an activity at Wilderness Camp in April. 

The Freedom 4/24 India team high-fives a teenage trafficking survivor as she completes an activity at Wilderness Camp in April. 

India: Freedom Firm

  • Girls rescued from Nagpur and surrounding region: 110

  • Legal cases filed against traffickers and brothel keepers: 5

  • Girls who participated in aftercare program: 69

  • Number of girls at Wilderness Camps: 100

  • Number of girls at the Freedom 4/24 facilitated camp in April: 26

2017 Domestic Impact

A mom and daughter team race for survivors Harriett & Stella at Run 4 Their Lives Lynchburg in April. 

A mom and daughter team race for survivors Harriett & Stella at Run 4 Their Lives Lynchburg in April. 

The U.S. impact below comes as a result of Freedom 4/24 events and fundraisers held around the country and abroad. Notably, our individual fundraisers, and funds raised by them, TRIPLED this year, compared to 2016.

  • Run 4 Their Lives (R4TL) races nationwide: 5

  • Ride 4 Freedom (R4F) bike events: 1

  • Participants in R4TL/R4F events nationwide: 2,091 

  • R4TL/R4F volunteers nationwide: 475

  • Virtual Events: 2

  • Virtual participants: 72

  • Individual Fundraisers and total amount they raised: 33, $33,582

  • Funds raised at 4th annual Freedom Gala in October: $139,681

  • Attendants at Gala: 340

Our impact on trafficking in the U.S. also takes place through our 5 domestic partnerships. Here are tangible outcomes of our funding given as a result of Run 4 Their Lives races held at each location:

1. Straight Street, Roanoke VA - $2,119 grant helped purchase the security gate at the new shelter.

2. Street Hope, Knoxville, TN -  $3,932 grant directly provided:

  • Awareness presentations/Trainings: 22
  • People in attendance: 1,600 

  • Teachers trained in Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking/Internet Safety: 30

  • Prayer meetings: 12

3. Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking, Knoxville, TN - $5,957 grant helped provide:

  • Number of trafficking survivors served: 52, including 15 minors, 2 males & 35 females

  • Individuals trained on the red flags of trafficking and how to respond: 1,894 

  • Pieces of legislation scripted and passed to enhance Tennessee’s trafficking laws: 4

  • Partnered with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for 2 trafficking stings

  • Number of men arrested through the stings: 12

  • Number of survivors identified and served by CCAHT following stings: 4

  • New staff hired: 3

  • One property purchased to house all operations and future long-term safe housing 

4. Redeeming Love, Glendora, CA - $10,713 grant purchased the entire security set-up needs for the safe house, including extensive intruder and video/DVR system installation. The system allows 24/7 on- and off-site monitoring, creating safety for residents and staff. 

5. Compassion to Act (C2A), Charlotte, NC - $3,554 grant given to C2A, our newest partner, following the inaugural Run 4 Their Lives Charlotte, which had 147 participants. C2A focuses on four areas: 1) act as an emergency safe house for women to stay up to 2 weeks, 2) outreach into bars and strip clubs where trafficking/exploitation often hides, 3) connecting women with needed resources and 4) mentoring the women.

This is what YOUR SUPPORT has accomplished this year! 

Without your generosity, Freedom 4/24 could not fulfill its mission of bringing freedom and justice to girls around the world! If you would like to give a tax-deductible End of Year gift, please click here

2016: The Year at a Glance


The Year At A Glance!

Once again, it has been a wonderful year for Freedom 4/24 and we have a lot to celebrate! Here are some key victories in 2016, which clearly show what YOUR support has done specifically to help our partners bring freedom and justice to women and children trapped in human trafficking and sexual exploitation.


2016 International Victories

Thailand: Home of New Beginnings

A SECOND home has been acquired in Pattaya!

  • New 2016 residents at Beginnings: 3 (7 total)
  • Graduates from Beginnings:  3
  • Baptisms in 2016: 4
  • Number of 2016 Christmas party participants: 234 in Bangkok, 28 in Pattaya

Uganda: Christine's House

  • Number of runners in the FIRST international Run 4 Their Lives 5K: 400+
  • Number of graduates from the 8-month program at Christine’s House: 17

India: Freedom Firm

A team of 8 women from Freedom 4/24 traveled to India in April to facilitate an outdoor camp for rescued human trafficking teenagers! This camp was FULLY FUNDED by your donations.

