Prodigal Rows to Redeem Trafficked Slaves
I stood at the Heathrow Renaissance Hotel entrance waiting to greet the woman who broke two world records by rowing 3000 miles across the Atlantic in just 45 days. “Hello, I’m Julia Immonen,” she gushed; and then she whispered, “I’m nervous about speaking in front of so many students!” I smiled and said, “You’ll be great,” but inside I was thinking, “This woman just rowed across the Atlantic Ocean. How could 350 teenagers be scarier than that!
She stepped on stage, and the passion poured from her. Her body quivered as she explained the urgency to redeem trafficked women. Once a prodigal, Julia said she bowed before the Lord and asked what He wanted her to do with her life. What could she do, she wondered. A sportscaster for Sky News and an amateur rower, she never imagined such an adventure as “The Row for Freedom.” When Julia Immonen answered the call to raise awareness about human trafficking and made meticulous plans to brave a vast sea of 50 foot waves for almost two months, she had no idea that just 2 days prior to launch the captain of the crew (and the only one with ocean rowing experience) would step aside. Instead of giving up, Julia led her team of 5 on to an epic adventure, taking a SAT phone along as her prayer lifeline back home. They followed the same route of tortured slaves, rowing for 45 days straight.
Julia is a heroine, no doubt, but a very transparent one. She spoke that evening of the accolades, the global press, the officials who supported and congratulated her, but she emphasized overcoming sheer exhaustion, blistering heat, and grueling agony in her body as she rowed day after day. What kept her going? With every row, she pictured the anguish of the enslaved women she had met and just kept rowing. Go to sportforfreedom.org to learn more.
And now I have to ask: Is their a call from above for which you would brave the unknown; to sacrifice and give of yourself so that others might have freedom in the Christ Who loves them so? Offer yourself and seek the Lord as to what adventure He might be planning for you. It could be 3000 miles across the ocean, or, it could be just around the corner.
GET PRACTICAL: What is God calling me to? Write it down. Next look at your calendar and daily schedules this week. How much time have you devoted to making it happen? Remove “somedays” from your life by time-lining steps toward the goal.
So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. 2 Thess 1:11 ESV