Fools for Christ.
The Messiah’s Misfits.
Cooks, cleaners, guards, caretakers, logisticians, educators, administrators, pastors, nurses, transporters, seed planters… visionaries—and holy fools—ALL.
As you know Lift Up the Vulnerable supports the only indigenously directed anti-human trafficking network that spans Sudan and South Sudan. We partner with grassroots local leaders in order to protect children and equip women who are the most vulnerable to modern-day slavery.
These local leaders are fools for Christ because they stand as outliers in a world that focuses on growing a personal kingdom of power, wealth, and comfort.
Instead, these men and women have answered a higher call to return to the instability of their communities and faithfully and tirelessly serve orphans and widows in distress—who are vulnerable to being trafficked and exploited.
As children, most of these leaders were displaced by war, fled on foot to neighboring nations, were denied the opportunity for education, went hungry, were orphaned, enslaved, tortured, and even conscripted as child soldiers.
For some people, this extreme stress disorients the mind and hardens the heart; but for our partners, it has seemed to deepen and expand their capacity for innovation, compassion, and also for great sacrificial love.
As adults, some returned to serve and defend vulnerable children before partners or paychecks were even available and then were mocked for their foolish dreams that the world would someday unite to lift up the most vulnerable in both nations.
They’ve been broken down on the side of the road for days; only to rush forward again to deliver lifesaving supplies to their destination ahead of rains that inevitably come and make the route impassable.
They’ve patrolled throughout the night to keep kids safe from humans-who-seek-to-harm or venomous vipers and mambas.
They’ve carefully hand washed hundreds of children’s clothes and lovingly stirred giant pots of nutritious food in 100 degrees F (or hotter!) temperatures.
They hunkered down in classrooms or in foxholes with frightened students as gunshots or bomber planes were heard close by… and then when calm returned, reminded those same children that they were not alone and God was ever with them—soothing, comforting, and supporting broken hearts.
They’ve dried many tear-filled eyes and cried through many sleepless nights.
They’ve held on to hope when hope was all they had.
They’ve been tired, overwhelmed, proud, and grateful all in a single day. (Imagine if you were raising over 100+ pre-teens in your home!?)
And through it all, they’ve loved and loved well. They’ve loved with patience, hope, strength; powered by Christ’s abundant, overflowing grace.
These are the changemakers raising up the next generation of changemakers in Sudan and South Sudan.
As Christians around the world celebrate Holy Week; we invite you to reflect on how Christ set an example of humble servant leadership, one that we see replicated daily by our Christ-following partners:
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. —Philippians 2:5-8
Last month, we celebrated girls and women making history in our anti-trafficking network. This month, we’ll be honoring our local partners so you can know more about the leaders that work with James, Peter, and Ezekiel and that your generosity equips to love and serve the most vulnerable children and women in our world.
What you and all of our partners—from all around the globe—have in common is that each of us have been invited to lean in, play the holy fool, make a sacrificial gift, step out in bold faith… and, when we do, the impossible is made possible, the God of “something new” is encountered, and the transformative power of the Spirit changes lives.
Join us today with a donation that equips changemakers to prevent trafficking and extend hope and healing to the most vulnerable.