One of my favorite weekends of the year.
Standing together (and kneeling, crying, praising, worshipping, singing :) ) with 1,000 other people and crying out for the oppressed.
Meeting and hearing from the field directors from all over. Hearing their intimate heart cry over the things they see daily in their work.
Praying with people you just met and feeling a kinship with them.
Seeing RESCUE. Seeing it firsthand and hearing someone say “thank you” for making this possible. Ah. I could still just cry thinking about it.
Being recharged and rejuvenated to continue to educate about slavery/trafficking/oppression—even though most look at you like you’ve flown the coop.
Favorite thing of the weekend? Seeing “Michael” from Kenya! Last year at the GPG Greg and I prayed fervently for his appeal (along with everyone else there!) It looked impossible. He was on death row for a crime he did not commit. He was 78 years old and had been in prison already for over a year. (an appeal is still pending in his case) 6 weeks later he was released. This was unprecedented! To be in a prayer room with him and see him was just almost more than my heart could handle. To pray with him as he prayed in his language, to see him come forward in the big meeting and hear him say “thank you” and that he saw God in that prison, and that “America, God loves you” Wow. oh, wow. Let’s just say I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place and I was doing the big ole’ ugly cry. To read his story and see his beautiful face go here.
Each year at the GPG you pick 6 different rooms to go to on Saturday. They are field office specific and you go and hear from the directors about their praises and prayer requests. Then you go to the Lord in prayer for those requests in a variety of ways (each director does it different) As you leave, you are given a prayer token to remind you to pray.
This is from the Kenya office—and it was made from prison uniforms. It will be in my bible reminding me to continue to pray. This is where we were honored to pray with “Michael”
Hebrews 13:3 Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
This was from the Ecuador office and was made my children and workers. In this room I heard the most sweet, timid, awkward prayer from a young girl. I think it may have touched Jesus’ heart the most that day. I know it did mine.
Guatemala prayer room. Love those buses. :) So much need there –prayer time was focused on protection and justice for children.
Kolkata, India. Prayer focus was on sex trafficking. Coin purse made by survivors. LOVE this one.
Uganda. Prayer focus was on widows’ lands rights.This is a copy of widow’s land title that IJM helped her to receive. We saw video of this beautiful woman dancing when she received it. LOVE.
A place near to my heart, Zambia. The director there is a sweet woman who I would love to have the opportunity to know more. I told her that we were best friends but she didn’t know it yet. :) A great thing here is that churches in Lusaka are starting to get involved and help the widows and orphans in the their congregations and are standing up to protect them! Wonderful news.
Sara Groves led a lot of the worship again for the GPG (and 2 other friends from Willow Creek who rocked the house!)
She sung this song that she wrote after being at the GPG one year. Very fitting.
I encourage you to go watch the plenary sessions online. You will be blessed by them and learn so much about IJM and injustices around the world. It’s well worth your time. Go to GPG Online.