Seeing the real message of half-time SB24

Trying to make sense of Super Bowl 54 halftime “entertainment”.

Because of the value of all human life, because of my view of women inspired by God’s Word, because I have worked in human trafficking prevention and recovery and because I have seen the entry doors to brothels with children and young slaves inviting perpetrators of evil to enter in, because I know that these invitations lead to the decay and destruction of dignity, equality, honor, respect and even perceptions of the value of an individuals life; I am appalled by the halftime show of Super Bowl 54.

Last night, for the little I watched, I was peering at the “designed to entice entry to the brothel” value of women and young (very young) girls. I have seen where this goes and it is destructive to life. It certainly debases women and emboldens an objectifying view of all women.

How many men watching in bars, homes and even in their churches last night, were pushed toward lustful thoughts? How many let those thoughts run unchecked?

It hurt my heart to see it elevated as “entertainment”.

Ephesians 5:3 my dear friends is so fitting.

Dads. Next time such a display comes to your TV take your sons and daughters from the room.

Dads. Tell the NFL, and Fox Sports you would not want your daughters on that stage (even if they were paid huge amounts of money – does the dignity of your wife or daughter have a price tag?). You don’t want them aspiring to be stars of openly suggestive behavior. That is well below the design of God for women. And this is happening at a time when there is acute awareness in the US thru #metoo.

Dads, what is your life displaying to your children?

Last night, I had to get up and do dishes. My heart aches for the lost view and value of purity in the world today.

Dads, lead the charge to restore it in your home.

You can join us in this fight by supporting our drive to grow awareness to the pressures resulting in human trafficking and the drive to end it- here, there, anywhere!  DONATE

Look what you are doing!

When God decides he is moving, look out he will exceed your expectations.

New Vision School
New Vision School

If you support us, read here about the extraordinary model for spreading the Gospel God dropped on us.  If, after reading this you want to be a part of this extraordinary model, you can DONATE here.

Our intention in Cambodia was to be seed planters and ground cultivators.  We never set out to be harvesters.   That does not mean we were not evangelistic.  Quite the contrary.   The Gospel has always been the primary motivator but assisting the local people harvest has always been and continues to be the vision of Incurable Fanatics.  We do not report “decisions”.  We report disciple makers and disciple making environments.  Functions and people ministering to their friends and neighbors.  Planting, growing and harvesting among themselves.  This was the vision God gave to us.

Wow!   He has exceeded our vision to make sure his vision goes on.

Our role has shifted from instigators to planters to mentors to coaches to advisors to consultants  and now resourcers and idea planters.  We remain connected and available but constant presence is now in their hands and the blossom of this fruit looks delightful.

At the school, affectionately called ”Purple School” in the community, staff are discipled 5-6 days per week in ongoing biblical training written and used by Debbie with the first staff group.  The teachers then impart that biblical foundation into a growing group of students now exceeding 260.  And that training is happening 5 days a week 8-10 hours each day in each subject.  The kids are in school all day because their parents are at work in garment factories 10 hours a day.  School is their safe place.

Angkor Jewellry
Facebook: Made27

The level and intensity of discipleship is Thank previously unknown to me.  It truly is a Mighty Work of God.

We also work in the community with local believers to advance micro-businesses so that they can secure more reasonable income.  A more reasonable income means they can afford some tuition for their children and this in turn grows a self-sustaining school.

Join us in the next phase as look to start the same school and business program in another at-risk community.  Help us help THEM deliver the life saving FREEDOM offer of the Gospel. DONATE here, tax deductible.

Reruns, repeats can be great!

Five years ago we set out on a journey to change lives with the Gospel as the essential tool in our tool box and broken education and job environments the workplace that was sending children at a horrendous rate into human trafficking – not by their choice, but as slaves.  It took us two years to gain sufficient context and language understanding to see exactly how God had prepared us to bring transforming opportunities to those affected and to do it so that God is the one who is glorified when the captives are set free.

Now we have seen his transformation take shape.  We have seen local leaders rise up and take charge and bring change.  The joy that surrounds these “change managers” who understand that education and job opportunities alone are only the beginning, that real change only occurs with the Gospel, these are the folks who will change their world.

We are merely their mentors. (Read Isaiah 61)

We are eager to see this movement grow.  But to do it we need financial seed to get more classrooms opened and hopefully new schools started.  Each classroom modestly equipped, staff trained and started.  We have a financial, model now proven, in the first school and want to repeat it to create a dynamic interacting brotherhood of schools all focused on the Gospel.

We have three driving directives:
1.  Glorify God
2.  Teach about God
3.  Witness about God

Each of these gets flooded daily into the staff and student of the school.  It is 8-10 hours a day of discipleship into newly trained teachers who in turn witness into the lives of the local children who also hear and live in the Gospel environment 8-10 hours every day of the week.  Disciples making disciples who witness in their community.

