On June 21st, 50 bikers in orange jerseys cycled out of Cheyenne, Wyoming on the beginning leg of the 2014 Front Range Freedom Tour. Forty single-day riders joined the core team of cyclists (in partnership with U COUNT Campaign) to raise awareness and funding to support kids rescued from the sex trade at Project Rescue’s Home of Hope in New Dehli, India. Their goal was to provide all the yearly operational costs for every child being given housing, food, aftercare, clothing, and an education at the home.
The long journey across Colorado meant covering a lot of miles each day while battling hills, heat, and the occasional flat tire. Despite their exhaustion, the team came together with a common sense of purpose and rallied around the thought that 25 children in New Dehli were getting a chance at the life God intended for them. As the miles accumulated, so did the community spirit on the team and they traded off taking the lead or bringing up the rear as a servant.
One day, while the team was stopped in a parking lot to fix a flat tire, it began to sprinkle. As they gathered under an overhang out of the rain, the team noticed another group of cyclists taking similar refuge and struck up a conversation. It turned out that the five cyclists–The Freedom Riders–were students from Moody Bible College busy cycling across America to fight human trafficking. How like God to bring the two groups together for 45 minutes during a rain storm to share their common purpose!
After nearly 500 grueling miles in a week, the team created a single orange line as they climbed Raton Pass, still supporting and encouraging each other as they showed kids halfway around the world there was still hope. You can read more about their journey or donate toward the cause at www.RichsRide.org.
Last month, the Experience Hope Benefit Concert brought together music and artistry, voices and stories, awareness and hope.
Local musician Michael Myers took the stage to share his own musical project, Story Laboratory. His folksy, soulful voice, combined with his often-spirited lyrics and acoustic guitar, brought a fresh sound with each song. His songs would swing from the beats of reggae, through melodies of folk, and even to some whimsical chimes of pop, but ultimately, Michael’s music poured out from the characters and places in his lyrics. You can listen to Michael’s Story Laboratory here.
The Experience Hope Benefit Concert was also a night to raise money, support, and awareness for the U COUNT Campaign. U COUNT supports women and children in Delhi, India, who are trapped in the sex-trafficking industry.
The U COUNT Campaign partners with the ministry of Project Rescue. Project Rescue fights human trafficking in India, Nepal, Moldova, Bangladesh, and Tajikistan. They work directly with the women who are brought out of sex trafficking to teach them vocational skills so they may earn an income and have a sustainable life after they are freed from the sex-trafficking industry. The mission of Project Rescue is this:
We exist to rescue and restore victims of sexual slavery through the love and power of Jesus Christ.
By providing emotional and spiritual healing, Project Rescue opens the door for these women and their children to escape the imprisonment they have known. The women learn to sew and craft items that can be sold in retail shops. The U COUNT Campaign supports these women by purchasing and selling their products in the United States.
U COUNT Campaign is an outreach of Timberline Church and was founded by Bonnie Northrop. You can read more about how the U COUNT Campaign began in a letter from Bonnie.