“It started out as a typical Thursday with having to keep up with the tyranny of the urgent- the meetings, the appointments, and the hustle and bustle of another busy fall season. Little did I know that God would break through all the white noise and distraction to tug at my heart.
I was fully aware going into the Light Up the Harbor event at Calvary Church in 2015 of the sheer darkness and evil that is human trafficking. In doing an outreach and with connections within my network, I have seen firsthand the utter depravity of man to exploit another human created in the image of God. That night as I was listening to the presentation, I knew God was calling me to action. As a pastor, I knew that God did not want me to stop at personal involvement but was leading me to lead those he had called me to walk alongside in this life.
As I was praying on the way home, I felt God provide a clear number that he wanted us to reach. I wanted to be sure because for a fellowship of our size, this was going to require sacrifice. I remember praying to God for confirmation. I did not share the specific number with anyone but first I simply asked my eldership team to pray about a number. Two members of the team received the same number. So we started the campaign. As I was explaining to the congregation what we were hearing from God, again I stalled in giving the number. I wasn’t even sure I had faith enough as their leader to ask this of them. Our church family is a very giving church and I did not want to abuse that.
So the moment of truth came as I announced the number. Two different people from within the body came to me after to tell me that in the beginning as I was explaining, before I had even mentioned the number, they had received the same figure: $10,000. I know that number may not be large to some, but to a church whose average attendance may reach 50 on a good week, $10,000 was a big deal. $10,000 above and beyond the normal tithe would mean tremendous effort, great sacrifice, and tremendous trust in God’s provision.
And it came. Not right away, but within three months we had reached the goal. Faith was increased. A worthy cause was helped. The reality is there is no price tag on faith. God teaches us to give, sometimes until it hurts. Just as it takes a community to traffic and exploit another human being, it will take God’s community, the church, to help bring about healing and restoration.
If you think it is too great, think about our little church and the time when God blessed us so that we could be a blessing. Allow God to expand your faith by giving to such a cause as this.”
— Pastor Chris Leiby, Oasis Fellowship