Stop Slavery Statement of Faith
The Bible is the inspired word of God. The 66 books which constitute the Bible are entirely reliable and truthful, and the Bible stands as the central authority over our lives, our faith and the direction of our church.
We are committed to standard formulations of biblical inspiration such as the “Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, and Hermeneutics.” (2 Timothy 3:16; Matthew 5:18)
Three persons eternally share the Divine Nature. The Bible refers to these persons as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God is both self-existent and personal. (John 14:10, 26; 15:26)
Jesus Christ, the Son, is fully God and fully human. He lived a sinless life, died for the sins of humankind, was resurrected bodily on the third day, ascended into heaven and is coming again as King and Judge.
Jesus Christ is the only provision that God has given for people to be reconciled to Him. Jesus’ life on earth also serves as the model for the Christian life. (John 14:6; Acts 4:12)
The Holy Spirit is God. He indwells us at the moment we place our faith in Christ. He empowers us to live an effective Christian life by affirming our salvation, encouraging us and giving us the strength to live a life that is pleasing to God. The Holy Spirit also endows each believer with a unique spiritual ability to serve the church and the world. (John 14:16; Ephesians 1:19-20; 1 Corinthians 12)
Salvation is reconciliation with God through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. God offers us salvation by His grace alone and we receive it as a gift through personal faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. This right standing before God must be received and cannot be earned. God freely offers salvation to all people, and our salvation is secure. (Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 8:38,39; Ephesians 1:13; 2:4)
Human beings are created in the image of God. As such, we are unique among all of God’s creation. We have turned against God and this has resulted in spiritual death for all humankind. Humanity lives in a state of alienation and profound need which can only be satisfied by reconciliation with God through Christ. Without this reconciliation, all people stand under God’s righteous judgment.
Humanity, although fallen, maintains the image of God and is, therefore, still dignified and unique. God continues to love us and reach out to us, even though we are hostile to Him. Believers in Jesus Christ receive a new nature that becomes the foundation for a process of transformation. (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:17)
The church is composed of all those throughout history who place saving faith in Jesus Christ. The church is not an institution, but a people. God wants all Christians to live out their spiritual lives in a corporate context. This context of Christian love relationships is a crucial feature of our witness for Christ as it reflects God’s character to the world.
The church is God’s chosen instrument through which the message of salvation is spread to all people. This mission is the central purpose for the church. We are to carry the good news locally and worldwide and demonstrate the gospel by relevant social action and lives marked by love and sacrifice with Jesus as our primary model. (John 13:34, 35; 1 Corinthians 12:12-26; Matthew 28:19)
Satan is the personal, spiritual adversary of God and God’s followers. Satan actively opposes the work of the church and the spiritual vitality of Christians. We therefore take seriously, but in a balanced way, the reality of personal, spiritual opposition. Satan is doomed to final defeat and judgment when Christ returns. (Ephesians 6:12; Revelation 20)
This age will conclude with the personal, bodily return of Christ. At that time, He will complete God’s plan to reestablish His just and righteous rule over all humanity. (Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 20)
At the final judgment, God will assign all people their eternal destinies-either life or judgment. Those who have responded to Jesus Christ with saving faith will receive the eternal life they have already been promised (John 5:24), while others will live under eternal judgment.
Therefore, because eternal issues are at stake, there is an urgency to communicate the gospel. We believe in doing something about it—that we should “walk worthy of the calling” to which we have been called. – (Eph. 4:1; Titus 2:11-14; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8).
We have had a partnership with a small village outside of Siem Reap for a couple of years. Last year I delivered Shoe Boxes of love there and as I was leaving the village saw this guy struggling to ride a bike with no tires and thought,
“Wouldn’t it be like Jesus to get every kid in this village a bike.” So we partnered with a couple of others and what started out as a dream to give 50 kids in one village a bike resulted in 122 kids in two villages and two orphanages receiving new bikes.
When I visited this village a few months after my students had delivered the bikes our orphanage director was introducing us to people in the village and he remarked that many of them would get sick because their pump water wasn’t clean. That was a fallacy I had fallen victim to before. I keep assuming that because the water is coming out of the ground from a pump that it is clean and that isn’t always the case.
