Kathy Burr (Cherry Hills Community Church, Highlands Ranch, CO) and Sherry Irvin - pictured on left - (Christ EPC, Houston, TX) began 2012 by joining 46 international women to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa as participants in The Freedom Climb sponsored by Operation Mobilization. The purpose of the climb was to bring awareness to the atrocities against women and children and generating much needed resources to those who are oppressed, enslaved, exploited and trafficked.
After giving Kathy and Sherry the chance to regroup after their life-changing experience, I wanted to learn more about these two women and what God had stirred in them before, during and after the climb.
How did God draw you into joining The Freedom Climb?
KB: I heard Gary Haugen (International Justice Mission) speak at Saddleback Church about what was taking place in Uganda. I couldn’t believe that children were used as soldiers and children as sex slaves and porters for the soldiers. After that I became engaged with working to restore children’s lives in Uganda through the Aids Initiative and Global Justice Team at CHCC. At CHCC, we have wanted to ramp up our involvement in fighting global injustice. When Haugen spoke last year at CHCC, he called us to action by asking us to sign cards that would go to Congress encouraging the passage of the Child Protection Act. Our church responded by signing more than 3600 cards. When the bill passed, people saw the difference that their response made.
SI: In Houston, I thought I was the only one that cared about what was happening in our city with trafficking. Suddenly, I saw God bringing people together with an awareness about what is going on. I’m now surrounded by a host of witnesses who are getting on board and passionate about changing the climate and culture of our city and eager to change the laws addressing it.
Kathy and Sherry are showing the powerful and creative ways that are possible to engage in the fight against the evils of human trafficking. We are hearing more stories of how God is moving among women in the EPC to get involved. The Freedom Climbers remind us to never underestimate what we are capable of doing.