Before the Alliance started, God had already begun His good work in our city of Houston. Hearts had been stirred for the cause, and people had been kneeling on the ground in prayer, asking God to show them a way to fight this injustice.

When I learned about the horror and wickedness of human trafficking, like many, I was overwhelmed and heartbroken. I can still remember like it was yesterday, sitting in a restaurant, debriefing with the group of friends that I had asked to join me on a van tour in our city to see where human trafficking was happening. We couldn’t fathom that slavery was still happening in the world, and even in our own backyard. We were reeling from what we witnessed that day, and we knew we had to do something. But what?

We remembered Ephesians 6:12, which says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” We decided then and there that our first move would be to begin praying and seeking the God who we knew to be a loving and mighty warrior who rescues and saves.

For nearly two years, a group of women would come over every other Tuesday evening for prayer. I learned so much about prayer during that time. I learned that God honors our faith-filled prayers. I learned that “coincidences” happen when we pray that would not otherwise happen. I learned that prayer requires strength and perseverance. I learned that the devil will often use discouragement to hinder our prayers. He doesn’t want us praying because prayer is the thing that brings the power of God into a situation. One of the most awesome things I’ve come to understand is that part of our inheritance as saints is the privilege we’ve been granted to call upon our holy Father-God and ask Him to  do things that will affect change in the world. Prayer is mighty indeed. E.M. Bounds said, “God shapes the world by prayer. The more prayer there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil.”

Prayer is often counterintuitive because in America we value a “can do” spirit. I can remember saying to God early on, “If you would just download in my mind an address or location of a girl being trafficked and needing rescue, I’ll go get her right now.” One morning in my quiet time, I came upon Acts 12 and the story of believers gathered together at Mary’s house praying for his release. An angel appeared in the prison that night, and a divine jail break happened. Someone once said that an angel fetched Peter out of prison that night, but it was prayer that fetched the angel. The Holy Spirit used that story to encourage my faith and to inspire me to pray bolder prayers. As John Bunyan once said, “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.”

I believe that my involvement with the Alliance is a direct result of that season of prayer. I could never have imagined what was to come, but God in His sovereignty was stirring something in the hearts of several people in our city. I still remember one of the mobilization pastors at my church asking me to attend a gathering of several church representatives to discuss what everyone’s church was doing in response to the problem of trafficking. Most of us had never met before but we were united by our faith and belief that the church had always been God’s plan for hope and redemption in the world.  As our discussions deepened, we understood that trafficking, with all of its complexities, is too big of a problem for any one church or organization to tackle alone. If we would work together, we could accomplish so much more and be a force for good in our city. We recognized that this would be pioneering a new effort in our city, and it could only happen by the power of God. We began to dream about the possibilities of The Church uniting to see the giant of human trafficking fall. That day, the vision of  Freedom Church Alliance was birthed. The Alliance would  represent not one church, but a mighty army of churches united in purpose and resolved to stand up and act on behalf of the oppressed and broken. Prayer gives birth to God-sized dreams. I believe we have just scratched the surface of what is possible through our prayers of faith!

Leigh Kohler

Co-founder and Executive Director

About Leigh