By Kelly Cameron, Associate Director of Mobilization
As I travel around Canada sharing about IJM, I have the opportunity to chat with people about our work and how they can get involved. I often hear a phrase that sounds like this, "I love what IJM does and I wish I could get involved but I’m just a ____________.” That blank is filled with many different words that people consider limiting – "I’m just a student”; "I’m just a business owner”; "I’m just a mom”.
The work of protecting the poor from everyday violence in the developing world can seem like a huge undertaking that requires skills that we just don’t have. The truth is while you may not be equipped to serve on the field with IJM, everyone can be involved in the fight.
Recently, I got to chat with Sherri McCrea from the "Tuesday Morning Ladies Life Group Girls” at West Edmonton Christian Assembly - a group of moms seeking justice in their sphere of influence.
This group of 11 moms have been meeting for Bible study on Tuesday mornings for a few years. Last year after a study on the Book of James they felt compelled to "be doers of the word and not just hearers” (James 1:22). Justice is a theme among their group and they especially felt an affinity with IJM’s work rescuing and restoring children from sex trafficking. They learned about IJM when Gary Haugen had spoken at their church a few years ago.
They decided to put together the "Not-So-Silent” silent auction to "speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves” and raise funds for IJM’s work. "None of us had any experience running a silent auction”, shared Sherri, "and it was hard as moms to put time towards it – time organizing, being brave and asking for donations, but the sacrifice was so small in comparison to the good that would come from it”.
The Ladies Life Group received a lot of support from their community: other small groups created items for the auction and volunteered; their pastors were fully supportive of the event; local businesses provided donations; and a neighbouring church gave them advice and resources on running a silent auction.
On February 21st they held a silent and live auction, complete with a "kid’s store,” so that children could also be involved. They shared about IJM using the resources available through our Just Act webpage. The Ladies Life Group Girls started out hoping to raise five to six thousand dollars, but they decided to "dream big” and set a goal of $10,000 for the night. The event ended up raising just over $39, 000 for IJM’s work!
"We are glad we did it!” said, Sherri, "It was beautiful to see everyone’s skills and gifts come to the surface and we grew closer. It was amazing for the group.” Sherri’s advice for others wanting to "do something” to engage in justice: "It’s going to be a sacrifice…of your time, your ‘brain space’, but no sacrifice is too big or too small. If God is putting it on your heart, obey… See God touch it and blow it right out of the water.”
As Mother’s Day approaches check out how you can join us in seeking justice: