Victory in Battle

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In a vision, I was equipped with a sword, and in front of me was an enormous snake. This snake was as huge as the one in Aladdin when Jafar turns into a snake and keeps growing to keep Jasmine hostage. I was dodging this snake as it tried to bite me from both sides. I kept my sword pointed and tried to take a few jabs at it. I knew I would be done for if the snake sank its teeth and powerful jaws into me since I was so small compared to the snake. The snake then coiled its head back and breathed a stream of fire towards my direction. I lifted my shield, and it completely protected me from the fire. Just as I was getting weary from the fight, I saw Father God behind me. He was so big I could only see His toe! As I kept gazing on Him with wonder and astonishment, I started to grow! I grew and grew and grew until the snake looked like the size of a silk worm. I then watched my Father crush the snake with the heel of His foot and I copied His exact movements.

I believe there is a mighty battle going on right now with this spirit. This spirit brings offense, bitterness, and suffocation through slander, judgement, and curses. It twists and turns the truth like an anaconda killing its prey. Just like in the vision, if we allow the effects of offense and bitterness anchor its nasty fangs into our hearts, it would be devastating. We are called to give grace just as we’ve received much grace from the Lord.

If you’re in a situation where you feel misjudged or wrongly accused, continue to gaze on the Lord. As we submit our hearts to Him for open evaluation and correction, and stay in that place of humility, the Lord will defend us in the battle. He will teach us how to take authority over our real enemy, the spirit behind the injustice. Let’s continue blessing those who mistreat us or curse us and pray that the Lord covers our hearts to protect it from any bitterness or offense. We will experience great VICTORY when we humble ourselves before the Lord. The result of humility brings about many amazing fruit, but one of them is growing in authority. The Lord lifts the humble and lowers the proud. “The one who sows in righteousness reaps a sure reward” (Provers 11:18). Like Jesus, we need to do nothing by ourselves and do only what we see the Father is doing (John 5:19). He is a good Father and always “has our back”.

Divine Acceleration

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I see Jesus taking different colored boxes and aligning them one by one in a row. I knew the boxes were colored differently because each one had a unique surprise in them.

While some may feel like they are engaged in a mighty battle, amazing and divine alignments are happening behind the scenes that are going to blow us out of the water! I feel like the divine alignment taking place will open timely doors of favor to opportunities and key relationships.

I also saw a white clock with the hour hand and minute hand moving forward unnaturally fast. It made a few laps around the clock as if time was being fast forwarded. The Lord has begun the acceleration process in our lives! I feel like this season of acceleration will bring SUDDEN breakthrough in redeeming, restoring, and healing many lost and destroyed areas the locusts have eaten from our past. Although the enemy tried to burn and destroy our fields, the Lord is repaying us for what we lost and even using the burnt soil as fertilizer for our next season of blooming and flourishing!

As we make room in our hearts for the Father, a new Holy Fire will burn within us! We have entered into the season of promise and abundance! While the Father is always true to His promises, I invite you to press in with all you’ve got in this season. I recently heard this quote that has been reverberating within my spirit since. “While God will always keep His promises, He is not responsible in keeping our potential.” Let’s continue to seek His face in the secret place where deep intimacy, alignment, and transformation happens through the encounter with our loving Father.

Strength In Numbers

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Many people believe that abolishing human trafficking in our generation is impossible. But what if one person can make a significant impact for lasting change? It certainly takes faith. It definitely takes courage. But most importantly, it takes risk. Risk takes you to the edge of the cliff and faith gives you the ability to jump off, knowing that you won’t fall into impending death but instead, fly.

One of the greatest challenges in fighting human trafficking is the challenge of awakening America (or truthfully the world) to this devastating reality. It happens in everyone’s backyard whether you realize it or not. There are local task forces mobilizing and fighting against this grave problem because it is happening in every city. There are great politicians and lawmakers fighting for justice to prosecute pimps and johns. There are effective organizations supporting victims via rescues, safehouses, and transitional homes while bringing greater awareness to the public. We even have noble members of the corporate sector committing to ethical business practices. But before we celebrate too early, there are even more corporations, politicians, and people in general who turn a blind eye to the tragic truth that modern day slavery is more prevalent than ever before.

