In this interview, Courtney, Kim, Leanna and Lena share their why and how Feast for Freedom began.
Tell us a bit about yourselves.
The four of us have all been friends for years. Kim owns and operates Reverent Acres Farm with her husband Matt, and is a mother of one. Leanna is a high school teacher, a mother of two, and enjoys being active. Lena enjoys hiking, camping, soccer, caring for her two boys, and is involved in the young adult ministry at her church. And Courtney is a kindergarten teacher and a mother of two girls. All of us enjoy camping and spending time in nature.
Why are you passionate about issues of injustice?
We are passionate about issues of injustice because it is what Jesus has called us to do. More specifically, we cannot ignore the fact that children are being sexually abused over the internet. If we were in that position, we would want someone to save our children if they could. In our lives we have the opportunity and resources to help rescue children from this crime, so we will.
We have such a heart for children – we want to see them loved, protected, and celebrated; NOT abused and exploited. Cybersex trafficking is a disgusting crime, and we are working together to do what we can to help put an end to it.
How did you learn about IJM?
We all came across IJM at different times and in different ways. Lena heard about the organization years ago when she attended Columbia Bible College. Kim & Leanna heard about it through their church, Village Church. Courtney heard of it through a local fair-trade store called “The Intersection.”
Tell us about Feast for Freedom. What is it and how did it start?
The ‘Freedom’ part is the purpose of the fundraiser – to raise money to support IJM in their efforts to rescue and FREE children from cybersex trafficking in the Philippines.
The ‘Feast’ part of the event is a long-table dinner, locally sourced, prepared by a talented caterer who specializes in farm-to-table style meals, and enjoyed in a fantastic setting at Reverent Acres. It will truly be an amazing feast, as many local farms and vendors have contributed a variety of product, such as water buffalo meat, organically raised pork, seasonal produce, ethically sourced coffee, BC wine, and craft beer. It’s going to be delicious!
It all started through a conversation about our mutual heartbreak for the victims of this crime, and the realization that we wanted to get involved and do something to help. Leanna came up with the idea to do a dinner style fundraiser. We all loved this idea and got to work to make it happen.
Have you ever put on an event like this before? What are you finding the most challenging, and what are you the most excited about?
No, this is our first time. The most challenging element has been getting the word out to the public about our event and about the cause that inspired it. However, we love seeing how enthusiastic the community is to support this event. And we’ve been excited to discover how each vendor not only cares about helping end child trafficking, but that everyone who has come forward to donate product runs their business with integrity and environmental sustainability in mind. It’s been so encouraging to learn that there are so many local businesses that operate with ethical principles, and that they have such a willingness to support important causes.
What are your hopes for this event?
To bring awareness to the crime of cybersex trafficking, and to encourage people to become active participants in fighting against it.
How can someone in your area purchase tickets to attend?
To purchase tickets or to learn more about the event you can go to Facebook or Eventbrite.
Through Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/feast-for-freedom-tickets-63544903517?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
Through Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/316295395962831/