07 Jun 2018 Cycling for Freedom
by Konnie Drews |
This spring, nine cyclists traveled to southern Spain and did something we love, cycling, to fight something we hate, sex trafficking. Northshore Community Church partners with an organization called Papilio that is fighting sex trafficking on the frontlines by bringing love, hope, and freedom to the girls on the streets of Malaga.
Ride For Freedom’s mission was to raise funds to support Papilio, raise awareness here in the US and abroad about the issue of human trafficking, and to support the local Spanish team in their work on the street. We bicycled along the coast of Spain and up into the mountains by day, and by night we went out with the local team to serve the girls on the streets.
...by night we went out with the local team to serve the girls on the streets.
A year earlier I had visited southern Spain on a vision trip to explore ways Northshore Community Church could expand our global missions work in the area. After being part of our outreaches to the streets, the clubs and the brothels, I was overwhelmed by seeing firsthand the machine of organized crime, run in a mafia-like manner, that takes advantage of vulnerable women, often refugees, and forces them into sex slavery. While the nights were filled with darkness, my days were filled with the beauty of the Spanish coast and I discovered southern Spain is a destination for cyclists.
When I returned home from that trip, I had many opportunities to share the impact of what I had observed, but I also felt helpless wondering how I could make any difference. A few days later, I got word that one of the young women I had ministered to on the streets had contacted the Papilio team and was able to be rescued.
...one of the young women I had ministered to on the streets had contacted the Papilio team and was able to be rescued.
Knowing that one life had been freed inspired me to share my dream with my husband, a few friends, and the Northshore Global Missions Board. The Pedaling for Papilio dream began to take shape and became reality. The trip exceeded every expectation in finances and impact, and the reception of the cycling team in Spain was so positive that we are committed to do it again in April 2019.
If you love to cycle and want to learn more about the possibility of joining us on a future trip, contact me for more information. Even if you are unsure if you can commit to the trip, consider signing up for the Ride for Freedom Summer Group which will meet several times in the summer for fellowship and cycling.
This Sunday, join us after all services for Northshore’s Summer Party where you will be able to connect with leaders of the Summer Small Groups.
For more information about Ride for Freedom, contact Konnie Drews (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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