Hannah Collier shares about her first experience of a Freedom Challenge hike in Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park...
On June 22, 60 women arrived at Zion National Park to fight for the oppressed and broken hearted.
As these 60 women came together, my heart grew full; 60 women saying yes to the challenge. While any single one of us may not be able to bring down the sex trafficking industry, our unity in the fight will break its walls down one by one. These 60 women who are willing to walk (or climb) through discomfort that they may bring freedom to the women, children, and men who live in conditions that mimic hell, are just one example of that.
This past week chains were also broken in the lives of the freedom fighters. Susan Howard of LoveWorks ministry joined us as our conference speaker. Through her, the Holy Spirit brought freedom to our hearts—freedom from sin, freedom from victimization, and a freedom to love others well. She spoke, “There is nothing wrong with recognizing pain, unless it leads to hopelessness. Our pain should always bring us to the cross…we must give God permission to minister to us through our pain.”
It is hard to fight for the freedom of others without recognizing the ways Satan has enslaved us.
I was given the privilege of capturing these moments on camera. Through this role, I had the opportunity to join a different team each day and I was amazed by these women’s consistent willingness to be vulnerable, their desire to see victory be had for Christ over the trafficking industry, and their desire for growth.
A willing heart often is the vehicle of God’s miracles. Through willing hearts, mountains are moved.
In the midst of the deep emotion and tears over the reality of enslavement, laughter was also had—and a lot of it. We were given the opportunity to participate in a paint night led by Sonya Finley where we meditated on God’s redemptive power and ability to bring beauty from ashes. There was much laughter in the room that night as women conversed and giggled over their artistic abilities.
Overall, the Bryce/Zion climb was a beautiful representation of how God works in our lives. Pain and suffering come with our fallen nature, but through the joy of the Lord we can still walk with joyful spirits. We can both laugh and cry, just as we can celebrate victory and hit our knees daily in prayer for the Lord to continue to work in the dark areas of the world.
Chances are, you have heard the statistics of sex trafficking, you have seen the horrific pictures of children not being taken care of well and subjected to the awful decisions of another. The remaining question is: “What are you going to do about it?”
This past week, women fought for freedom by putting one foot in front of another. Through pain, heat, and fear, victory was had in more ways than one.
This is the Freedom Challenge. My challenge to you? Get involved. Ignorance is not bliss, use your voice to advocate for those trapped in slavery.
Hannah Collier is an intern with The Freedom Challenge.