This July, a group of ordinary women – business professionals, stay-at-home moms, grandmas, sisters, friends – will be taking part in an extraordinary challenge. From 31 July – 5 August, women from the US and further afield will be hiking and biking in the Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Why are we doing this? To raise awareness of and funds for projects supported by The Freedom Challenge to free women and children from modern-day slavery.
Some of us are gym bunnies, hikers, travellers, others of us have health challenges, or haven’t hiked in years.
It will be an experience that you’ll never forget – you will make a difference in the lives of oppressed women and your own life will be impacted too. Still not sure if this is right for you?
Take a look at the following words (including a video) from women already signed up, and some who’ve climbed before, and let them inspire you!
‘I had gone to a conference put on by Women Impacting the Nation and heard a speaker talking about women being enslaved and the enormous amount of money that it generates and how pornography is the cause or motivating factor for much of this.
I have a friend who had done the Freedom Challenge in Africa a few years ago and I was so inspired by her efforts also. I figured, if I was ever going to do something like this, it better be soon since I am 66 and climbing mountains is more difficult than it was a few years ago. I am also facing a knee replacement and praying for a complete recovery before the climb.’
Ann Darling, part of the Wyoming 2016 team
‘I had the privilege of climbing in the Swiss Alps with the Freedom Challenge team in 2015. As a leader of a project that receives support from Freedom Challenge I wanted to be a part of the process of raising funds and meeting some of the ladies who have made possible the training of our teachers and the ability to reach out with love to the children in our classrooms. I can’t fully express how the hiking affected me, I am still processing the lessons I have learned.
It was amazing to sense the team effort. Even though each of us had to put one foot in front of the other to get up (and down) the various peaks, there was a real sense that we were in this together. The moments on the trail brought opportunities to share our life experiences and fears, hopes, visions for the future and purpose for hiking, one-to-one as well as in groups, as we found places for picnic lunches along the trail. There were moments that were full of laughter and singing and joyful banter and then focused, quiet, prayerful, concentrated times of just managing to put one foot in front of the other, being intensely reminded of the women and children we were hiking for and the mountains they face. It amazed me how much a simple word of encouragement could help shift my thinking from, “I don’t think I can take another step” to “Ok, just one more, and one more…until we reached the top…” ’
Shirley Turner, previous participant and part of the Wyoming 2016 team, and OM missionary in Zambia
Below, Cathey Anderson (the late founder of The Freedom Challenge) and Joanne Hummel, talk about the amazing ways God meets with each participant on the climb:
‘My motivation is based on the song by Matthew West – “Do Something”. I know God created me to “Do Something” about the social injustice of modern-day slavery. I am committed to be a voice for those women and children that don’t have a voice. Climbing mountains to raise funds and then sharing my story about the climbs as an inspirational speaker is my way to “Do Something”.’
Ginger Martin, President and CEO of American National Bank and part of the Wyoming 2016 team
‘I want to be a part of what God is doing in the lives of women locally and globally. The Wyoming event, raises awareness and funding about the scourge of human trafficking and oppression, and I want to be a part of it.’
Teresa Vaughn, part of the Wyoming 2016 team
‘I’ve been to Costa Rica and met women who have been transformed by the love of Christ, and are being transformed. God is meeting them there right where they are. Just like He met me right when I climbed Kilimanjaro to help me, give me His breath and strength to get me to the top. One step and one breath at a time as I prayed and asked for it, and depended on Him for it. God will meet each woman who steps out in faith, and says yes to him and follows after Him. As we do, He reveals Himself to us in the most amazing ways, and heals and restores us, guides and protects us, brings us into relationship with Him and with each other.’
Cindy Rine, previous participant and part of the Wyoming 2016 team
We would love for you to join us – the hike is suitable for women without any experience of hiking and those who are pros!
Find out more and sign up at: www.thefreedomchallenge.com/16-wyoming