On our 2017 season kicks off Sept. 10, when we’ll face our rival team: the Washington Redskins. While we are playing hard on the field, facing our biggest competition in the league, we’ll also be coming together, teaming up for an amazing cause — one that can change the world.
I recently returned from a vision trip with International Justice Mission, where I experienced firsthand the impact being made worldwide by these freedom fighters. I witnessed how thousands of lives are being rescued from the trafficking industry by this organization, and I began to understand the powerful changes that are being – and can be – made.
When I came back to the States, I knew more people would want to be involved in this fight for freedom. All we need is more awareness! I began to ask my teammates and other players in the league if they would want to be a part of this mission. So on Sept. 10, about five of us on the Eagles and two or three of the Redskins are advocating for IJM. We’re organizing a competition between the two teams’ fan bases to see who can raise the most money for IJM.
We’re asking our fans to consider becoming “Freedom Partners” with IJM. A Freedom Partner is someone who chooses to contribute $24 per month to support the organization’s work around the globe. The money is used in many ways to support and equip the IJM team, as well as empower and restore the lives of the rescued victims. By becoming a Freedom Partner, you’ll be able to help fight against human trafficking, putting a stop to the perpetrators who are preying on innocent lives. Even though we may not be making night raids to rescue the women, children and men out of the trafficking industry, we’re helping bring justice where there currently is none.
On Sept. 10, our goal is to bring on 360 more Freedom Partners. At $24 per month, these partnerships would help raise $100,000 for the year! And between the Redskins and the Eagles, we have committed to match that amount, contributing to IJM’s mission. The competition is to see which team’s fans raise the most.
IJM is not looking to put a bandaid on a bad situation. Being a Christian organization, it is going to the root of the problem and bringing a solution. Though we don’t know what the results of this campaign will be, we have faith that God is going to work in incredible ways to bring justice to those who are suffering. The money we raise will help a lot, but the greatest impact will be made through creating awareness of the injustices happening around the world.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1
As athletes, whether we like it or not, we’re often put on a pedestal. People are watching us, and because of that, we have a great opportunity to speak out about important issues. I have a heart for the victims of sex trafficking; I want to see justice become a reality for each and every one of them. I can’t fathom why or how individuals are being assaulted daily, forced to do things against their will. We need to continue creating awareness and coordinating events to make sure this is put to an end.
In order to pour out our lives and energy for Kingdom purposes, we need to make sure we’re constantly filling ourselves with the strength and power of God’s truth. When we are filled with the power of God, we then can overflow His love to others. When I go to God’s Word, I can’t help but be motivated to act, to fight. But we can’t fight this battle alone. God’s created us to live in community with others so that we can come together under one mission to a change that lasts.
– Trey Burton
Trey Burton is a tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles and a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.