  • Total number of girls at the Freedom 4/24 facilitated camp in 2016: 25
  • Total number of girls rescued from Nagpur and surrounding region: 14
  • Total number of legal cases filed against traffickers and brothel keepers from Nagpur and surrounding region: 36
  • Total number of girls who participated in aftercare program from Nagpur and surrounding region: 48

2016 Domestic Victories

All the domestic wins below come from Freedom 4/24 partners in these specific areas mentioned. Each location also hosted a Run 4 Their Lives race to raise awareness and support for Freedom 4/24's mission. 

  • Number of Run 4 Their Lives (R4TL) races nationwide: 6
  • Number of Ride 4 Freedom (R4F) bike events: 1
  • Runners who participated in R4TL/R4F events nationwide: 2,210
  • Number of R4TL/R4F volunteers nationwide: 509
  • Number of new Virtual Events: 4
  • Number of Individual Fundraisers and total amount they raised: 11, $14,552
  • New human trafficking safe houses built: 2 (Roanoke, VA through Straight Street and one in San Gabriel Valley near Glendora, Ca, both with plans to open in 2017)
  • Number of Human Trafficking Awareness trainings conducted by Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking (CCAHT): 61
  • Number of individuals in the Knoxville, TN area trained by CCAHT to recognize and respond to trafficking: 1,302
  • CCAHT referrals to connect victims with restorative services: 52
  • Number of vulnerable and exploited women and children who received holistic services through Buffalo's People Against Trafficking Humans (PATH) Enrichment Center in 2016: 150

These wins all have one thing in common: YOU! Without your generosity, Freedom 4/24 and its partners could not fulfill its mission. Thank you for the impact you have made this year to bring freedom and justice to girls around the world! If you would like to give a tax-deductible End of Year gift, please click here

A New Beginning in Pattaya

Pattaya was never part of the plan.

Bonita would be the first to tell you that. But the Home of New Beginnings, our partner in Thailand, now has a second location smack dab in the middle of the "Sex Capitol of the World." The journey to this simple statement has been nothing short of a miracle. Now, what lies ahead is blossoming with promise in a place that so desperately needs light.

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As many as 50,000 sex workers can be found on the streets of Pattaya on any given night during high tourism seasons. This is hard to fathom and statistics fall flat when compared to reality. Seeing it with your own eyes is overwhelming and sucks the breath out of your body. On Friday night, we traveled down Walking Street, Pattaya’s notorious "sex for sale" drag which contains 70 bars, and then drove through the surrounding blocks within a 2-mile radius of Walking Street. Down every side street and alley are bars as far as the eye can see, busting at the seams with people—those for sale as well as the mostly gray-haired white male customers ready to make purchases.

A view down Walking Street.

A view down Walking Street.

We saw whole districts devoted to customers seeking boys and lady boys, others catering to retired military seeking to reliving their "glory day" fantasies, and of course, those selling girls and women and even children. Lots and lots of them. According to Bonita there are 1,200 bars in Pattaya, each employing anywhere from 10-100+ sex workers. Combined with the endless sidewalks full of street walkers, it is easy to see how estimates quickly arrive at the 50,000 mark.

The problem is evident; a ferocious monster vastly overgrown, having so overtaken the city that there seems no end to its tentacles and no solution in sight.

It is in this mess that Beginnings is choosing to step into the equation. Just like in Bangkok, where they are admittedly a David going up against Goliath, they are now readying their slings in Pattaya. Beginnings' model is to bring rescue and restoration to one girl at a time. They do this with intentionality, through long-term housing, community, counseling, and especially education. The fruit of the lives they have impacted over the past decade resonates loudly through the graduates who have now completed college and, with valuable degrees in hand, return to help the home that first gave them freedom. Others are in the process of earning degrees in Engineering, Business, Design, Accounting, and Criminal Justice.

The whole complex: Pattaya residential house, garden lot in the center, and the two 5-story shop houses to the far right.

The whole complex: Pattaya residential house, garden lot in the center, and the two 5-story shop houses to the far right.

