“The distance between tears and smiles is freedom.” IJM worker in India
International Justice Mission is a global organization that protects the poor from violence in the developing world. IJM works to rescue victims, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen the justice systems in countries where they are present. A few days ago Aaron and I, along with two other couples, were able to attend the Global Prayer Gathering in DC. I had no idea what to expect going into this event, except I had heard we would pray a lot. Full disclosure: I was a bit worried about praying for 2 days straight. I know. I know. Bad Christian award to me.
I arrived at GPG ready for whatever God might show me during this weekend. What I didn't realize was how much of an honor I would feel to be able to pray for people around the world. To be able to pray for the suffering to end was a mighty honor. To be in a room full of 1400 people all praying for the same things was humbling.
Several times throughout the weekend a speaker would get up to speak and they would begin with something like this …. “I'm going to present new things for you to pray for because last year we prayed at the gathering and God answered them all.”
Seriously this statement was said more times than I can remember over the weekend.
I was beyond honored to petition the Father on all of the requests that were being presented to us. Watch the video before from one of the lawyers that has been working in Cambodia. His story is amazing.
One of my favorite speakers from the weekend was from a leader with IJM from India. He told stories of young girls that were being released from being trafficked. He asked us to pray for the justice systems, and for the victims they are helping, as well as for cultural and religious strongholds that stimulate slavery to be torn down.
The gathering was a time where we could sit and listen to those that are in the midst of this battle. Those that are close to the suffering. We get to sit and listen and then petition for them. Honestly my fear of praying for two days was selfish and a bit gross to think about. Yet, God was gracious to allow me to see the power of prayer. I was able to hear from these leaders as they declared all that God has done in the last year and how much God has answered from their prayers. Again, all I can say is that I was humbled and honored to pray alongside these leaders.
The leader from India said this, “Something divine happens when dignity is restored and that's why IJM is there.” I left the GPG2015 a fan of IJM. I left feeling as though this world is a million times bigger than I could even begin to imagine. To know that as I sit here on my comfy couch eating my three meals a day (+ more if I wanted), and watching my Netflix shows on my big tv, wtih my minivan in my driveway, there are people all around the world that are getting the land that they own taken from them. There are girls being sold to men for sex. Yes, girls as young as four are sold for sex. There are children and entire families being forced to work 18-20 hours a day in a rice mill for .60 a day.
That is happening all around me, and at the end of the weekend I was happy to pray for two days straight for these people. And to continue to pray.
To see how you can help:
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Thanks, Jamie. So glad to hear about this.
Hey Jamie! Loved this post 🙂 It was so great to meet you at the GPG and join everyone in praying. I love how the GPG reminds how big the world is and how God is at work EVERYWHERE. Incredible.
I also listened to the last couple of podcasts this week and you were right…loved the conversations about Rwanda and Uganda! Can’t wait to hear more!