Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Freedom Creations ~ Guest Post by Alyssa Esperaz and a Giveaway

Today's post is brought to us by Alyssa Esparaz. Alyssa is a Grade 11 student that loves Jesus and serving His people. She and her family became Compassion sponsors in 2010 and traveled as a family to meet their sponsored child in the Philippines. Alyssa is an advocate for Compassion Canada and blogs at God's Gal.

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela

The recent death of Nelson Mandela struck a deeper chord with me than it probably would have if he had died a few months earlier.

You see, in October, I started something called Freedom Creations – a social enterprise that sells handmade knitted accessories and donates 100% of the profit to International Justice Mission.

Freedom hits home for me more than ever, now, and Nelson Mandela’s death got me thinking of this quote of his: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

This man fought for freedom with his whole being – and therein lies his freedom.

His freedom didn’t come in being released from jail, but in enhancing the freedom of others.

The result? He freed a nation.

Yet there’s still so much work to be done.

The facts and problems can be staggering, even as you hear them for the umpteenth time:

27 million people – women, men, girls, boys, souls - trapped in brothels, bonded labour, or some other form of slavery.

Countless men and women who are victims of property grabbing, or illegal detention.

These facts and stories shocked me the first time I heard them. As I learned more about modern-day slavery, I became more disturbed, more upset, and more overwhelmed with the impossibility of a solution.

But then I realized this – I am in the position of freedom, not for my own good, but for the good of others.

Freedom only becomes real freedom when it’s used for the freedom of others, because we can’t afford to stand by while our brothers and sisters suffer in slavery.

I’d had the idea of using my love for knitting for social justice for almost a year.

In October of last year, I finally got it all (somewhat) together, and Freedom Creations was born.

I’ve been blown away by and so very thankful for all the response and support it’s received – Freedom Creations is proof that a little faith and boldness, with a heavy dose of God’s grace is all that’s needed for world change. :)

I like to think of Nelson Mandela’s quote as an in-his-own-words-version of this Bible verse in Galatians:

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13 NIV

Our freedom is so closely linked to our others-centred love.

Nothing is more freeing than having someone else’s freedom be just as, if not more important than your own – it’s this upside-down paradox of Jesus-type freedom. And it’s radically awesome.

Because we’re all enslaved in this First-world, self-absorbed culture, where we not only stand by as others are enslaved on this earth, but often employ slaves ourselves. I employ 27 slaves.

And our only chance at freedom is to chase freedom for our neighbor.

Freedom Creations exists not only to fight for the freedom of modern-day slaves – but my own, too.

I hope you’ll join me. :)

Connect with Freedom Creations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

and now for a giveaway....

One blessed reader will win this lovely, handmade, twisted, spring green ear warmer! (that's a lot of adjectives) 

To enter:

  • like the Freedom Creations Facebook page
  • follow Freedom Creations on Twitter
  • follow Freedom Creations on  Instagram
  • leave a comment here for Alyssa - a word of thanks or encouragement
  • spread the word about this post and giveaway via facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest or other social media site
You will get 1 entry for each of the above items, for a maximum of 5 entries per person. Simply leave a comment telling me what you have done. 

Because of shipping costs, this giveaway is limited to US and Canadian residents. 

I will announce a winner on Monday, January 20th at noon EST

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