With this model established, the Pattaya location is adding several new plot twists. Beginnings, through the support of generous donors, has purchased two shop houses completely in cash. These 5-story, adjoining buildings will host a first-floor restaurant, which will provide income and job training to women leaving the sex industry. The top floors will provide housing for them, as well as a 3-bedroom home on a connected lot. In the middle green space adjoining the home and the shop houses, plans are coming into place to build a large garden space.

The large garden lot between the main house and the two shop houses.

The large garden lot between the main house and the two shop houses.

This garden will supply not only fresh produce for the residents of the house, but also for the restaurant. The whole property is contained within a larger housing and commercial development of about 140 households that currently have few nearby restaurant options (in other words, built-in restaurant customers). The goal is for the restaurant to sustain the financial needs of the shop houses, thus sustainably bringing freedom to exploited and trafficked women.

Bonita shows us around the shop house. The bottom floor level will hold the restaurant.

Bonita shows us around the shop house. The bottom floor level will hold the restaurant.

Another potentially critical piece to the puzzle lies just across the busy highway at a vocational school for at-risk girls. The location of this school is something Bonita believes is more than a happy coincidence. Beginnings' goal is to work in tandem with the school's girls to help advance their skills in sewing, baking, restaurant management, and hospitality through real life experience. All factors combined, Beginnings hopes to reach not just young girls who want to escape the sex industry but also older ones who would not qualify for high school or college education due to age.

Measuring and planning for the garden, which will hopefully be planted in early 2017.

Measuring and planning for the garden, which will hopefully be planted in early 2017.

Home of New Beginnings Pattaya is now up and running and ready to receive girls seeking freedom from the sex industry. But many needs are yet to be met, including furnishing the shop houses, kitchen supplies for the restaurant, and funds to build the garden. To give to the home, please click here and write "Beginnings" in the comment section when you donate.

Joy & Laughter: Thailand Christmas Party #1

Inside a brightly decorated hotel ballroom, 102 women left behind the scene on the left for five hours today and embraced the joy and laughter awaiting them on the right at our first Christmas party for Soi Cowboy. They traded customers for children's games like limbo and musical chairs. They made crafts and ate endless bowls of spicy Thai food. They heard of God's vast love for them and the lasting freedom available at Beginnings. For five brief hours, they were free to be girls again. It was beautiful. 

This party is the start of a number of decisions for the attendees who were open to what was shared. Some may decide to break from cultural norms and family expectations to leave the sex industry behind. Others may carry around the phone number to the Home of New Beginnings for weeks or months before they gain the courage to call it. A few may have no intention of leaving until they finally have a night with a customer so horrendous that they realize any other path is worth the risk. That's the night they will show up at Beginnings' door step. 

The parties offer a critical starting point ... the beginning to Beginnings, if you will. We believe this because we watched a dozen beautiful, restored girls lovingly interact with party guests tonight, knowing full well they were once in their stilettos. Each one is a testimony to a life transformed at Beginnings, not overnight, but over time. Time they are now spending pouring into others so that they may too be free.

On Wednesday morning, East Coast time, we will hold our second Christmas party for the girls of Nana Plaza. This party tends to present more challenges, with more bars shutting us out from taking any girls. Prayers and thoughts are needed as we work to free them for the evening. We will bring you updates throughout Christmas Party #2 on our Facebook page, so follow along as the party progresses!

How you can help in light of what is happening here? Consider taking a simple first step to help bring rescue and restoration for these girls by "stuffing" a virtual Stocking 4 Freedom. Each $24 virtual stocking represents a girl who needs hope and freedom from human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Learn more and get your virtual stocking by clicking here. 



True Generosity is Giving Your Best Chicken

President Tim Spaulding with a most generous gift.
President Tim Spaulding with a most generous gift.

What is the single most generous gift you’ve ever received? We can probably all think of exciting Christmas or birthday gifts, or thoughtful presents wrapped up beautifully from friends and family. But for Freedom 4/24 President Tim Spaulding, the gift he will always remember came in the form of a real, live chicken. Here, he explains the purpose and impact of this simple gift.

