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Update from the McCrackens in Portland.  If you wish to unsubscribe, click the link at the bottom of the page.
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Bringing People Together to Help the Oppressed 

An Important Clarification...

We are receiving comments from some people that are leading us to believe there is not clear understanding on what we are here in Portland to do.  Some seem to think it is only to speak in schools about human trafficking.  Some think it is only to do "social ministry".  Please allow us to clarify...We are here to work with a team that is focused on seeing A COMMUNITY TRANSFORMED BY THE POWER OF CHRIST SO THAT NOBODY IS INVISIBLE AND NOBODY IS WITHOUT FOOD, FREEDOM, OR FORGIVENESS.  We are here to help lay the foundation (along with our other teammates Maureen Heath and Michele Munoz, as well as with others from other ministries and churches) for what International Teams is calling its 2020 Vision (see:  http://www.iteams.us/2020-vision/).

The FIRST ministry focus is the formation of a team that raises awareness and works toward the prevention of CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING.
The SECOND (consecutive) ministry focus will likely be some outreach to refugees/immigrants.
The THIRD is unknown at this point.

The beginning stages of any endeavor take time, require much mundane, behind-the-scenes, yet vital and foundational preparation work.  As it says in Proverbs 24:27, "
Prepare your work outside and make it ready for yourself in the field; afterwards, then, build your house."  While we are involved in a multitude of ministry endeavors, we are also laying the foundation of PRAYER, LISTENING to God and to people, LEARNING, and BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS.

Just as we have always highly valued BOTH the proclamation AND the demonstration of the Gospel, we continue to be committed to those "two sides of one coin" as our team labors with the Lord in the greater Portland area.  Thank you for your prayers and/or financial investments.  We value your partnership more than ever!

 

Don't Forget...

If you have missed any of our previous updates or need to go back and be reminded of something we have already shared via our various prayer updates, you can find most of them posted online at:  http://imccracken.net/prayer-letters-knee-mails/

Also, there are various links, photos, and videos specifc to our Portland ministry at:  http://imccracken.net/end-slavery/

Additionally, two of the ministries we are currently serving with include...

Door to Grace (
http://www.doortograce.org/)

AWARE (
http://awareprogram.net/deceptions/)

JANUARY IS NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS MONTH.  CHECK OUT THESE WEBSITES FOR MORE INFORMATION:


http://abolitionnow.com/

http://www.justfacts.com/sexuality.asp

http://enditmovement.com/

Prayer Requests...

* Our mentoring relationship with a local "at-risk" child begins this Sunday.  Today, we met him and his family.  We are not able to tell you more at this point.  Please pray that we can be channels of God's love and blessing to this boy and his parents.

* Next month I (Scott) am in charge of organizing a 2-hour awareness event at George Fox University.  Please pray for me as I prepare that.

* We have already reached several hundreds of middle school students in the last couple of weeks in the Vancouver, Washington public schools, and are lined up to share our presentation with many more in the months to come.  PLEASE PRAY that we can get into the Portland schools as well.

* On February 4th there will be a meeting of about 25 different ministries and churches that all sense the Lord leading them to invest in the same community (Rockwood, about which we have previously written).  This will be a chance to meet each other, pray together, and share vision and strategy.  Please pray for a deepening of unity.

* Please pray for our financial situation and for Vicki as she looks for work outside the home.  We will write a separate update about this in the near future.

* Ellie's current therapists are considering her for a wheelchair that is controlled with the head.  It MIGHT be made available through Shriners.  Also, she has taken her first steps with a gait trainer during her therapy sessions at school.  The last note from her teacher said she took 500 steps that day!  (You can read ENCOURAGING recent updates about her, and see photos/video at:  http://elliebomccracken.blogspot.com)
We praise God for her recent progress!



 

 Maria and Rosa...

Maria was sixteen years old and living in Mexico when a young man promised her the world. She believed the lies and went with him, but instead of a dream life she received nothing but pain. She was raped, drugged and sold for sex. In case she had any thoughts of running away, this is what the men did to dissuade her: “They took a gallon of gasoline and started pouring it over a girl,” Maria said. “One of the men told me, ‘If you don’t do as I say I will do the same to you.’ I wanted to look away, but they didn’t let me. Even though the girl was on fire they kept hitting her and they were laughing as if they were enjoying what they were doing.”

Another young Mexican girl, Rosa, was just fourteen when a man offered her a good job in the U.S. “My parents didn’t want me to go, but I persuaded them. A week later, I was smuggled in to the U.S. through Texas to Orlando, Florida. The men told me that my employment would consist of having sex with men for money. I had never had sex before.

“And so my nightmare began. Because I was a virgin, the men decided to initiate me by raping me again and again to teach me how to have sex. Over the next three months, I was taken to a different trailer every fifteen days. I cannot forget what has happened. I was a decent girl in Mexico. I used to go to church with my family. I only wish none of this had ever happened.”

(From Audacious by Diana Scimone)

It is children like Maria and Rosa that we are trying to protect from this kind of heinous crime by educating and equipping young people and adult communities about Child Sex Trafficking in the greater Portland area.  And it is courageous survivors like Maria and Rosa for whom we partner with organizations that minister freedom and restoration.
 

  

Scott & Vicki McCracken
END SLAVERY/Portland
International Teams

scott.mccracken@iteams.org
AWARE "Deceptions" Presentation
Family/Ministry Website
Ellie's Blog
Tax-deductible donations may be made to "International Teams" (with an enclosed note expressing your intended designation), and sent to: 

International Teams
411 W. River Rd.
Elgin, IL  60123-1570
USA

For online giving, go to:
  https://wwws.iteams.org/us/give/