Why is it such a problem? It’s multi-layered, really. The media’s increasing glorification of sex has bred a generation of desensitized Americans who now create a significant portion of the worldwide demand for human trafficking. Pornography, itself, access to pornography, and the age at which children are first exposed to pornography have all changed drastically since the advent of the internet. The days of seemingly harmless Playboy-like images are long gone and have been replaced by obscene and dehumanizing videos of brutally mistreated (and often under-aged) people engaging in sexual acts. These videos show women, children, and even men, being treated like objects only meant to fulfill one’s sexual desires. They are even portrayed as seeming to enjoy the mistreatment. Children have access to this pornography, literally at their fingertips, at an average age of 12 years old on smartphones, laptops, gaming consoles, etc. They are being conditioned from a very impressionable age, when their minds are developing and bodies are changing, that it is okay to treat a girl/boy like a sexual object. Their minds get infiltrated with distorted fantasies and lust. The porn industry is so disgustingly conniving, knowing that free porn that satisfies today will not satisfy tomorrow. Many people who fall into deep porn addiction seem to develop a tolerance to it, much like a drug addiction. The tolerance effect causes these people to seek stronger and rougher porn to get the same satisfaction. So why is this a problem? People who buy trafficked women, men, and/or children aren’t born overnight. They’ve made very conscious decisions of flirting with fantasy and lust in their minds and hearts that eventually give birth to full blown sin. It starts with small choices. In order to combat human trafficking, we need to get to the root of the issue, which is a heart issue.

Why do people turn a blind eye to this problem? Many people think that human trafficking does not happen in their backyards. They feel very removed from the problem and believe that someone else will take care of it. These people underestimate the power of their own lives. They don’t know that their own voice can speak for the voiceless. These victims are more than a statistic. They truly are someone’s daughter, son, friend, or neighbor. Just last year, a trafficking ring was busted in Irvine, CA (ranked as FBI’s safest city in the country 10 years in a row) in a high-end apartment complex I used to live in a few years back. I had no idea this was going on while I was living there. The fact that the apartment complex was a beautiful gated community made it even more unsuspecting. The madam running the trafficking ring was targeting foreign exchange students with student visas. That ensured her clients a fresh supply of girls every few months as their visas expired and new students were trafficked in. An important fact to note is that people who are trafficked are NOT trafficked by their own will. There is a tremendous amount of brutality, violence, mind control, abuse, trauma, and drugs (to exert control) at play. Does this narrative sound familiar? It certainly happened before in history with the African American slaves. Plantation owners and overseers would exert power, unfathomable abuse, trauma, rape, etc. because they believed slaves were their property. We need to stop dehumanizing people.

How can we make a difference? There are many talents and gifts we have that can contribute to the fight. Do you have time? Money? Special skills (graphic design, IT, finance, teaching, ANYTHING) that can contribute to awareness, prevention, intervention? Love has a cost. God so loved… So He gave. We need to give. We also need to start talking in our churches. Whether the topic is about pornography or some other sin, we should foster a safe platform to share and cover those with the courage to do so. Churches have the incredible ability to mobilize and equip their people to take a stand and make a difference. There should be absolutely no shame or judgment on anyone who seeks help or confesses any sin. It is the Lord’s kindness that leads to repentance.

Let me end with a story:

The Starfish Story:

While walking down the beach, a man saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it in the ocean.

As he came closer, he saw thousands of starfish the tide had thrown onto the beach. Unable to return to the ocean during the low tide, the starfish were dying. He observed a young boy picking up the starfish one by one and throwing them back into the ocean.

After watching the seemingly futile effort, the observer said, “There must be thousands of starfish on this beach. It would be impossible for you to save them all. There are simply too many. You can’t save enough to make a difference.”

The young boy smiled with a starfish in hand and tossed it back into the ocean.

“I made a difference with that one.” he replied.

