I am beyond amazed at all God has brought us through over the years and so humbled to write this particular post. I would like to introduce the team of LightForce staff to you.
Amy Boatman (Administration in the USA)
"I started volunteering with LightForce in January 2010 when there was a need for someone to handle the account and other administrative tasks in Lexington, KY. I knew I at least had the willingness to try and was able to take on this task. I never thought I would still be working with LightForce today, but am blessed everyday by the people involved and their heart for God and others. I have even tried to quit when I felt overwhelmed, but God keeps bringing me back. He keeps showing me that it is not my ability to do this, but His grace that is enough. I know I do not feel qualified, but can see that quality in everyone who steps into this organization. I have learned it is not about being qualified. It is about being called. Our God is so good to supply all of our needs and this is no exception. I am called to be a part of LightForce and that is why I am here.
My goal for this organization is to see the heart of God released in each person we encounter. I know my role is here in the United States and I am a support for everyone involved. I get to love and encourage the people who are out on the mission field. I want to create a refuge for those who need to come and rest. Whether through a phone call or with a visit to Lexington, know that there is always a home for LightForce here. It does not matter what your zip code is because you can always call Lexington a home. I can’t wait to see what God has planned next and what favor we will encounter throughout this world. God never ceases to amaze me with his ability to move mountains and create ways we never thought were possible. "
Laura Gassaway (Administration in the USA)
"When I met Anna, in the summer of 2009 in Nicaragua, her passion for the victims of Human Trafficking was contagious. As my knowledge of this type of Trafficking grew, the realization that these victims are all orphans in one way or another dwelled further and further within my heart.
"The summer of 2010, Anna and I took the idea of hosting a 'girls seminar' over love, sex, and purity, and ran with it. We held 4 seminars that summer. The Conferences were called 'Passion and Purity'.
"From working with LightForce in this project, came my desire to be involved with what LightForce is doing in Central America. It is my heart to join them in sharing the Love of Jesus as healer and sustainer to women and children around the country."
Amelia Quinn (Atlanta Chapter)
"I am 23 and in the last few months I quit my job working with the youth group at First Baptist Church LaGrange, packed up my stuff, and moved to the beautiful city of Atlanta to serve with LightForce. I come from a broken family with a bit of a dysfuntional childhood but I know firsthand the healing and restoring power of Jesus! It is my desire to share that power and love of Jesus with those who are hurting and trapped in darkness.
This past year, I traveled to Costa Rica to work with LightForce. As I saw the relationships the staff had with those hurting on the streets of Costa Rica, I knew I wanted to be involved with the ministry. One of my favorite things is seeing disciples of Christ get outside the church to serve and love those around them and that is exactly what the girls in Costa Rica were doing. The Lord quickly began to partner my heart with the vision of LightForce and for some crazy reason they decided to let me on the team.
My prayer for Atlanta is that God will shine His light in the darkest areas of this city and that He will use me in the process to glorify His name. "
Chelsea Herring( Atlanta Chapter)
"I just recently graduated from LaGrange College with a major in Early Childhood Education. I also took counseling classes through the Exchanged Life Ministries Association. About a year and a half ago I was spending time with the Lord, when I felt Him speak to my Spirit, 'I want you to pray for prostitutes and porn stars.' Honestly I was confused, but it was one of those times I knew the Lord had laid something on my heart. I began to reflect on the lives of the girls trapped in this lifestyle. As sad as it is to admit, I knew absolutely nothing about the widespread issue of human-trafficking. After research, I learned of the severe human-trafficking issue in my own backyard, Atlanta, Georgia. Shortly after graduating, the Lord completely opened the door for me to move and get involved with Light Force International. I have a burning passion to see these women and children delivered and set free by the overwhelming, gracious love of our Heavenly Father. I want each of them to know Jesus Christ stands with open, welcoming arms and is more than able to restore every area of brokenness in their lives. He has been faithful to do so in my own life, and I want to be used by the Lord for the restoration of others. The prayer of my heart is that I would be used to, “bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1)
Einas Haddad (Costa Rica Chapter)
"I'm originally from Jordan but I've lived in upstate New York for the past 5 years. I have a bachelors degree in Computer Engineering with a year of experience in my field. After experiencing the 9-5 type of job, I realized that there was so much more to life than a decent paycheck. I was sickened by the way I was spending half my life staring at a computer screen. After much prayer and reflection, I made the decision to go on a short term missions trip! So here I am in Costa Rica, I've been here for about 6 months now, I've been working with LightForce in the street outreach as well as teaching Math & Computer Skills at a nearby slum in San Jose called La Carpio.
