The Power of a Story

In days of old, before Snapchat and Facebook, before Instagram and Twitter, before removable type and the creation of mass produced literature and books, there was story telling. It’s the way one generation would tell the next of family heritage and how the world works.

Everyone loves to hear a good story. But let’s be honest, we also have the need to tell our story. Don’t believe me? Have a look on social media. What do you think everyone is doing? They are telling their stories.

I ate this incredible dinner at Ye Old College Inn. If you go, you have to try the Po’ Boy.

I got an Instapot for Christmas, and last night I made dinner in nine minutes! No lie!

Baby Charlotte just took her first steps! Our lives have changed forever. #sheisrunning

We are all just telling our stories. And somehow in doing so, something amazing happens. For some, telling them brings healing. For others, listening and learning how others have walked through similar experiences has given strength and inspiration. We cry together. We laugh together. We pray together. And through it all, we draw closer. We find similarities in each other and we find courage to face another day – all through stories.

There is power in telling your story.

Social Media’s newest trends are videos and live feeds. More than pounding out the words on keyboards, we want to talk and share. We want to tell our tale where others can truly listen in real life – or at least as close to real life as we can get through a computer screen.

Jesus was a story teller, too. He used parables to teach people life lessons. He found it was an effective way of sharing the gospel with examples the people could understand. Christ wanted to make the Word of God become more than words read by a priest in the temple. He wanted it to be real in their lives – to have meaning. He wanted it to affect the way they worked and lived.

Tucked in the pages of Exodus is the story of how Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came to visit him and bring his wife and sons to him. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and into the desert. His wife and two sons were back with her family in Midian. Now remember, the Midianites did not worship God. Moses had taken a foreign wife who worshipped other gods. So when Jethro, came to visit Moses in the desert, Moses told his father-in-law how his God miraculously saved them from the Egyptians. He also shared how God had provided food and water for them in the desert.

Here was Jethro’s response:

Jethro was delighted to hear about all the good things the Lord had done for Israel in rescuing them from the hand of the Egyptians. He said, “Praise be to the Lord, who rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh, and who rescued the people from the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the Lord is greater than all other gods, for he did this to those who had treated Israel arrogantly.” Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses’ father-in-law in the presence of God.
Exodus 18:9-12 NIV

Jethro had an encounter with God. He heard Moses share everything the Lord had done for them, and Jethro became a believer in the One True God. The Bible says he confessed God (“Now I know that the Lord is greater than all other gods.”), and he brought a burnt offering to the Lord.

Jethro’s encounter with God was a direct result of Moses sharing his story about God’s deliverance. God used the recounting of His goodness to draw Jethro to Him.

What amazing things has God done for you? Has God placed someone in your path that might benefit from your story? Never underestimate the power of your story – or the power of your God. Today, share one amazing thing the Lord has done for you and see how He will use it.

Carol

Let My People Go – An End to Modern Day Slavery

 

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Exodus 20:2 NIV

God has a plan for everything.

Let me repeat that because I want that to sink in with you.

God has a plan for everything.

When the Israelites were in captivity for hundreds of years in Egypt, God had a plan for their deliverance. He used Moses, with the help of Aaron, as a mouthpiece for freedom.

“Let my people go.”

Moses delivered God’s message again and again until the miraculous release of His chosen people.

While this story is ancient, the practice of buying and selling individuals into slavery is as modern as you and me. There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today, and every 60 seconds a child is sold into slavery.

I think I’ve mentioned before when people start talking statistics about human trafficking and children being sold for prostitution, I’d like to close my eyes, stick my fingers in my ears and sing, “La-la-la-la…”

But as much as it hurts, it’s time to open my eyes and ears. But even more so, it’s time to open my mouth. I am excited (and scared to death) to tell you I’ve joined with an incredible non-profit organization called Exodus Road.

Like Moses, I will be the mouthpiece and deliver God’s message, “Let my people go.”

The guys at Exodus Road are on the front lines of fighting human trafficking.

They work to collect evidence on where children are being sold into prostitution and they work with authorities to conduct raids to rescue these young people and prosecute those responsible. As of now, their work is mainly in SE Asia.

My job is to share the stories.

Meet Sarah.

Laura Leigh Parker, the Director of Communications for Exodus Road, tells Sarah’s story.

“We met Sarah in a brothel in Cambodia.”

There was a line of prostitutes behind a glass wall, a fishbowl they call it. They were sitting on high bar stools, with heavy make-up and short skirts, numbers pinned to their shoulders, displayed for the customers on the other side of the glass.

And then, they brought in Sarah. She was “fresh,” the pimp had told our lead investigator over the phone. Sarah was dressed in street clothes, head down, hands fiddling nervously with a napkin. She was 15 and had been sold by her mother in a neighboring country several days before to work off a debt which her mother owed. Sarah’s virginity had been sold three days prior for $600 USD.

Sarah could not speak the local language, was kept under close watch daily, and had no access to a cell phone or any communication from the outside world. She had been slipped illegally across borders by a system of traffickers that has become a global highway of modern day slaves.

With covert cameras, our investigators were able to record the sale of Sarah for the night, capturing valuable evidence that could be passed on to the trusted authorities in hopes of the pimp’s prosecution. Later, behind a closed door, our operative was able to call a social worker who spoke Sarah’s language. He explained that he was there to help her, not to hurt her, and that he could aid her escape if she wanted.

Unfortunately, Sarah was too scared to run, too scared to trust a stranger, understandably.

The following day, our investigator returned to visit Sarah in the brothel, just blocks away from a crowded local market. She scribbled a note, “Please Rescue Me,” on a bill and slipped it to him.

She wanted out, but didn’t know the way.

Immediately, our investigator gave his testimony and video evidence to the authorities and asked the government to conduct a raid on Sarah’s behalf. It was believed that 10 or more girls were also being held against their wills at the same brothel where we found Sarah.

And so she waits. And suffers.

But what Sarah doesn’t know is that rescue is coming.”


Here’s the thing I love about Exodus Road. You can literally fund a raid, and they will share with you who you have helped escape slavery. One raid is $1,400. Sounds like a lot, right? But can you put a price on freedom?

So here’s what I’d like to do. What if Sheep to the Right readers funded a raid? And I could tell you the story of our raid? It’s mind boggling to think of.

Exodus Road is actually having a little contest between those on the blogging team. For two people who either raise the most money or have the most people donate, those bloggers will travel to SE Asia this January to see what’s going on first hand. Would you like to see me go to SE Asia and blog from there?

Will you help me free children from slavery? Every donation counts. $10, $15, $50… you name it. Please give, and share this post with anyone else you think has a heart for helping others.

Online fundraising for Carol Hatcher fundraising for The Exodus Road

Together we can make a difference.

Connect with Exodus Road on Twitter and Facebook.

Carol