"Go, send, or disobey." -- John Piper
Samedi, Octobre 21, 2017
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Freedome Challenge 2017

The Freedom Challenge 2017Esmarie, for this September you’ve taken on the challenge of climbing Machu Picchu in Peru. What is your motivation for this hike?

I am climbing on behalf of women and children, who are vulnerable to modern day slavery and human trafficking, such as widows and orphans. I hope to make a difference in their lives by speaking up on their behalf about their needs, encouraging people to pray for them and raising funds for projects that support them.

Tell us more about the Freedom Challenge.

The Freedom Challenge is a movement of passionate women dedicated to freeing oppressed and enslaved women and children all around the world. We do this by participating in physical challenges that test our limits, while raising funds and awareness to combat these dark, social injustices and set women and children on the pathway to freedom.

How many of these challenges have you’ve been part of?

I have done six challenges in total, of which my first was in 2012.

Who is going to climb with you?

There are forty women from all around the world. I am especially looking forward to climbing again with others that I met on previous challenges. On the mountain, very special bonds are often forged between the participants.

Besides the actual climb – what is going to challenge you?

It isn’t always the most comfortable journey staying in tents and without having any showers etc. This discomfort however reminds us in a small way of the daily suffering of those we are climbing for. The climb itself is a picture of the difficult journey they face to obtain freedom. It challenges us as we think about what injustices beautiful and equally created human beings have to suffer on a daily basis.

How did you prepare for this Freedom Challenge?

I worked out in a gym a few times a week and I went swimming, trying to decrease the amount of times I needed to take a breath between strokes (this helps for hiking at high altitude). I also tried to get a lot of distance on my legs with my hiking boots and backpack on.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said: “We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” Knowing that this quote is of importance to you - can you tell what impact it has on you?

There is a big difference between focusing on the symptom of a problem, vs. the cause. If one person is rescued from slavery, there will always be another to take their place. Exploitation will continue unless the root cause of the problem is addressed. We as consumers of products tainted by slavery have a big role to play. We need to be ethical consumers. Men (“Johns”) who buy sex often don’t know that an estimated 90% of women in the sex trade are forced into it. The Johns need to be made aware that they create a market for this dark industry. Traffickers, slave owners and pimps will continue to profit as long as there is a market for their “product”, they need to be brought to justice by law enforcement. Ultimately the human heart, filled with greed and lust, needs to change and the only antidote for the sinful condition of our hearts is the gospel.

What Bible verse is particularly important to you in the context of this Freedom Challenge?

Proverbs 31:8-9 (NLT)
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. 9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice."

How can one best support you?

Please take some time to pray. Pray for those who are being exploited and oppressed. Pray also for our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing as participants. Donations can be made via OM Belgium or The Freedom Challenge website.

If you want to make a bank transfer, please transfer money to:

ING Bank
OM Belgium
IBAN: BE 55 3630 9189 8244
+ purpose “FC Esmarie”

Thank you, Esmarie

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