On Saturday, before the Run 4 Their Lives Uganda 5K, our team had the opportunity to visit with a recent graduate from Christine’s House named Filda. Living deep in the bush, reaching Filda’s village was no easy task. Following a bumpy, hour-long drive on dirt roads and narrow trails, we went the final stretch on foot. After a 10-minute walk on footpaths surrounded by elephant grass towering over six feet tall, we reached a clearing. There we found a few chickens scratching the neatly swept dirt, a couple of goats, and a scrawny dog that clearly did not appreciate our arrival.

A few moments later, Filda emerged from a low-slung hut with a child on her hip. She greeted each member of our team by extending her wrist to shake (customarily done when one’s hands are dirty) while gently bowing in respect.  Then an older woman, slightly hunched over with chiseled features from decades of toiling to survive, followed out of the home. She was introduced to us as Filda’s mother and she beckoned the team to come inside.

As my eyes adjusted to the darkness inside the hut, I took in the family's few earthly possessions: some scraps of clothing, a couple of pots for cooking, and two mats, which we were invited to sit on while Filda shared her story with us. (To read more about one team member’s experience of hearing Filda’s story, click here).

While our team was praying for Filda, her mother exited the hut. When we emerged behind her some time later, Filda’s mother approached our translator, Sam Lutalo, with her hands full.

“She has a gift for you,” Sam explained.

“Sam,” I said. “They have nothing. How can we accept it?”

“You must,” he said. “It would be an insult to do otherwise.”

As I approached Filda’s mother, she placed a chicken and a bag of groundnuts (similar to peanuts) into my hands. My eyes welled with tears.

There I was, an American who by her standards is wealthy beyond her wildest imagination, receiving a gift from a woman who supports her family without a husband on less than one dollar a day. As we walked back to our bus, Sam told me he had seen her search for her best chicken and sort her groundnuts for the finest ones before presenting them as gifts to the team as a thank you for all that was done for her daughter at Christine’s House.

This reminds me of a story in the Bible when Jesus comments on a woman’s small offering in the temple saying it was greater than the vast sums the wealthy had offered because she gave out of her poverty, giving all she had.She had nothing yet she wanted to show how much it meant to her that her daughter’s brokenness had been restored at Christine’s House.

Her gifts were really meant for you—the thousands of individuals and families who give to Freedom 4/24. I was merely the recipient.

You are making a difference.

You are changing lives.

Filda’s mother gave all she had. What will you give today to continue changing lives like her daughter’s?  To donate, click here. Thank you for being a hero to these girls, and their mothers.

Heartbreak and Hope: Conversations from Inside a Hut

Our Freedom 4/24 team in Uganda right now have experienced a roller coaster of emotions in this week. But one thing has been made clear to our team there: God is on the move at Christine’s House. Keep reading as one of our interns, Jaclyn Swyers, shares her experiences over the past few days at Christine’s House, our safe house for sexually exploited and trafficked girls in Gulu, Uganda.Our last few days with the girls of Christine’s House have been bittersweet, filled with both joy and pain, as many have shared their stories with us.In the past few days, I've asked God for so much wisdom and words to respond to what they have spoken. I've heard many heartbreaking stories, especially in the past two days as our team visited the homes of four girls who used to live at Christine's House for a follow up. Every story is similar, yet so different. It starts with embarrassment, and ends in tears. I am thankful that most of the tears are tears of appreciation and love, but many are still of pain. There is more pain in this world than I know, but I saw more this week than ever before. There is injustice all around me. Innocent girls are being deceived by their uncles, boyfriends, and even strangers. There is a lack of opportunity for success in poverty-stricken areas. The list can go on and on. Our world is not perfect, and more often than not, it is painful. 

Yesterday, our team visited a girl who was raped, became pregnant, and had her baby; he is now over a year old. Getting to her house was not easy. We were on a dirt road the size of a small sidewalk in a bus for more than an hour, and then when the bus stopped, we looked outside to see that someone's garden was blocking the "road" we were taking. There was no way of getting around, so we got off the bus and began to walk. I assumed it would be a quick walk, but we walked through tall bushes and terrain, came to a hut that wasn't our destination, and kept going through more bushes and trees. Finally, we reached the home.

