For 24: Meet Faith

Welcome to the start of our "For 24" storytelling series, designed to tell the stories of REAL survivors of human trafficking, volunteers, fundraisers, and behind-the-sceners as they relate to our mission here at Freedom 4/24. Over the next year, we will introduce you to 24 faces and tell their stories; stories that exemplify the work being done to fight for freedom, share the gospel, and raise funds and awareness. We hope these stories inspire you and move you to action. EVERYONE can make a difference, whether it's giving $24/month, raising $2,400 or volunteering 24 hours of your time. How will you stand FOR 24?  

#1.Meet Faith Lamaro. 

Faith with Amanda
Faith with Amanda

Faith is a woman appropriately named. She has been through more than most of us can imagine. And yet, she now has joy, hope and an unwavering faith in Jesus. Faith is one of the recent graduates from Christine's House in Gulu, Uganda, a rescue home for exploited girls and children, funded by Freedom 4/24. These women come from backgrounds of sexual assault, trafficking, abuse and neglect. Faith is one of them.

After receiving spiritual and psychological counseling for more than 8 months, Faith returned to her family in a mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually positive state. During her time at Christine's House, Faith's family also went through sensitivity training related to her trauma.


Healing has taken hold in Faith's life. Now, she faces a different challenge: school fees. Faith is one of four girls from Christine's House with both the aptitude and desire to go back to school.  Funding is the only thing preventing this. Her family cannot afford to send her to school.

The cost is approximately $500 for the year, which includes tuition, feeding at school, uniforms, books and materials and test fees. Faith is just one example of how YOU can make a difference. If just TWO people give $24/month for a year, it would more than cover the cost of education for a woman like Faith.

Will you be one of them? 

Become a recurring giver today and make a difference in the life of one. One like Faith.

Learn more about Christine's House here:

"She Ran to Tell Her Sister"

When was the last time you ran to tell someone about Jesus? About freedom? About, well, anything at all? We love so many parts of Pin's path to freedom. But perhaps how it began is one of the most beautiful chapters: with her sister making a sacrifice to stay working in the red light districts so her impoverished family could still have income, while seeking an opportunity for her younger sister to experience the freedom she may never have. Today, we take you to Bangkok, Thailand, to one of Freedom 4/24's partner organizations, the Home of New Beginnings. Inside are more than a dozen girls who were able to escape the clutch of the sex industry, including Pin, and are now finding permanent freedom, a safe shelter, friendships, healing and an education all the way through university.

The stories of these girls are raw and real. They aren't just about heartbreak, though, but about heart-healing. Restoration and redemption are their calling cards. Take a moment to watch Pin's story, as told by Beginning's founder and beloved "mom" to these girls, Bonita Thompson.

The Girls of Karuna

Early this year, I had the opportunity to visit Karuna, a rehabilitation home for minor girls rescued from the red light areas in central India. Before arriving at the home, I mentally prepared myself to meet a group of girls hardened, withdrawn, and jaded as a result of their years enslaved as prostitutes. I told myself “these are not going to be typical teenagers” and prayed God would give me strength to bring joy and light into what I expected to be a very dark visit.  I was steeled for what I assumed I would experience, but what I experienced was far more difficult. DSC_0486Many of the girls at Karuna were headed toward a life of prostitution the moment their parents knew their gender. Despite this, the girls I met that day are not entirely hardened, withdrawn or without hope. In actuality, they are shockingly similar to teenage girls in the United States: They asked probing questions about my life, giggled at the answers and whispered to one another between cautious glances my way. They eagerly showed me their handmade jewelry seeking my approval. They coaxed me into deejaying an impromptu dance party with the music on my phone. They shared with me their dreams of being teachers and nurses and mothers—they were teenagers, not so different from the American teens I encounter at home

These girls have been given so little in their lives – little luxury, little opportunity, little love, and yet, they are so eager, so hopeful, so innocent. The shocking contrast between their experiences in red light areas throughout India, and the youthful curiosity and typical teenage behavior I observed that day brought the harsh reality of these young girls’ lives into focus. I was reminded that the lives of sex trafficking survivors are just as complex as the industry itself. There is no universal formula for predicting the behavior of a victim, there is no one prescription for providing rehabilitation.

I left Karuna heartbroken, humbled, and convinced we must do more. The girls’ hope and resilience inspired me to learn more about the global sex industry and its nuances, to approach my work with Freedom 4/24 with renewed passion, and to cast my own petty weariness aside.

Now, a few months after my visit to Karuna, my prayer is that as each of us is confronted with the complex reality of sexual exploitation and human trafficking, that each of us allows our heart to be broken for these girls and others like them, and that our heartbreak compel us to do more to fight these injustices.

I want to personally invite you to come alongside Freedom 4/24 as we seek to do more for the girls of central India and others like them. Learn with us and allow your heart to break. Act and assume your unique role in the fight against these atrocities. Give and be a part of bringing restoration to survivors of India’s sex trade.

To learn more about sex trafficking in India, read Tim Spaulding's first-hand account of a brothel raid near Karuna by clicking here.

- Post contributed by Abby Barr, Operations Coordinator

Rescuing Molly - Part 1

*In 2013, with your help and your donations, Freedom 4/24 financially partnered with Freedom Firm funding a grant request to open a new field office in an undisclosed city in India** to combat the city's rampant and long-standing problem of trafficking and prostituting minor children in the city's red light district. In the first few days of 2014 a four-person team from Freedom 4/24 visited with Freedom Firm and spent two days in this city. During this visit I was privileged to observe a brothel raid from start to finish. Below is Part 1 of my first-hand account.


After a restless night's sleep on an overnight train from Mumbai we reached our destination.

Though exhausted from the previous night's constant rocking back and forth of the train, I was energized and excited to finally arrive**--ready to get to work.