Our director asked us if we could get them a $25 water filter so that they could have clean water in the village. I wish I had known that 2 years ago when we started coming to this village. Perhaps in the future we will be able to offer something a little more permanent that doesn’t require them to go through the additional step of running the water through a filter before drinking it.
Water is something we totally take for granted in the west. Our house in South East Asia often goes without water. We have 3 water tanks to try to avert the problem but inevitably we run out of water. Generally we have drinking water because we get that delivered weekly. Last time I was back in the United States I remember thinking, “Wow, Americans have so much good water they can use it to wash cars and water the lawn.” I have lived my whole life virtually not even thinking about water but after 3 + years of making sure that bad water doesn’t get into my mouth in the shower or wondering about ice at a restaurant and going about 4 months in the last two years without water in our house to do the dishes, take showers and most importantly, flush toilets, I no longer take it for granted.
Anyway, just wanted to share with you a tiny little project of Stop Slavery and bringing a water filter to a village in Cambodia. Thanks for all of you who are a part of our support team. If you aren’t already you should go to the Donate page and choose 1000 Heroes and become one of the 1000 Heroes we are looking to have join us in 2014.
People often ask what they can do to help in the fight against human trafficking. Sometimes I know them and have an idea of how they can bring value. Other times it’s hard. Many people here about the issue and want to help for about 2 days and then they are on to something else. Then there are people that just make things happen. They look for evidence of human trafficking in their own neighborhood. They take responsibility for those around them. Some jump in with both feet like Jason Migliore & Brian Layton who started the Oki Stop Slavery Ride and which Brian continues to run.
At the end of 2013 this group of guys raised over $4200 in support of Stop Slavery’s anti trafficking work and work with orphans and the poor in Cambodia. Each year the amount they raise continues to increase. Thanks so much, Brian for continuing to challenge others to live for things bigger than themselves. Having spent all but 8 years of my life connected to the U.S. military I continue to be encouraged by the heart of those who make up the U.S. Armed Forces.
If you are in Okinawa and would like to help Stop Slavery and Orphans in Okinawa, Japan take a look at the Oki Orphan Ride Facebook Page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/411507542220106/ or Contact Brian Layton at https://www.facebook.com/brian.layton.184
The very first project that we wanted to initiate as Stop Slavery was the school and community center at Unit 14. The orphanage ended up getting funded first since it required less start up funds and just on going funds to run it. Just before Christmas we received the last $3000 for this $19,000 project from a small group from The Harbor, which is a Cadence ministry in Okinawa, Japan.
Hopefully the school will get started soon. We are already moving on towards other projects. Two of our big projects for 2012 are opening the Museum of Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery in Siem Reap, Cambodia and getting a real office so we don’t have to to work from home, couches, cafes etc. Waahoo!
You can see the original post for the school here http://stopslavery.org/unit14
Thank you to all who have helped with special one time gifts and those who help sustain our ministries monthly as well.
We have a joy-filled update for all of you! Just recently, each of the children in the orphanage received their own bicycle from the orphan ministry of Calvary Chapel in Okinawa, Japan. A couple from Koza Baptist Church in Okinawa was able to provide transportation for all of the bikes to get from Okinawa to Cambodia. What a blessing these bikes are to the kids, as they all begin studying at a Christian school, Agape, in Siem Reap. (See pics below for some action shots!)
Also, from Okinawa, a small group from The Harbor has committed to financially support the educational costs of the kids so that they can study at the Agape School. Not only are they getting a much better education than they would have otherwise but they are getting a Christian education and practical skills in addition to English.
Imagine the impact that these two groups of people are having in the lives of these ten children, even as they speak different languages and live in different countries.
Would you like to be involved in 4 1/2 months that will change the rest of your life? We are joining with Cadence International from July 27th until Dec 14th to be part of a life changing Disciple Training School. The school is based on the YWAM DTS with a few tweaks and a focus on human trafficking and slavery in South East Asia. If you would like to be a part please go to www.cadencedts.com and fill out an application.
Find out more at Cadence Discipleship Training School
I have no words to add, only tears.