Church Amazed It Will Help Free 20 Slaves

1216 Woodbury Church fundraiser
WOODBURY, MN (December 16, 2015) — Crossroads Church, an ECC congregation, raised $96,000 in one weekend to fund rescue operations conducted by International Justice Mission (IJM) to free slaves.

The church kicked off its Christmas series, “All I Want for Christmas Is … A Better World,” with a special anti-trafficking event held December 5-6. Crossroads hosted Larry Martin, IJM director of church mobilization.

The Christian nonprofit says the average cost of freeing someone held against their will is $5,000. The church had set a $20,000 goal to enable four rescues. In fact, the funds raised will potentially help free nearly 20 people, five times the initial goal.

1216 Lotsa Money Raised to Fight Trafficking
The church produced long-sleeved T-shirts that said “ONE MORE #fourfreedom” and sold them throughout the weekend to fund the rescues. Those sales amounted to $48,000.

Two days after the event, the church received word that an anonymous supporter of IJM had donated a matching $48,000.

It was the first time the church had kicked off its Christmas series with a large event. “We wanted to step out in faith and allow God to use us for something big, something radical,” said Erik Anderson, director of weekend ministries. “If not us, then who?”

Crossroads and IJM have been longtime ministry partners. That included a trip two years ago when several members traveled to Uganda to help organize and find paperwork within the court system to return widows and children back to their stolen land.

“This is what Jesus-like people do. They carry the baton of justice and they work to set the captives free,” said Phil Print, lead pastor at Crossroads Church.