October 27 2023
Today, Friday October 27
A Special Plea for Help
“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
Today, before we start a new chapter in Psalms, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a plea for help for human trafficking victims. As you read about and study the life of the Lord Jesus in the Gospels, it is very obvious that He loved and cared for children. The above passage in Matthew 18 reflects that love and care for them. Some of the harshest words that Jesus utter were for anyone who would abuse children.
It is hard to believe but we have a major problem in America with human trafficking. Every day, men, women, and children are being exploited and sold for sex across the United States. Many are unaware they are being trafficked. In a recent year there were 13,594 calls by victims to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. The authorities tell us that 99% of victims are never identified. That 14 is the average age of entry into trafficking in the U.S. And 80% of survivors are re-victimized if they don't have a safe place to go.
I was privileged to be the senior pastor of Rainbow Forest Baptist Church in the Roanoke Virginia area for over 25 years. As pastor there I had the opportunity to meet some very amazing people. One of them, and at the top of my list, was a man by the name of Keith Farmer. His family joined our ministry and became some of my dearest friends. Keith was a local businessman who developed a heart for young people at risk in the inner city of Roanoke and he got involved by doing something about their needs. He started a downtown ministry called Straight Street. The mission and purpose of Straight Street is to provide a positive Christian environment where at-risk youth can go and obtain the necessary skills and training needed to mature and to discover God’s Divine plan for their lives. You can learn more about it here: https://straightstreet.org/
I’ll never forget when Keith came to me with a broken heart for human trafficking victims and said that the Lord laid it on his heart to do something to help these precious young people. Keith had already built a great network of community leaders in the local and state government, law enforcement, FBI, Homeland Securities, Public School officials, and the juvenile probation court workers. He not only was involved as a leader in our church, but he also connected with other church leaders throughout the community.
After much prayer and research, Keith opened a new ministry called The Lampstand to get directly involved in rescuing and ministering to human trafficking victims. Their website is: www.thelampstandva.org The Lampstand provides juvenile victims across Virginia with much-needed resources and a safe home for girls ages 12-17. In addition to the safe home, The Lampstand provides outreach services. They also offer educational resources and onsite training for area school districts.
The Lampstand will be hosting their annual Night of Hope fundraiser tomorrow night, Saturday, October 28. This event is crucial for raising awareness and funds for the human trafficking ministry. Their goal this year is $400,000. There has been a special matching gift of $100,000 made available to encourage others to give.
Today, my special plea for help is to encourage you to get involved with this wonderful outreach by giving a donation that will be matched, and that will go directly to further their mission to empower the lives of those vulnerable to and affected by sexual exploitation.
You can make your donation either directly to their ministry website: www.thelampstandva.org or even through my website: https://www.pmiministries.org/ Just hit the donate button and click down to “Human Trafficking Rescue Support”.
Please hit share to help repost this chat today and let’s get as much support for Keith and The Lampstand as we can these next few days so they can continue to minister to these special young children that Jesus loves!
Remember Jesus said, “Inasmuch has you help the least of these, you have done it unto Me” (Matthew 25:40).