Giving God Your Yes

All it took for Cassie Noel to have a sweeping impact on the girls and staff at the Krause Children’s Center was a love for kids, some basketball knowledge, and a willing heart.

Last year Cassie received a last minute invitation from her friend Maria Tyra to attend a volunteer training at a place called the Krause Children’s Center in Katy, TX. Maria had been introduced to the center through attending a GoBox class hosted by the Freedom Church Alliance. She quickly took to Krause and thought that Cassie might as well.

Cassie learned all about the girls who live at Krause, the struggles and harsh circumstances that they’ve lived through, the hard road of healing, and the staff who serves them each day. Then she had an idea.

She's always had a deep love for the game of basketball. Cassie coaches her own kids’ teams and has thrived in that position. She also loves kids - especially kids who have lived disadvantaged lives. Why couldn’t she bring these two great loves together here at Krause and see what happens?

Thus began the building of a basketball program so the girls at the Krause Center could play in the Kingdom League in Houston. She worked to make sure that the team was fully covered with scholarships and her community rallied to provide basketball shoes and all the team’s equipment needs.

The program quickly took off! The girls loved this outlet, this gift, this team. The girls were told they had to earn their place at practice and at each game - they eagerly stepped up to the plate. Soon after, the staff at Krause shared with Cassie that the girls’ behavior and performance in school was improving dramatically. Basketball was all they talked about! The girls who were regularly practicing and playing started to grow in character and skill. Cassie, as with any gifted coach, turned basketball practice into life practice. Through this game she was teaching the girls life lessons about teamwork, self confidence, trust and empowerment.

Those who weren’t on the team wanted in. To compensate for the high demand of a spot on the basketball court, Krause formed a cheer team. The girls who joined the cheer team started practicing regularly and started performing and cheering at the basketball team’s games. Once again the girls were thriving on their new team by having to earn their spot, and the Krause Center felt a refreshing of spirits.

Staff shared with Cassie that these teams have brought a whole new life to the Krause Center. Not only were the girls dedicated to their new favorite pastime, but the staff was attending games to support and cheer the girls on. Cassie and Maria rallied their family and friends to attend the games and cheer the girls on.

“This is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. This is clearly what God wanted to happen,” Cassie reflects as the season comes to an end. With the changing of the seasons, she is planning to start two volleyball teams at Krause and the girls are looking forward with boatloads of anticipation.

I share this story with you because often we feel overwhelmed with the issue of human trafficking, and we wonder what we can do to make a difference. Demonstrating the love of Jesus by showing up and caring is perhaps one of the most powerful ways to intervene in the life of someone who has faced severe trauma and in need of hope. You never know what can happen when you say yes, when you bring your gifts to the table and let the Lord lead.

“...let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

Allison Hankins

“The people that know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” Daniel 11:32

Last month, many of you joined us for a 21-day prayer and fasting journey. We did this because we wanted to dedicate the Alliance to the Lord, seek His face, and ask Him to use us mightily to do great works of justice and mercy in 2019. 

I woke up one morning, during the fast, with the words of Daniel 11:32 ringing in my head, “the people who know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” Another translation puts it this way, “the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.” I was so excited and invigorated by this phrase and have been praying it over the Freedom Church Alliance ever since.

As I began to research this passage, I learned that this prophecy was fulfilled in part by the Maccabees, who were a small band of devoted God-followers, who attacked and defeated the forces of Antiochus Epiphanies over and over again. Antiochus was a God-hater who desecrated the holy temple of God. He even went so far as to sacrifice a pig to Zeus on the altar in the temple. The Maccabees took action leading to many victories, and their exploits became legendary.

But there is a principle here that goes beyond the prophetic fulfillment by the Maccabees. Throughout the Bible we see mighty exploits done by the people of God: 

“And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies” (Hebrews 11:32-34).

Daniel 11:32 teaches us that the knowledge of God combined with the strength that comes from God is the most powerful and enduring force against the evil in the world. As believers, when we see what is sacred to God desecrated all around us, we cannot just sit idly by. The great preacher Charles Spurgeon once said: A church that does not exist to reclaim heathenism, to fight evil, to destroy error, to put down falsehood, a church that does not exist to take the side of the poor, to denounce injustice and to hold up righteousness, is a church that has no right to be. Not for yourself, O church, do you exist, any more than Christ existed for Himself.

And so, may our fight against human trafficking and our zeal to see every soul set free be tied to the wonderful knowledge that our God is a strong Redeemer who fights for the vulnerable and the powerless. May we stand in awe of His wisdom and love the light and goodness that emanates from His holiness. May we love His Word and stand firm on His truth - declaring it boldly. May we listen and obey as He commands us to “Provide justice for the needy and fatherless; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and needy; save them from the power of the wicked” (Ps. 82:3-4). May we be like the great heroes in the faith and walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).

Many have asked, “Why the Freedom Church Alliance?” My reply is, because The Church has a unique role to play in the fight against human trafficking and all of the many issues connected to it. There is a blessing and power that comes upon us as we unite and stand shoulder to shoulder. Individually it is up to each one of us to pray, abide and make war with our own sin. We cannot give the enemy a foothold. When the individual parts of the body are healthy, then the whole will be healthy. As we seek the Lord, He will show us, through His Spirit, how to use what’s in our hand (our gifts, talents, influence, resources) to strike a blow against this evil. 

Our courage in the face of incredible odds and the rising tide of wickedness will come from knowing our God intimately. Not just knowing about Him, but living in relationship with Him and experiencing Him in the day to day.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 says, “This is what the LORD says: The wise man must not boast in his wisdom; the strong man must not boast in his strength, the wealthy man must not boast in his wealth, But the one who boasts should boast in this, that he understands and knows Me – that I am Yahweh, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things.” 

My prayer is that we continue in the unity of John 17 and press on in 2019 to be strong in the Lord (Eph. 6:10) and to make our aim to know God and make Him known. May God position YOU this year for mighty exploits. The good news is that we don’t have to figure out what to do on our own; our work is to abide and to just keep being faithful to take the next step. He leads us step by step. We just have to say “Yes, Lord. Whatever you have for me today Lord. I’m at your beck and call.” 

These are exciting days! I believe 2019 will be a year of many mighty exploits being done by God’s people for the Kingdom of God. I’m so grateful to be part of God’s family and His unfolding story in the world. I’m so glad we’re all in this together! 

With Lots of Love,

Leigh Kohler