Home » »Unlabelled » Advent Conspiracy, "FOR FREEDOM."
Saturday, December 6, 2014
The story of God’s coming to us.
The action of plotting and conspiring.
The taking back of Christmas by those seeking God’s coming into our world.
Somewhere along the way, Christmas became about lines at the mall, credit card withdrawals, and stress. All this rush makes the season a harrowing experience. In order to slow down and live into the true meaning of Christmas, First Austin is conspiring with churches all across the USA to reclaim the season of Advent, thus Advent Conspiracy [www.fbcaustin.org/adventconspiracy].
Celebrate God coming to dwell among
us in Jesus Christ, Immanuel
Spend less money on things, more on
handmade and/or Fair Trade gifts
Take what you would have spent on
stuff, and give it away
Love like God loved and give yourself to those
In order to make Advent memorable for you, your family, and your church, we are challenging you to “spend less, and give more.” When FBC Austin entered into this conspiracy two years ago, we raised over $42,000 to build water wells in Ethiopia. Last year we gave more to our neighbors (literally) across the street at Foundation Communities’ Capital Studios when we raised over $34,000 to help furnish the 130 efficiency, affordable apartments.
This year, we are asking you to spend less on stuff and give something that has lasting power: The gift of freedom.
There are more slaves today than at any time in human history. Today, there are an estimated 35.8 million due to debt-bondage, sex-trafficking, forced labor, etc. In 2013 there were a projected 23.5 million slaves on the earth. This pernicious and evil practice is growing all across the globe. It’s the third largest and most profitable global criminal enterprise, after illegal drugs and arms trafficking. The average
price for a slave worldwide is $90 which is surprise since it is estimated that slaves during the trans-Atlantic slave trade were sold for a modern equivalent of $40,000.
This practice must be stopped. Every person is made in the image of God and invaluable.
Over the season of Advent, First Austin will raise money through our “FOR FREEDOM” campaign. As Jesus himself declares in his mission
statement in Luke 4,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Our goal is to raise $40,000 to help put an end to this dehumanizing, sinful trade.
Where will the money go? 100% of everything given toward “FOR FREEDOM” will go to these partners:
25% of every dollar will go to:
· CBF (Houston, Laredo, & Uganda)
· Allies Against Slavery (Austin, TX)
· Global Women (Moldova)
· International Justice Mission, IJM (global, India)
We will give 100% of the donations to “For Freedom” to local and global partners working to end trafficking. Unlike our past Advent Conspiracy campaigns, this year’s is more transformational than it is transactional. We aren’t purchasing a direct good or material like a water well or furniture.
But we are giving to nonprofits who are working to prevent, reduce, and end trafficking. Partners who are going into brothels and setting slaves free. Organizations who are safe-housing young men and women as they heal from the trauma of being trafficked.
The problem is large, thus the solution is vast and has many parts. First Baptist can be part of the solution and put an end to this practice.
In Jesus, the one who proclaims freedom for the captive, God came into the world to set us all free. Will you allow yourself to be free from the burdens of stress and over-buying? Will you help set someone free from forced slavery and trafficking?
Together, First Austin can help change the world and truly live into the meaning of Advent: God is coming to set us free. Give abundantly, FOR FREEDOM!
To symbolically capture our imagination for giving toward “FOR FREEDOM,” we will hang origami cranes in the atrium of the church building. Our goal is to fill the space with 1,000 cranes. Each crane costs $40 so in order to fill the space we need to raise $40,000.
You may have heard of the Japanese story about the 1,000 origami cranes. Part of the legend is the person who creates 1,000 cranes is given peace or a wish. For our “FOR FREEDOM” campaign, First Austin is adopting the imagery and story of the 1,000 cranes to symbolically realize our goal.
Our goal is to reach 1,000 cranes to create peace by setting as many slaves free as possible. Each crane represents a person we wish to set free. The cranes will be our symbols for hope, peace, and freedom for all those trafficked and all those who traffic.
To learn more about Advent Conspiracy and human trafficking visit: www.fbcaustin.org/adventconspiracy