Shortly after arriving, we met most of the Freedom Firm team. By late afternoon the entire team was assembled. We had all come for a single purpose: to rescue Molly.

A month earlier, the investigative team had first seen Molly in the city's red light district. She was young, estimated to be 11 to 13 years old. Freedom Firm requested local police to rescue her at that time but after days of waiting and being told "tomorrow" the writing on the wall was clear--there wouldn't be an attempt to rescue Molly then.

After the full team arrived, two investigators from the team went undercover to confirm that Molly was still in the red light district. She was. At this news, the excitement level of the team rose. Later that night over dinner the team discussed strategy and the best way to approach the local police commissioner without whose approval there would be no raid. All our hopes of rescuing Molly hinged on this man's approval.

The next morning, I jumped into a rickshaw with Greg, Freedom Firm's founder, and Mincy, lead social worker on this operation. A few minutes after arriving at the police headquarters we were ushered into the Commissioner's office. Following a few pleasantries, Mincy delicately asked for the Commissioner's help in rescuing Molly. A moment later he picked up his phone, dialed a number, and had a short conversation in the regional language. He set his phone down and looked up with a smile. We had his permission.

As we walked out to hail a rickshaw Greg and Mincy were all smiles. The pushback and stalling they encountered a month ago was nowhere to be found. Things were lining up and falling into place.

After meeting up with the rest of the team for a quick lunch, Greg asked me if I was ready to go.

"Where?" I said.

Greg responded, "You want to come on the raid?"


A moment later I kissed my wife good bye and headed out with Greg and Mincy to meet with the police team to discuss the timing of the raid.

We'd arranged to meet Suparee, the lead police officer, at a local coffee shop. While we'd secured the Commissioner's blessing, getting this guy to actually agree to conducting the raid was an entirely different task.

On the way there, Mincy pulled out her phone. Showing me a grainy picture pulled from surveillance footage captured by the investigators. She said, "this is Molly. Green jeans, pink tank top.... that's what she's wearing."

Shortly after arriving at the coffee shop Suparee arrived. After ordering coffee and a bit of chit chat, Suparee suggested we do the raid the next day as it was already mid afternoon and his team was currently tied up with a case and would not be done for several hours.

Unmoved, Greg gently pushed back insisting the raid had to happen that day as there was no guarantee she would be there the next day.

Another coffee. Another conversation. A few phone calls. More hemming. More hawing. In the back and forth of seemingly trivial conversation Suparee again gently suggested pushing the raid off until the next day. It was obvious that he didn't want to be bothered with what would turn out to be a very long night.

Greg smiled and said we'd wait. It didn't matter how long it took Suparee's team to finish their work we would be ready to go whenever they finished.

More phone calls and more coffee. By this point the conversation was a bit straining as all normal conversational topics like the weather, family, and politics had been exhausted. Still the delicate dance of garnering Suparee's cooperation would continue until he agreed. The longer we waited and the more awkward the long conversational pauses became, the more uncomfortable Suparee appeared.

Suparee could see the writing on the wall: We were not going away. One way or another he was going to have to attempt a brothel raid that night to rescue Molly.

After close to 2 hours Suparee began to cave. After taking a brief phone call, he said his team was wrapping up their work and it would be another 45 minutes but that we would attempt a raid afterwards.

15 minutes later, Suparee got a call from his team. We were on our way.

*Part 2 of this story was published in April, 2014. Click here to read it now!


- Post contributed by Tim Spaulding, Freedom 4/24 President

Freedom 4/24 announces two new partnerships

It’s been a productive first half of 2013 for Freedom 4/24 and we’re excited to announce partnerships with two new organizations that further our goal of bringing freedom and doing justice. In March we formed a new partnership with Freedom Firm, an India-based NGO dedicated to rescuing, restoring, and seeking justice for victims of Child Prostitution. On behalf of you, our donors and contributors, we’ve come along side Freedom Firm and funded a grant request of over $25,000 USD to fund the opening of a new field office in Nagpur, India, a city with a readily available supply of minor girls in prostitution and where no other NGOs are actively combating the problem. Since funding this project, Freedom Firm’s operatives in Nagpur have completed a number of investigations, conducted two raids, and rescued a number of minor girls including “Preeti,” who is believed to be 11-12 years old and is the youngest child rescued by Freedom Firm to date.

Christine's HouseIn April, we partnered with Sports Outreach Institute by contributing $20,000 to build and open a safe house for victims of sexual exploitation in Gulu, Uganda. Sports Outreach has been active in northern Uganda for a number of years and continually seek relational and innovative ways to meet the needs of people in the area. Two weeks ago this facility was dedicated as a safe home for victims of rape, as well as girls who have escaped child bride marriages and other forms of sexual exploitation. Called “Christine’s House” after Freedom 4/24 founder Christine Gelatt, the home will be a beacon of hope in a region ravaged by decades of civil war where young women were often the victims of heinous crimes. Being built on the Good News Community Center, also known as the Koro Farm, the women will receive job skills training, counseling and have the opportunity to be a part of a community where many will experience the redemptive love of Christ for the first time. Right now, the final touches are being put on the building to make it fully operational. It is our prayer that the home will be filled with the laughter and joy of rescued girls by September, 2013.

If you’ve ever run in one of our Run For Their Lives races, attended one of our fundraisers, or donated even one dollar, then you have had a hand in the work we do. Your donations are the sole reason that “Priya” and many girls like her have been rescued from a life of slavery, abuse, and rape. Your sacrificial giving allows us to build places of safety for victims of exploitation. Thank you for your support. Thank you for being part of the team. Thank you for joining us as we seek to be the hands and feet of Christ.

Bringing freedom, doing justice.

-The Freedom 4/24 Team