97-01My guest for episode #97 is Melissa Russell, Senior Vice President of Global Advancement at IJM, a global organization that protects the poor from violence in the developing world. She drives the core strategies and engagements that fuel IJM’s growth around the globe. A University of Texas alumni and southern girl at heart, Melissa now lives outside DC with her husband Paul and two amazing boys. Her passions cover everything from seeing the church stand up to fight slavery and oppression, to the world of travel soccer in Northern Virginia.

In my conversation with Melissa, we talk about how debilitating and overwhelming social justice issues can feel and how it can seem impossible to make a difference. Sex trafficking, land theft, police abuse of power are all issues that IJM is tackling and they're making it simple for you to be involved. In the sponsor notes below, you'll find more information about Freedom Sunday in September. I would love if you would consider asking your church leadership to be a part to raise awareness of the slavery epidemic today.

I was really blessed to talk with Melissa just two weeks after IJM experienced a tragic loss in Kenya. In our conversation, she shares how the loss has impacted the IJM family and what they are doing about it. Below, you'll find a link to sign a petition to plead with the Kenyan government for justice to be served to the people involved in the incident. Please take a second to do that today and unite with thousands of people around the world to say this violence and injustice cannot go on.

{You can listen to the show HERE. And of course, I would love if you would share with your friends. Just use the FB & Twitter links at the end of this post!}

Links from the Show

International Justice Mission

IJM's Petition to the President of Kenya

The Comeback by Louie Giglio + A Mile Wide by Brandon Hatmaker

Founding Farmers


What Melissa is loving: Whole Foods, Tiek shoes and cuddling with her kids

Connect with Melissa

Twitter // Instagram


International Justice Mission


Slavery exists now more than ever. Today, there are 45 million men, women, girls and boys being bought, sold, trafficked and used against their will. Girls like Mien who was sold and trafficked to a brothel in Cambodia when she was just 14 years old. But there is hope. International Justice Mission is working day and night, relentlessly searching for each and every one of these lives. And when they free ONE life, they search for the next and the next and the next… Making them the largest international anti-slavery organization in the world. And if this problem seems too big for them to handle alone, you’re right. So there’s a way for you to be a part: Freedom Sunday. The idea is simple, on September 25th, 2016 your church will dedicate its service to FREEDOM – it's just one Sunday to awaken God’s people and answer his called to see slavery end for good. From the lobby, to the message, to the media –  your church will experience God’s love for justice, and be given the opportunity to join His work in ending slavery. Would you commit to asking your pastor to host a Freedom Sunday?  Someone from IJM will personally walk you through the process and give you everything you need including talking points, videos and FAQs. Commit today, go to their site and click on “host a Freedom Sunday”!