(Westlake Village, CA) — In less than a year, one doctor in California has raised enough money via social media to free 1125 slaves in Sudan. Dr. Mark Girguis is a member of the Coptic Orthodox Church (the Orthodox Church of Egypt) and an active lay member involved in Bible studies, men’s groups, and youth ministry. When he heard about Christian Solidarity International’s efforts to free Christians and non-Muslims in Sudan, he felt led to do something significant.

“I couldn’t believe that slavery still existed,” says Girguis. “I thought when we defeated the institution in the United States, it had disappeared. Being Coptic Orthodox, with a tremendous Church history of persecution since our existence in the first century, we have a number of churches in Sudan, a neighboring country to Egypt. I remember in our youth group, we had two brothers that had fled Sudan because of persecution. I have two daughters who are incredibly precious to me. In putting myself in the shoes of the Sudanese parents who suffered the loss and kidnapping of their children, my heart was broken. God then led me to start the Free 1000 Campaign.”

In January 2020, Girguis began sharing his Free 1000 Campaign on social media, through his church, utilizing presentations and videos, and raising awareness of the problem of slavery. Last month, Dr. Girguis achieved his personal goal of freeing 1000 Sudanese slaves, raising over $250,000 for the effort. For a cost of about $250, Christian Solidarity International frees a slave in exchange for a much-needed cattle vaccine. Each liberated person is then given a survival kit of essential items, a dairy goat, and food as well as health care, plus safe passage back to their families and communities.

“As Christians, we are called to do acts of mercy and build the Kingdom of God,” says Girguis. “To release these Christians from the captivity of Muslims who force the slaves to adopt their religion was a great motivator for me. To allow these people to come back to Christ, released from Islam — well, there are very few opportunities where our actions can really change a life for eternity. From slavery to freedom, from Muslim control to Christian faith, restored to family, and heaven bound. I have prayed for the donors and the slaves and for lives being changed, and maybe one of the most profound changes, was in me. ”

 

Find out more information, support and follow the Free 1000 campaign journey at https://www.facebook.com/mgirguis/.

About Christian Solidarity International:

Founded over 40 years ago, CSI is an international Christian human rights organization, campaigning for religious liberty and human dignity, and assisting victims of religious persecution, victimized children and victims of catastrophe. CSI delivers emergency food assistance, medical treatment, and other lifesaving aid to victims of religious persecution and natural disasters in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Nigeria, South Sudan, Pakistan, and other hotspots around the globe. CSI is currently the only organization working to liberate Christians and other South Sudanese forced into slavery by government-backed forces during the Sudanese civil war. For more information visit https://csi-usa.org.

when the world seems out of control

        “This I recall to my mind,

        Therefore I have hope.

        The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,

        For His compassions never fail.

        They are new every morning;

        Great is Your faithfulness.

        ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him.’”

        -Lamentations 3:21-24 (NASB)

The year of 2020 is only half over, and it’s already been one for the books. Nationally, internationally, and personally, it’s been a year of unprecedented challenges.

I broke my back just three days after the new year dawned, the same month that news of a virulent new coronavirus was hitting China. Soon, that news became more real as a pandemic rapidly swept across the nations. For our household, COVID-19 meant drastic measures to protect our high-risk family members and a constant search for the necessary medical supplies.

Since May, protests, riots, and looting have shaken the core of our country. Our daughter and her family faced the threat of imminent danger and saw devastating property damage in their neighborhood in Minneapolis. They had to evacuate during the worst of it and returned to the sobering sight of a burned-out city. For them, this was more than a national debate. This is their home and their friends. The emotional toil has been enormous.

No one knows what the rest of the year will bring. But one thing is certain: God is in control.

He is bringing together the harvest of the ages, both the good and the evil. In the furnace of trial, many people have experienced spiritual regeneration and renewal. Many have reconsidered their priorities and made important changes in their lives. Both bad and good fruit of many hearts have been revealed. And some beautiful stories of compassion and faith have emerged from the ashes of the last months.

It is when we lift our eyes above the storms buffeting us that we see the One who conquers the waves. It is when we fix our eyes on Him and Him alone that we walk upon the waters. And when we sink, it is He who will reach down every time and lift us up to safety.

God is working out a plan for this earth that He formed before its very creation. We must only endure and trust in His power to bring that plan to fruition. Jesus gave us two great commandments:

Love our God with everything in us; love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves. God has everything else. We can arise each day in hope.

 

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

 Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14