#purpleschool

Here is a picture from the front of Purple School.  It is the first and now clearly demonstrated model of a school established to be self-sustaining and it is growing rapidly both in enrollment and in influence.

Now, we have been offered another site to start another school using the same model.

It takes seed funding to make this happen.  We need deposits, desks, chairs and marker boards.  Supplies and start-up staffing costs.  The model is designed to result in self-sustainability inside of 2 years.  The first school is well ahead of the target.  We have learned a lot.  We have demonstrated a lot.  And the reputation has now resulted in invitations to start new schools in communities where children suffer both financial and educational poverty and therefore are susceptible to human trafficking.  The work we are advancing is a game changer.  The people we work with are community changers.  They are all in with the power of the Gospel.

Consider being a sponsor of this work.  All donations are tax deductible.  DONATE HERE 

Share this link with your friends.  Tell them to join you and get on board.

For short term work projects, contact us.

Ok, I admit it……

I have lost a big piece of my heart.  Hopefully only temporarily.  Or perhaps I have found that a piece of me has been deposited in hundreds of young people whose destiny has been redirected in the work of God for them.

kids love back
Kids love back and they have no idea what could have been.

Oh my!  What could have been that likely for them now will not be.  The future for many of these kids and their families has been diverted by God intervening to establish something for their benefit and long-term growth.

And Debbie and I have had five years to witness and participate in the move.

For a farmer, it is the seed that bares fruit.  It is what is inside the seed that brings forth the crop.  Fertilizer does not yield fruit.  Irrigation does not yield fruit.  Tending to the weeds and chaff does not yield fruit.   Only the seed has the power to yield fruit, the rest is just assistance.  God is bringing forth the fruit!

For us, we have been like the fertilizer or the field tenders who pull out weeds.  Carefully we have instructed, mentored and showed the way to a new generation of “field tenders”; but this next group of farmers are home grown and have risen up from among the people to whom they will now lead.

We will depart Cambodia to assume a different kind of role with these young leaders.  We will still advise but now from a distance.  To truly take hold of the opportunities and conditions of their country, to rise into leadership so that the work becomes self-sustaining and self-perpetuating, we have to step back.

I confess that this is very hard for us.  Not that we lack confidence in those now leading but because we have laid ourselves out without holding back for five years.  The work has consumed and enriched us simultaneously.  We have found new weaknesses in ourselves and new strength in God as we lean into an lay hold of the Truth of his plan.  Stepping back means not seeing daily people we love.  Not soaking in the hugs of children who demonstratively love on us even more than we have loved on them.

The time has come to watch the harvest field grow its own crop.  Time to see those who have been shown how to lead be given the opportunity to lead.

We aren’t disappearing from the work.  We are merely stepping into roles that let those with talent, dedication and now experience assume the roles God has for them.  Leading their own village work and changing their own communities.

We are NOT EXITING the work.  Please stay with us and say what God will do next.  We have one new school site already ready to assemble.  Site selected, now we just need the seed finances to get it moving to self-sustaining and perpetuating.  JOIN us in this next adventure.  DONATE HERE

Stay tuned in for what we are calling the “PURPLE SCHOOL PROJECT”.  Your tax deductible donations will help us repeat the process we have begun.

13 Moving Trucks

Moving truck

13 times.  5 states and 2 countries.  Pete and I have watched that moving truck pull away with all our earthly possessions.  And now we sit in a local hotel with 4 suitcases awaiting customs clearance.  Now we know this is just “stuff”, but your stuff forms a home for the inhabitants to enjoy.  Cambodia was a huge, life-changing experience for us.  A combination of love and hate.  Loving our sense of purpose and Khmer co-workers while hating the harshness of a totalitarian, godless environment.  And now our hearts are divided when people ask, “Where are you from?”  In our 60’s still learning, growing, experiencing.  On a day I was really struggling in Cambodia, the Lord reminded me to choose joy and find beauty in the things around me. (“Count it all joy…” James 1:2) And so on my daily tuk tuk ride to work I would renew my mind with the “joys” I’ve found in our mission work in Cambodia.  These are some of the things I’ll miss…

Iced lemon tea, $8 foot massages, beef lok lak, tuk tuk rides, roosters crowing at 4am, Asian iced coffee, bare feet at church, moto rides with Pete, laundry washed ironed and folded for $2/kilo, cell phone plans- 2 phones $8/month, mangos, longyan, rambutan, custard apples, snake fruit, papaya, plimeon, red dragon fruit, and no sales tax.

I’ll also miss our beautiful, talented, amazing Khmer staff, little ones peeking into my office every day, being call Ya (grandmother) and Da (grandfather), simple gifts from Khmer friends: origami roses, fruit, homemade soup and our school director whom we now call “daughter”.

Those smiles! Peeking in the door.