– Anonymous

As many of you know, I have a passion to see modern day slavery end in our generation. To help fight human trafficking, please consider donating (whether it is your time, talents, or finances) to the organization, http://www.27million.com. 27Million is an umbrella organization that networks grassroots movements already fighting on the frontlines on a global level. They raise funds to bless these organizations with their catalytic projects (because unfortunately money and resources are the issue in many cases) and overhead. They provide a platform for these organizations to come together, mutually encourage, pray for, and aid in the fight against human trafficking. There is strength in numbers. Together we can end modern day slavery.

Beautiful Things

“God designed your life for the purpose of making it beautiful”

Before I start updating about this amazing journey so far, I just really have to express my deepest gratitude to my brothers and sisters who have and continue to support me. Thank you for every single prayer as I seriously feel it shielding me, lifting me up, guiding me, but most of all, I feel the love! Thank you. To my brothers and sisters who have been and are continuing to support me financially, thank you as well! None of this would be possible without your partnership. I’m just so blown away by the family of God.

The past couple days have been life changing. I came down to Mexico City with a team from Newsong. The team consisted of 13 people and the plan was that they stay for 5 days and I stay for a month. The past 5 days with the team and with Benny and Janice (the missionaries here) have been the definition of Philippians 2. Complete unity and humility exemplified in each member of the team:

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by being obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

On one of the nights we had the honor of throwing a Flash Mob on Sullivan St. This street is the main street where the prostitutes stand. There are about 100 girls standing down this stretch of street and there are constantly, I mean CONSTANTLY cars lined up to check out these girls and pick up the ones they approve.

A little background, the girls get paid anywhere from 5-10 pesos (equivalent to around $0.30 – $0.60USD) per client. Double for unprotected sex and the pimps tell the girls to take those clients because it’s good money. Each girl owes her pimp 300 pesos each day and anything left over is their’s. If we do the math, that’s around 30 clients per day. Almost impossible. There is a lot of mind control and greed in play. My fire for these girls was desperate.

As we set up the Flash Mob party station with hot chocolate, taco station, manicure & hand massage station for the girls, I grab a cup of hot chocolate and walk across the street to talk to the girls and see if they wanted one. I saw their pimp scanning the area and making sure his “merchandise” was safe. His face looked so hardened. I hear the Lord telling me to give the cup of hot chocolate to the pimp and I immediately say “NO!” but the Lord says again, ” Give it to him.” So I reluctantly agree because usually when the Lord asks to do something, He wants to release heaven through you. If he asks twice, you better get moving (haha). So I approach him and have a conversation with him in Spanish:

Me: hola.
Pimp: (ignores me and looks away)
Me: (angrily) Hola! Quiere chocolate caliente?
Pimp: No.
Me: come on!!! Hace frio no??? Tengo frio.
Pimp: sí. (Hesitantly takes hot chocolate)

This did something to me. I had a chance to love the pimp and humanize him. His name is Carlos! It was evident that he had to harden his heart to be in this industry. He’s internalized that he was a monster and beyond redemption and it showed in his physical appearance. I’m going to pray for him. God placed his love for his son in me as we chatted and connected on a very human level. We crossed paths twice more that night and he taught me a couple Spanish words. By the time I saw him again, his face completely changed! It was much softer somehow and much brighter. I felt the goodness of the Lord and his heart for Carlos as the Lord pointed out that he is simply a little boy who has been hurt and afflicted in the past. God loves Carlos so much. He is after his heart. Shame & darkness perpetuates shame & darkness but I will be like Christ and take those nails and say that he is a son and that he is worthy enough for God’s love. Who am I to judge? Through this humbling experience I’m even more convinced of our mission as Christians:

1. Love God
2. Love others

Through loving God, the overflow of his grace, love, and forgiveness gives us the ability to love others. But it’s from that place of stillness in the Lord’s presence that anything good can happen in us and through us. God is moving here. He wants to make beautiful things out of every single son and daughter he has created. I’m so blown away by this experience as I struggled in my own heart with judging the “unlovable” and “unforgivable”. I’m learning God’s heart for justice and how he is desperate to set the captives free. Captives who are enslaved to greed, control, shame, unforgiveness, deception, etc. He wants to reunite with his children. Hear the Father’s cry. He is waiting with abounding grace and arms wide open to receive those of his children who have been separated from Him. God bless you.

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