Labor Day

For many of us, this weekend is the last hurrah before schedules tighten up, bedtimes get earlier, and we brace ourselves for the influx of papers and homework! I’ve always loved the back to school buzz and I still get excited to shop for school supplies and pick the first day outfit.  I love the excitement of change and something new getting started, which is why I also love our fall season in the church. People start attending more regularly and we kick off Small Groups, Youth Ministry, Family Faith Nights, and our Missions Catalog and Weekend!

But I would be remiss if I didn’t pause and spend some time in gratitude. Here are the top 3 things that I am thankful for this Labor Day weekend:

  1. I’m thankful that my kids are able to go to school.  Around 125 million children do not get to go to school.  My children are able to not only get a great education, they do so without living in fear of violence.
  2. I’m thankful that we have a home with running water and plumbing783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. We are able to shower, make food, clean dishes and wash clothes all within the comforts of our home and without fear of getting sick.
  3. I’m thankful that this Labor Day, my husband and I are both employed and we really enjoy our jobs.   We get paid, we get benefits, and we get time off.   In the world, 29.8 million people are slaves; men, women and children are forced to work, sell their bodies, fight wars, and be sold as property.   We are free to choose our careers and the path we take to get there.

I don’t want to take these sort of things for granted when so much of the world doesn’t even begin to know what freedom looks like. I would encourage you to take some time to be grateful this weekend with your loved ones.  And if you have some school agers in the house, here’s a great conversation to have with them before Tuesday!


Lisa Adams,
Director of Missions and Care



I’ve always loved fireworks. The big twinkling white weeping willow ones.  They are my favorite every year.  I also love a big smoke bomb, a sparkler and a good old fire cracker.  I don’t even mind when my neighbors are shooting them starting in June! It reminds me of my grandparents and life on their farm; of family and warm summer evenings. Of wild uncles whose capacity for thrill and danger were bigger than anyone’s I’ve ever met.  Fireworks also remind me of the freedoms that I enjoy having been born in America. It’s beautiful. It’s dangerous, and it’s awe inducing.

The Fourth of July is a time of reflection and appreciation of our freedom in this country.   For me, it’s also a time where I consider what it would be like if I wasn’t born in the United States. If I was a girl, born in India, I could have been sold into a brothel and forced into prostitution.  Or a boy, born in Ghana and held in slavery and forced to work on boats.  It’s never easy to consider the “what if’s” or the “why me.” In fact, it’s so much easier to turn away from these kind of thoughts and just focus on the fireworks, food and fun.

But Jesus compels me not to. He reminds me that because he loves ALL of us, those of who can do something to change the world, should indeed, change the world.  I truly believe that there could come a day when those girls in India and those boys in Ghana get to see a firework and be reminded that they are indeed free and that Jesus loves them.

Some of the best ways to do this, from our homes in Minnesota is to partner with others who are close to this type of work/mission.  I choose to pray for and financially support International Justice Mission and their work across the world.  IJM is also one of Crossroads Missions Partners. On a local level, one of my friends volunteers with Breaking Free which works with victims and survivors of sex trafficking and prostitution. You can also purchase items or host a party through organizations like Global Avenue Ministries helps support women at risk by providing sustainable income for them.  There are so many ways to get involved!

If you’re looking for a place to start or want to learn more, I’d encourage you to pick up the book“The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence” by Gary Haugen or watch the movie Nefarious: Merchant of Souls.  (These are both recommendations for adults.)

My prayer this weekend is that we all celebrate and enjoy our freedom.  And that those who are not free encounter Jesus and rescue soon.

Let’s go change the world!


Lisa Adams
Director of Missions and Care 

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.  Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.  Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.  Romans 12:9-13