The young girl we met inside that home told us she didn't think we would come this far out to see her. She was very grateful. The family put down woven leaves for us to sit on, and we all gathered inside the hut. The young girl’s child and mother were there with us as she told us her story through tears. She told us her dreams that she cannot achieve. She told us about her family separating, and how her son is always sick. The list went on and on and suddenly we were asked to given an encouraging word. What do I say to someone whose life is falling apart? Who has nothing but the clothes on her body, her son, and a few peanuts and chickens outside of her home? What are the words that can come from my mouth that would actually serve a purpose? Do I simply say, "don't give up" when I may have already if I were in their situation? Do I say, "God will provide” even though they do not have much? Do I say, "don't worry" when they worry daily if they will even survive? All I could do was weep, as I looked in her eyes and saw desperation and hopelessness.

When it was my turn to say something, all I could think of was heaven. I said to her, "I know your life does not seem very good now, but regardless of your circumstances, remember you have hope in heaven. And heaven is going to be greater than we could ever imagine."

Do you ever feel like you should desire heaven more than you do now? I do. Too often I think about how I want to get married, accomplish this, do that, and so on. I have never had more of a desire for heaven more than I did yesterday.

Revelation 21:4 says, "He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

That's it! That's the gospel! That's the end of pain and suffering. Heaven is our hope. There is no greater encouragement than to remind someone that one day we will be in Paradise, but for now, let's fight the good fight. I don't want to be held back in fear. I don't want to lose hope. I want to do as much as possible on earth, knowing one day, it will be over.

Jaclyn Swyers (right), has dreamed of working with human trafficking survivors in Africa since she was 15.
Jaclyn Swyers (right), has dreamed of working with human trafficking survivors in Africa since she was 15.

I don't know your story. I don't know what you’re going through, but I've heard the saddest stories this past week that I have ever heard in my life. Remember to not give up because you can't see where the finish line is. Run your race as best as you can because even when there is pain, it cannot last forever. Through Jesus Christ, our hope in heaven, we will spend eternity in His presence (along with, in my opinion, endless beaches and ice cream).

Keep up to date with what Freedom 4/24 is doing in Uganda. We need your help to continue the work that God is doing there. I can tell you first hand, YOU are making an incredible difference not just in one life, but also in the entire Gulu community. Your voice is being heard through runs, marches, radio shows, and the local government. The girls at Christine’s House are already showing signs of healing after only 3 months. You are making a difference. Thank you for all you doing to help eradicate human trafficking.

If you are not already apart of all the incredible things that are happening at Christine’s House, it’s not too late. There are 17 girls at Christine’s House right now who need your support! Become a recurring giver by visiting to change a life at Christine’s House!

Confronting the Darkness

Stella cries
Stella cries

The joy from this weekend's run in Uganda was palpable as it streamed live on our Facebook page. Today, however, stood in stark contrast to that elation for Freedom 4/24 President Tim Spaulding and our videographers on the ground, as they sat down for two very difficult interviews with girls at Christine's House. Here is Tim's take from Uganda on the darkness they confronted during those interviews. 

I’ve been eating, sleeping, and breathing anti-trafficking work for several years now so you think I’d be used to coming face-to-face with unspeakably tragic situations. But no matter how often or how many stories I hear of how a person was trafficked, raped, exploited, or abused, nothing can dull you to hearing a girl’s story as she processes through what happened to her. Nothing can prepare you for the deafening silence and tears rolling down the cheeks of a 13-year-old girl when she is asked when her baby is due.

It’s easy to forget that behind the smiling faces, exuberant chants, and playful laughs lies pain so deep that it sucks even the simplest of joys out of life. In such situations, encouraging a girl to have hope seems to almost mock the extent of her pain.

There is nothing I can do to reverse the searing pain she lives with—neither bringing the man who raped her to justice nor wrapping her in all the best comforts life has to offer could take away her nightmares or the paralyzing fear that it will happen again. The shred of hope that I cling to is knowing that in time, broken lives can be restored. Winnie, who I wrote about two days ago, is living proof.

So what can you do from so far away? Plenty.

Pray. Ask God to bring healing to their lives, to bind up their wounds, and to restore what was broken and shattered.

Share. Be an advocate for the girls at Christine’s House by telling your friends, family, and colleagues about their stories and encourage them to get involved.

Give. Each day I’ve been at Christine’s House, I am confronted by problems that could be solved with sustainable solutions if we had only had the funds.

