What’s the fuel to your fire?

Ever had that moment when someone catches you off guard, says the rudest thing and then walks away? Then you’re left completing the conversation in your head of how you imagine it ending? “Damn it! I could’ve said…”. Maybe you imagined it so that you even put in a “yo’ mama” insult in there somewhere? Don’t lie!

Honestly, there are many times that I am so angry that it chokes me and I come up with nothing to say. Just the frustration is enough to eat at me. I’ve realised a few things after becoming a mum. Anger doesn’t fuel you; it stops you dead in your tracks. Anger doesn’t refresh you; it only gives you sleepless nights and a cluttered mind. Anger is not the key. Anger does nothing to get the job done.

Compassion. Compassion makes us respond. Compassion brings on momentum. Compassion is not sitting down and feeling sorry for someone…it’s strong. It’s action.

After forgiving and healing a paralysed man, raising a dead girl, healing a sick woman, healing the blind and healing the mute, “…he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36). Jesus was full of action and He still is today. Because, although God can get angry, He is not fueled by it. He is fueled by compassion and love for people.

One thing that makes me absolutely sick to the stomach is when humans use humans. We’re surrounded by it every day. It appears in small forms and escalates very quickly. Watch children play and you’ll notice quite early on that it’s imbedded in us to use others to get what we want. It starts off small but when a heart is not guarded, it can easily inflate to something much more serious. Bullying, child abuse, sex-trafficking, slavery, forced labour, terrorism. The list is quite extensive. But anger should not be our stance. It wasn’t Jesus’.

There are people who are strategic, purposed and make it their life to speak up for the oppressed. The story of Malala is definitely an inspiration. She speaks up for women in Pakistan to be educated. She makes it her life and even her name is prophetic. I really recommend you watch her story! Here’s the trailer. People like William Willberforce, Nelson Mandela, Aung Sang Suu Kyi, Amy Carmichael…just to name a few, who dared to speak up for the weak.

Jesus is the greatest of them all. His Spirit was the one who spurred some of those I mentioned above and the one that can spur us on too. It’s in our nature to oppress for selfish gain. Heck! It’s easy to do good things for selfish gain too. But when we speak up for justice simply because we are moved with compassion and love…that’s when we seriously make a difference.

Our Jesus is good and it takes guts to be like Him. But we don’t do it alone. We who believe in Him have the same power that raised Christ from the dead within us (Romans 8:11). Who is it your heart beats for? May it beat and be filled with compassion for the oppressed and the captive all around the world. Lean in to His word, be filled and speak up!

“…for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,

that the blind will see,

that the oppressed will be set free.” —Jesus (Luke 4:18)


The ‘good guys’ are celebrated at Stella Fella

Stephanie Lorenzo, CEO of Project Futures

With the Stella Fella Friday event held last week at the Beresford Hotel in Sydney’s Surry Hills, an organization known as Project Futures aim to raise funds for the Salvation Army.

Shining a light on the outstanding men across the Australian community, Project Futures has been successful in raising over $100,000 for their current campaign.  “A hundred thousand dollars means we can be alongside more people” the head of the Salvo’s Services, Melanie-Anne Holland said.

“We rely on partnerships like the one with Project Futures to keep our services up and running… It’s a step by step process but we see the results everyday”.

Purchasing a bowtie for Stella Fella contributes to the partnership with the Salvation Army’s anti-human trafficking unit, an initiative designed to house up to ten women at one time.

The safe house provides victims of human trafficking with counseling, financial support, education opportunities, immigration and advocacy with legal proceedings. “[It’s] a holistic program to help them regain their confidence and take back their lives” said Holland.

CEO of Project Futures Stephanie Lorenzo, was able to take a positive spin on the issue. “The campaign aims to create male role models within the community to take the lead and set a precedent of support” said Stephanie.

One of the top finalists in the running for the Stella Fella award was finalist, Sasha Lawrence. One of five young leaders running workshops for more than ten thousand young people, the 23 year old nominee also runs the Mali institute (of which he is the CEO).

“I run a lot of workshops for young men and it’s all about being positive males in society… So I think this campaign [Stella Fella] is really clever in that regard”.

Amongst the Project Futures ambassadors was news presenter Matt Doran. “Once I stepped in there [safe house] everything changed for me because you think Australia’s immune entirely from this as a problem when in fact, we’re not.”

Human trafficking now takes place across a range of industries. A study conducted by Project Futures found that people are now being trafficked into domestic servitude, construction, retail and hospitality. It has grown into an industry of over $30 billion a year and has become the fastest growing crime in the world.

Tanya Rae & Maryan Aziz