I initially came to Costa Rica with the intention of working with victims of sexual exploitation with Christ for the City International. God has created such a passion in my heart to help people that have been sexually exploited, especially through human trafficking. However, when I got here I was told that in order to work in this field with them I would need a minimum of one year commitment and they prefer if I had some sort of experience in this field. This saddened me but they needed a computer & math teacher, so I knew my skills would be utilized for the glory of God. I met Laura and Karlie out in La Carpio in August and they told me more about what they did and I felt an enormous urge in my heart to ask to tag along! After working more with the girls of LightForce, I wanted to be able to serve even closer so I asked to become a fulltime volunteer with them so here I am.
Sarah McQueen(Costa Rica Chapter)
"I had begun to learn about the issues surrounding sexual exploitation during a college internship in 2008. I was beginning to understand many of the numbers and statistics, making the problem seem so huge that I was unsure of what I could do to aid in the fight. Upon graduating from college, I enrolled in graduate school for nonprofit management, knowing that I wanted to work in an organization that directly worked in humanitarian aid issues. During this time, I continued to stay in touch with a friend and Asbury University classmate, Laura Perry. After Asbury, Laura had joined Lightforce International as the Assistant Director. By keeping in touch with her, I was able to see how individuals and organizations were taking practical steps to help men, women and children affected by sexual exploitation. I inquired about volunteer opportunities with the organization because I knew I would have time to serve during the summer after graduation. I was accepted for the internship, during which I was made aware of more of the complexities of exploitation and the sex industry. Yet, the Lord coupled these realizations with the assurance that He is sufficient for the needs of His people and He desires to see redemption and restoration.
As the summer drew to a close, I was presented with the opportunity to work with Lightforce full time. I was, and continue to be, excited about getting the chance to serve in this way. I consider myself blessed to be working in a capacity that allows me to use aspects of my academic degree and take part in practical and intentional ministry at the same time. My prayer is that men, women and children affected by prostitution and exploitation might realize their full potential, allowing Jesus Christ to bring healing and wholeness."
Morgan Sanders (Dallas Chapter)
"And we know that all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
My testimony in regards to my involvement with LightForce is epitomized by Romans 8:28. When I first arrived as a short-term missionary in San Jose, Costa Rica, I was working with another organization with a desire to do great things for The Kingdom. I knew that God had called me to go to Costa Rica and, more specifically, that He had given me a heart for the women and children there. I was in Costa Rica for a total of six months, by the grace of God, I was introduced to LightForce. As I came to know the women who were running this ministry and began to fully understand the powerful work that LightForce was, and is, doing in San Jose...I began to realize that THIS is what my heart longed for. THIS is why I was supposed to go to Costa Rica. I began to feel God moving in my heart and in my life like never before. Through my work with LightForce, I am able to utilize the gifts and desires that God has given me and put them to use in the lives of women, men and children who need to hear about the love and healing power of Jesus Christ. I got to spend 4 months of amazing and powerful time with LightForce in San Jose, and now I am back in my hometown of Dallas, TX to begin establishing a LightForce chapter here! God is ready to move in Dallas, and His redemptive power is ready to break loose over the chains and bonds of the shadow over Dallas that is prostitution and human trafficking. God is faithful. Amen!
Stay tuned to meet the rest of the staff in Part II!