Go. Next year from July 20-31, we will be taking another trip to Christine’s House so you can experience first-hand what your donations are doing and to provide you with the opportunity to meet girls whose lives you’ve helped change.

Don’t finish reading this blog without a resolution to do something about it.

Do something now.

To share this story, look below for the "Share This" section and click on your button of choice.

To give, click here.

To join us at Christine’s House in 2017, email

Running with the Girls of Christine’s House

Sunset after the race in Uganda.
Sunset after the race in Uganda.

Our Virtual Race this weekend was an amazing success, thanks to YOUR support, your willingness to run, and your outpouring of encouragement on Facebook as we streamed the video of the run live from Uganda. Here, President Tim Spaulding shares his experience as he ran with the girls of Christine's House, and more than 400 others.

Run for them.

Run for freedom.

Run for their lives.

This is the slogan we’ve used for our Run 4 Their Lives events for a number of years. But what about running with them? Can’t say we’ve done that before—until this weekend!

On Saturday, July 23, we hosted our first multi-continental Run 4 Their Lives event. Our team on the ground in Uganda set up a Run 4 Their Lives race with the girls from Christine’s House along with more than 400 others from the local community that took place at 4 p.m. Ugandan Time. Back in North America, more than 60 people from across the continent signed up for the “virtual” race, running their own 5K at the exact same time (9 a.m. eastern time, 8 a.m. central time, etc.). The purpose was to have us all running together even though we were separated by thousands of miles.

With the help of Facebook’s live streaming video, we were able to bring the race in Uganda back to North America. Since then, the live stream videos have been viewed by thousands of people around the world.

During my run, I talked to dozens of participants. Toward the end of the race, I saw a single, barefooted girl in a skirt running by herself up ahead of me. After a few moments, I caught up to her and asked her name. Martha and I ran together for about half a mile and during that time she shared with me that she was in the 7th grade, loved math and science, and dreams of one day of becoming a nurse. As I listened to her dreams, I said a silent prayer asking God to protect her as she works toward her goals.

Martha runs barefoot during Run 4 Their Lives Uganda.
Martha runs barefoot during Run 4 Their Lives Uganda.

Back home, I might have said something like “good luck with that” because the ability to achieve one’s goals in the U.S. is mostly contingent on how hard a person wants to work. But this isn’t the case in Uganda, and it’s certainly not the case in Nwoya District where we held the race. Last night, I learned a startling truth about sexual exploitation and the most frequent form of sex trafficking in Uganda—child marriages. According to public records recently gathered from police data, 49.9% of children in Uganda are sexually abused and 68.9% of children in Nwoya District are forced into early marriage.

The reason Freedom 4/24 exists is to provide a way for each of us to play a part in making sickening statistics like these a thing of the past. By hosting events like Run 4 Their Lives, Ride 4 Freedom, and Freedom Gala, we raise awareness of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. By donating and supporting our work, you make it possible to change the future for girls in Uganda and around the world.

After the race, I saw Martha. She was tired and thirsty from having run a long distance but she flashed me a smile as I congratulated her on completing the race. After medals were given to the top male and female runners and the ceremony concluded, I saw Martha begin to walk home. As I watched her walk away, I said another silent prayer for Martha. Whether you realize it, if you ran in our virtual race this weekend, or participated in any of our events around the country, or have donated to Freedom 4/24, you are now part of her story, one that is now transforming from despair to beautiful hopes and dreams for her future.

Whether you realize it, if you ran in our virtual race this weekend, or participated in any of our events around the country, or have donated to Freedom 4/24, you are now part of her story—one that is transforming from despair to beautiful hopes and dreams for her future.

Martha (second from the right) wears her medal following the race, along with three other girls from Christine's House.
Martha (second from the right) wears her medal following the race, along with three other girls from Christine's House.

If you want to play your part in ending sexual exploitation and trafficking of girls like Martha in Uganda, consider becoming a recurring giver by clicking here.

To watch all the live streaming videos on our Facebook page, click here.

Bursting with Pride

Many of you participated in our R4TL Uganda Virtual Race as our team and the girls from Christine's House ran in Uganda. Read on as President Tim Spaulding shares how each and every action and donation can make a lasting impact in the life of one. 