But I most definitely, will not miss… horrendous traffic, roosterscrowing at 4am, trash and filth everywhere, 90 days straight of 100 degrees, 3 showers a day, sewer gas, bribes, lice, pinkeye, stomach issues, diarrhea, techno pop music, dried crunchy laundry, corrupt police, dictatorship governments, no Ohio State football on TV, power outages, water dribbles for a shower, ants, ants, ants, reverse discrimination, strawberries $10 a pint, Cambodian beef (leather in disguise), rice 3x a day, no red Twizzlers, Durian (stinky fruit), Khmer words that has 4 different meanings, no Diet Dr Pepper and no Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving or 4th of July.

They love to come to school.

Do be praying for us and our work to be sustained in Cambodia. (#purpleschool) In God’s typical fashion with us, He has led us away from our finished work here for the Cambodians to embrace it for themselves, but He has not revealed our next “work” for us.  Know anyone needing an awesome experienced Executive Pastor, a passionate experienced Mission Pastor, the best hands-on Marriage and Family Pastor or an advocate for the anti-trafficking movement?  Please let us know.

Grateful thanks to you all for sharing this experience with us.

“Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” (Psalm 90:16-17 ESV)

#purpleschool Reaching the Lost

Our work is focused on introducing the Gospel through education and business.   Then advancing forward into the communities through the local believers.

#purpleschool has been at the forefront for the last 2 1/2 years for our emphasis and we are so pleased to see the reach it has.  First, to more than 200 children (and growing) and then to the teachers who come for training.  The Bible flows through the education everyday.

AND THE PARENTS LOVE WHAT THEY ARE SEEING DEVELOP IN THESE KIDS AND THE TEACHERS.

Second, something outside our plan is happening.   In a country with <2% believers, finding Christian teachers has been difficult.  So, we are home-growing teachers from within the Christian community.  Equipping the called.  Sound familiar?  It is the way of God and we did not see this part coming but we are enjoying the wonder of his ways.

Praise him with us!

To join this work with your support, click DONATE

To join us in prayer, pray for the work of Incurable Fanatics.

THE main thing!

Everything else is just methods, support and warm fuzzies.

If you rescue a trafficked person.  Awesome!  Now what?

If you restore a rescued trafficked person.  Amazing!  Now what?

If you prosecute the perpetrator. Good job!  Now what?

If you provide means of prevention. Super! Now what?

Continue reading

Prisoners vs Slaves

Prisoners presumably have committed a crime.  Their life is severely restricted because of presumed crimes they have committed and a justice system that has brought judgement.

Slaves have committed no crime for which they are being punished. Their freedom is stolen (criminally) from them.

Yet the life of a slave often has fewer options, less hope for survival and reduced opportunities to change their future.

Modern day slavery is on the rise. Worldwide. Even in countries where we presume the existence of “certain inalienable rights”.

Good time to talk about modern day slavery in your circle of influence.  Laws may change circumstances but the Gospel changes views. Bring the Gospel to the battle where you live and in all that you do.

Feeding the poor – feed them the Gospel also.  Improving health – give the Gospel too.  Offering education and business opportunities – offer the Gospel as well.  The Gospel changes everything!

We are in the work of changing views.   Join with us.  Tell a friend how you feel about modern day slavery.  Talk is a first step to engaging.

Today marks the anniversary of the death of one of the great abolition fighters of all ages –

William Wilberforce was a British politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. A native of Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, he began his political career in 1780, eventually becoming an independent Member of Parliament for Yorkshire. Wikipedia

Born: August 24, 1759
Died: July 29, 1833

 

Honor “T12” with us

She is free indeed!

They called her “T12”. The human trafficking police use code words to protect the innocent.  “T”stands for “target” and “12” is the age she was sold into slavery. By. Her. Mother. Many times over. She was a domestic slave who cleaned 12 hours a day and was available by night. Living outdoors behind a palatial mansion she had one change of clothing and ate 2 small rice meals a day. Unable to read or write her own language she was trapped by illiteracy, ignorance and poverty.

But God did a miracle. An obscure American couple noticed her plight and endeavored to have her rescued and restored. Sharing the love of Jesus they worked with an investigation and rescue team to build her case and plan her escape. It was indeed something out of Mission Impossible.

T12 bracelet

After 8 months of undercover preparation, with determined courage and faith in a hope not yet seen, T12 made her escape successfully! Unsure whether we’d ever see her again, one of our at risk artisans designed a one of a kind bracelet for T12. Molded from melted bullet casings from the Vietnam era killing fields and in her own language, the bracelet said “freedom”! Freedom from slavery, freedom to pursue her own choices, freedom to experience the joys of life for the first time.

We are making the same bracelet available to those interested in stopping slavery through human trafficking! All funds go back to The ongoing work to help other T12s and T10s and even T8s! We are in this together friends.  Together we can change lives one “T” at a time.

Bracelets are available in 2 colors: black or purple $35 plus shipping. PM us at pete.livingston@gmail.com to order.

If you would like to partner with us in this ongoing work to set captives free, please click here DONATE and accept our sincere appreciation.