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The monthly newsletter of Free Methodist World Missions

Freedom Sunday: A New Three Streams Approach

by Rev. Dr. Kevin Austin, Director, Set Free Movement | Jun 2023 | Heartbeat, HB Global, HB Set Free Movement

We were created for worship, and when we enter God’s presence with humility, He meets us. Worship renews. It forms us, centers us on Jesus and unites us with other followers, past and present, in every tribe and language.

And worship is catalytic. We take all God gives us, and under the direction of the Spirit, we move out of our times and locations of worship into places of darkness with light, into hopeless situations with hope, and into brokenness with healing.

Freedom Sunday seeks to amplify these concepts on behalf of those in bondage; it is one Sunday a year when we invite churches to focus on vulnerable and enslaved people. But, more than anything else, we ask churches to center on Jesus. He is the One Who sets captives free. Bethany Hoang writes:

Seeking justice doesn’t begin at the door of the brothel.
Seeking justice begins by seeking the God of justice.1

For the past 14 years, Free Methodist churches have participated in Freedom Sunday. Together we have raised more than $1 million for various freedom initiatives. Through these efforts, thousands of children have been protected, hundreds of churches have mobilized, teams have formed, and God has been glorified.

As awareness and education continue to grow globally, change is occurring. Because human trafficking awareness day in Europe is October 18, European churches observe Freedom Sunday in October. Asian churches observe it in the fall as well. Latin Americans are focusing on the issues in July. In the United States, human trafficking awareness day is January 11. Traditionally, we have asked all churches to focus together on one day. However, one unified Sunday is no longer working. (This is actually good news!)

Therefore, Freedom Sunday is adopting a three-streams approach: July, October and January. Our prayer is that these three streams will be one movement of God whereby:

Justice [will] roll down like waters. And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Amos 5:24

Find out more about Freedom Sunday:

1 – Deepening the Soul for Justice, Bethany Hoang, InterVarsity Press, October 29, 2012.

Photos: Kevin Austin