Friday was a long, hot day in Gulu, and many on the team have the sunburns to prove it! In spite of the scorching sun, it was one of the most amazing days you could imagine.

More than 200 people gathered at Christine’s House to celebrate its first reunion. Girls from the first two years at Christine’s House came back to join with the current group of girls, along with many of their parents, news reporters, government officials, and locals who support the vision to celebrate three years of rescue and restoration through Christine’s House. Throughout the afternoon there were games, dancing, speeches, and great times of fellowship over a meal.

A few moments from today stand out in the minds of my team members but there was one  that did not register on anyone else’s radar, and yet it cut me to the core and overwhelmed me with emotion.

This moment was when I realized that the young Ugandan woman walking confidently toward us was one of the shy young girls I’d met two years ago.

After she sat down, I walked over to speak with her. The girl, who two years previous would giggle when spoken to and was too embarrassed to use her very limited English, looked me in the eye and confidently said, “I remember you.”

A smile immediately spread across my face and my eyes welled up with tears as we spoke about how she has been doing since leaving Christine’s House. My heart was bursting with the pride I feel as a father—like when my 3-year-old daughter recently learned to ride a two-wheeler—as Winnie told me how she’s practicing the baking skills she learned at Christine’s House to make and sell bread in the Gulu market.

Two years ago, Winnie was a shy, self-conscious girl who was just beginning to heal from the trauma of sexual violence. Today, that girl was nowhere to be found. Instead, I found a strong young woman who has persevered in the face of adversity because of the donations from hundreds of individuals like YOU.

Will you make a difference right now for girls like Winnie who stand for freedom and justice? It costs $166 a month to provide shelter, food, counseling, and vocational training for one girl at Christine’s House. Be her hero today by giving at

A Dream Six Years in the Making

It took six years for the burning desire inside of a 15-year-old girl to become a reality. Read as one of our Freedom 4/24 interns, Jaclyn Swyers, relays a long-time dream come true for her: meeting the residents of Christine’s House, our safe house for sexually exploited girls in Gulu, Uganda. I didn't know what to expect. All I knew was I wanted to show them how much I've awaited this moment, to meet the girls of Christine's House, now the strongest girls I know.

When I was 15, I had a random obsession with Africa and its culture. I had never been, but found it so intriguing. For two years, it was all I could think and pray about. I even told my parents when I was 16 that I didn't want anything for Christmas except a trip to Africa. During that same time, I began to have a burden for victims of sexual exploitation. These two things, Africa and sexually exploited victims, were an unexplainable passion of mine for two years, and then it faded. But when the opportunity came around six years later to go on a trip in Africa to work with sexually exploited women, the decision was a no brainer for me. God had been preparing my heart that whole time. In those years of faded passion, I questioned the promises and visions he gave me; I questioned everything, really, but I now understand that everything is made perfect in His timing.

Yesterday, the day finally arrived: A day I've awaited for six years. I was finally in Africa, and my first day there was one of the most amazing days ever! On the way to Gulu, we crossed the Nile River (my knees got weak just looking at the water), and saw wild monkeys (I screamed from excitement). It was incredible, but the best was still yet to come.

We pulled up to the compound and all the girls at Christine’s House were outside clapping, giggling, and chanting. The joy that came from within them was beautiful to witness; they looked like a family. All of them have separate stories- one of them joined the house less than a week ago- but they stood as one. Our team was brought to tears as we realized why we were here ... for them

Christine's House is located in Gulu, Uganda and is Freedom 4/24's safe house where victims of sexual exploitation gain hope and restoration.

I never knew how I would react, how I would feel, but I can tell you now, all I wanted to do was hug every one of them. I wanted to let them know how much I love them, even though I may not "know" who they are. I am currently studying psychology in college and as I am learning about sexual abuse, I realize a lot of victims suffer from self-blame for what has happened. They feel immense shame, guilt, and responsibility for the exploitation, as if it was their fault. My goal in meeting these girls at Christine’s House was to break those walls of shame, and let them know that they are LOVED and there is GRACE and that they have WORTH.

Just think, that is how God is with us. All he wants to do is show how much He loves us, especially in our shame. He wants to take away our shame, and show us our worth. I think many of us have a view of God as if He is out to get us for our wrongdoings, when in reality He is out to show us his grace.

