It is through our physical challenges that we identify in a tangible way with the incredibly steep climb to freedom so many women and children have every day. Each challenge produces prayer and finances for over 20 projects in Africa, and awareness of the injustices taking place in the world.
Fish River Canyon
In July 2016, three women took a stand and spoke out against modern day slavery, exploitation, oppression and trafficking by making the symbolic trek to freedom in Namibia’s Fish River Canyon. They walked 85 km in 5 days through the largest canyon in the southern hemisphere. They fought the heat of the sun by day and the cold winter temperatures at night.
“Before the trek even started God was already working on my heart in a special way for those trapped in slavery. It was getting close to the hike and I had been practicing walking with a heavy bag and I had gotten so sweaty. As I was showering I realized that as a shower can easily wash away my dirtiness from the day, the women who are forced in prostitution have no way to wash away how dirty they feel from the inside. I realized that the sacrifice of not being able to shower for five days, was just a drop in the bucket to symbolize what these women have to go through daily for so many years!” –Shawna Epp
Through this trek, not only did they symbolically speak out against those entrapped in modern day slavery, but they also raised funds for our 20+ projects in Africa who prevent, develop, rescue, and restore women and children from modern day slavery. They also raised awareness and prayer support in their communities.
On 14 February 2016, 17 people representing South Africa, Namibia, and USA participated in the 2016 Kilimanjaro Freedom Challenge.
“One thing that blessed us on the climb was the guides who surrounded us on the summit night, which was extremely tough. They sang spiritual songs all the way up to the summit and it helped me to realize that the Lord was with us the entire time, just as He is with the girls and women who are being trafficked.”- Sara Bradfield, USA
In the new season from Freedom Climb to Freedom Challenge, this first event could not have gone better. The team was focused and prayerful from the beginning, pleading with God that each step would bring freedom to those held captive and trapped.
Through this seven day journey, many climbers experienced God in new and personal ways and experienced his vast love. During the climb they were reminded of why and who they were climbing for.
“Kilimanjaro was just the most amazing experience for me. It started off as being symbolic of my own personal journey to freedom from emotional torment and sexual abuse, and God turned it into a climb for the freedom of those who have been trafficked, enslaved, and abused. Although God took me up a mountain, I was actually coming down my own mountain of freedom to help others. Being able to be a voice for the voiceless has been a privilege and a joy for me, and the least I could do after everything God has done for me. I look forward to being an instrument in God’s hand to help others in the future. This is just the beginning…”- Rosemary Rheeders, South Africa