Tag Archives: i-61 Ministries

Who Responds to Escort Ads?

forthesilentThe sexual exploitation awareness organization For The Silent recently placed two escort ads online for a medium sized city in Texas to see who would respond. During the two weeks that the ad ran, 950 men responded: “pastors, therapists, fire fighters, doctors, real estate agents-people’s fathers, husbands, and brothers.”

Taking into account the demographics of the city, it means approximately 2 out of every 100 men in the city responded to that ad, if that’s how many men would go out with an escort I wonder just how many men out of 100 would watch an adult movie online. For The Silent’s newsletter mentions that their study “broke apart friendships and caused uncomfortable exposure” hinting at the fact that some of their employees knew some of the folks who responded to the ad.

Now to change things up, think about your town. What is happening there?

I know we like to think that our communities are different and this type of thing only happens to “those” communities. The harsh reality is that sexual exploitation of women, children and even men is everywhere. We, the people of Jesus, need to stop hiding our heads in the sand and start speaking up against this issue.

We also need to stop talking about simply getting ‘saved.’ While our eternal destination is important, it is only part of the Good News of Jesus. We humans are in desperate need of help and a Rescuer who not only will save our souls – but who will free us from the bondage of our own brokenness and show us a new way of living. Religion and knowledge about God will not help; rather we need a personal encounter with the Living God who will radically set us free – and note that this does not mean a one-time event. Rather it is an ongoing process were we constantly seek after Him and allow Him to change our hearts and actions.

So what can we do?

We can start by having an honest look at our own lives. If we are actively participating in the sexual exploitation of others, either by hiring prostitutes or viewing porn, we are part of the problem. If we know of people who are engaged in the active exploitation of others through trafficking, selling, controlling, etc – we need to contact the proper authorities right away.

If you are someone caught in this industry and want out, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (1-888-373-7888) or a similar agency in your local area (like For The Silent).

If are someone who wants to help, contact an awareness group in your area and see what you can do. For those in the Vineyard (or friends of the Vineyard), you can also contact the Vineyard Justice Network or sign up for I-61 Ministries’ Love Justice School to learn more about how to help fight this injustice.

This is a fight that needs all hands on deck. Please allow God to cleanses your heart and break the chains that bind you so that you can help others find freedom, both figuratively and literally.

Come Holy Spirit come.

Philippines 2014: Video

I-61 Ministries just released a cool video highlighting the work of some good friends of mine, Chris and Cathee Mapes, who are working with the tribal people of Kalinga Province, Philippines. The Mapes are not only helping strengthen the local church, they are also teaching people to become “self-sustaining by lowering the farming costs via organic fertilizers, livestock raising, and creating a community co-op as well as conduct health, sanitation and nutrition teachings.”

Check out their FB page and website.



Celebrate Jesus’ Birthday by Fighting Ebola and Saving Lives!

Please, please watch this quick 3-minute video about the Vineyard’s response to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Our brothers and sisters need out help and what better way to celebrate Jesus’ birthday than to help the dieing, the poor and the hungry…

Watch the video, read about what is happening, and then donate funds to help the fight to save lives. Together we can be the hands and feed of Jesus to change the world for His glory.


Help the Local Sierra Leone Vineyard Churches Fight Ebola and the Food Shortage Caused by the Virus

Pastor Patrick Obumselu, Vineyard Lagos in Nigeria
Pastor Patrick Obumselu, Vineyard Lagos in Nigeria

Over the weekend, Vineyard’s i-61 Ministries published a cry for help from two Sierra Leone Vineyard churches who are in the middle of the battle against Ebola. Interestingly enough, the biggest problem isn’t the Ebola virus itself… no, the biggest problem is that the Ebola quarantine has created a shortage of food, clean water, and other health-related needs such as being able to look for protective masks and procure them for the both the infected and uninfected.

“The situation in Sierra Leone is so desperate that most people are not even allowed to leave their homes, being severely quarantined in a government effort to stop the spread of the virus. There are today as many people dying from starvation, malaria and other diseases as are dying from Ebola due to this quarantine, something the West is little aware of. People are not even allowed to leave their homes to visit farms outside of Freetown, the capital, in order to obtain food to eat. When people die in their homes, even the corpses are not allowed to be removed!”

Patrick Obumselu, a 50-year old bio-vocational Vineyard pastor in Nigeria, has stepped up to the plate and is trying to help folks in Sierra Leone, whom he has known for over 12-years. According to him, the greatest needs at the moment are:

  • Food and lots of it
  • Sanitary products: sanitary napkins, diapers, and other personal hygiene products
  • Baby formula and food. Many babies have had both parents die from Ebola and are in desperate need

How to help

Vineyard Missions USA is currently taking donation to fill a shipping container with food, sanitary products, and medical supplies that will then been shipped to the Sierra Leone churches. Shipping containers are a great way to ensure that large quantities of donations can reach an intended destination without getting damaged. However, to ensure that the donations arrive safely, the charity might also have to purchase a ramp and other shipping container accessories from a shipping container website similar to Conexwest. Above all, a shipping container ramp should ensure that all donations are able to be safely packaged and offloaded. If you want to join this effort, please donate online or mail your contributions to:

Vineyard Missions USA
112 North Harvard Ave. #265
Claremont, CA 91711

In addition to donating funds, Patrick has also asked plead for folks to pray for the people of Sierra Leone, their survival, and the removal of any roadblocks that may keep food containers from arriving by Christmas.

If you want to know more about i-61 Ministries involvement in the Ebola crisis, check out their post here. You can also read a letter from the Vineyard Makeni in Sierra Leone about the crisis and what God is doing there.

Time To Do Something

I know I have talked about i-61 Ministries before…but I just can’t stop sharing their videos and articles as I think they are on the right track. As Tri says in the below video, it is easy to get overwhelmed when looking at the state of the world today – poverty, environmental decline, spiritual decay, etc., and etc…

However we have to start somewhere doing something.

Just like Matthew West states in his song “Do Something”:

I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble now
Thought, how’d we ever get so far down
How’s it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you”

If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something


So, what are you going to?