I was so content hearing the girls giggle while they performed an African cultural dance for us at dinner. They were having fun and being free, despite all that's happened. It was so encouraging and humbling. When I come home from a bad day at work back in the U.S., I let it affect my mood. These girls have gone through the unimaginable and yet they choose joy and peace that surpasses all understanding.

Even though they were shy when we first arrived, I can already see walls breaking down. For example, I was made fun of multiple times for the way I say, "Hi, my name is Jaclyn." I couldn't be happier to be made fun of because our laughter drew us closer, and of course if you want to break the language barrier, give a one-year-old your phone and show them the selfie camera.


In all, this was only Day One and I am so excited to form lifelong relationships with the girls here. They need encouragement, bravery, fearlessness, and unending love. My first impressions of Christine's House have shown me two things that will change my life forever: 1) It is God’s full desire to remove shame from our life that we put on ourselves, and 2) It is God’s utmost desire to see us have fun, laugh, and be filled with joy despite our sin and situation.

I hope you are touched by the stories of the girls we will continue to share this week. I encourage you to see people through the eyes of Jesus, who loves endlessly regardless of culture and age. That is our job this week and beyond. It is our purpose.

So how are you going to do just that? In the words of Jaclyn, how are you and I going to fulfill “our purpose”? Did you know that for only $24 a month, you can feed one of these girls at Christine’s House for MORE than a month? Or that $24 supplies two months worth of vocational supplies to help them learn a skill to provide for themselves? Become a recurring giver today and love these girls “regardless of culture and age” at  


Winning the War Against Werewolves & Human Trafficking

Throughout the next week we’ll be bringing you updates from the ground in Gulu, Uganda. Stay tuned to hear how your donations are making a difference in the lives of young women and children at Christine’s House, our Freedom 4/24 safe house there for exploited and trafficked girls.Read on as President Tim Spaulding shares thoughts from Uganda about how we can all play a part in slaying the “werewolves” of human trafficking.

Our Freedom 4/24 team on the ground. President Tim Spaulding is shown fourth from the left.
Our Freedom 4/24 team on the ground. President Tim Spaulding is shown fourth from the left.


These mythical creatures strike fear in the hearts of children (and some adults) around the world, the fear of which causes innumerable parents to routinely check closets and under beds, and leave more than a few lights left on overnight to aid sleep and keep “them" at bay.

We all know how the story goes, right? The towns people are terrorized and regularly lose livestock to the voracious appetite of these werewolves. Multiple people, armed with all manner of weaponry, attempt to vanquish the creature, but only end up losing their own lives.

Then one day a hero comes along with a silver bullet. Boom—Problem solved.

Before the hero appears, the beast appears unstoppable. The only thing the towns people can do is hide in fear, hoping the menace goes away on its own.

This afternoon, we toured the Kampala Ministry Center— Sports Outreach’s (our partner on the ground) partially completed master plan for transforming the lives of at-risk children from all over Kampala. While touring the Center, we saw the finished homes for orphans and street kids, as well as the partial completed chess academy, computer labs, library, and chapel. Later, we stood on the sites of a future primary school and vocational center and dreamed of how both will one day change lives.

While taking this all in, I was struck by the complexity and multi-faceted nature of ending sexual exploitation and human trafficking. I wish it were as simple as a hero with a silver bullet. I wish all it took was rescue and providing a means of self-sufficiency. But it’s not that simple.

The causes of exploitation and trafficking are vast and the cultural triggers and societal malaise allowing these horrors to continue are deeply engrained and not easily changed. Ending exploitation and trafficking requires changes in law, government, public policy, and understandings of public health. It requires a well-rounded approach much like Sports Outreach is doing through the Kampala Ministry Center. What it really requires is you and me.

Without our voices, the larger systemic change will not occur.

Without our efforts, hope will not be restored and lives will not be changed.

Without you, there will be no freedom and no justice.

We are witnessing with our own eyes these next 10 days how YOU are helping to bring freedom to women and children in Uganda. If you want to be part of restoring hope and changing lives, make a donation today. We can’t wait to share more stories this week of real girls experiencing true transformation. Stay tuned!