The Good News recently caught up with 18 year old Madison Baczewski, the youngest Freedom Climber, who also happens to be a South Florida native. Counting down the days until January 11, here is what Madison had to say about the upcoming Freedom Climb:
The Good News (TGN): Will you tell us a little bit about yourself first?
Madison Baczewski (MB):
I’m 18 years old, the youngest of the climbers, and I’m a dually enrolled student at Palm Beach Atlantic University. I want to pursue degrees in Nursing and Cross Cultural Studies. God has created within me a heart to go and involve myself in medical missions.
TGN: When and how did you first hear about The Freedom Climb?
MB: I first heard of The Freedom Climb in March of this year. Lori Degler said to me, “I’m going to go climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa to end Human Trafficking – want to come?” I immediately jumped on board! It lined up with the exact two burdens God had just recently laid upon my heart – Africa and trafficking & oppression victims. He confirmed The Freedom Climb for me before the door was even opened, and He has confirmed it every day since.
TGN: How did you become involved in Life for Human Trafficking?
MB: I’ve been aware and well-versed in the issue since I was young. But the Lord has been changing my heart recently, really creating within me a burden for the victims. He has been recreating my heart, making it for the nations, and now I harbor an overwhelming desire to settle overseas and work directly with victims of oppression.
TGN: How will the climb tangibly benefit those who are enslaved in Human Trafficking?
MB: Every penny that is donated to The Freedom Climb goes directly towards saving these 10,000 women in 2012. We’re not asking anyone to send us to climb a mountain; we want to send YOU to the nations. We’re just vessels. By your donations, Dalit children are put in schools, prostitutes are told about Jesus Christ, victims are taught trades so that they do not need to return to slavery, and so much more.
TGN: Have you ever climbed before? Is this something specifically for athletes, and how are you training for the climb?
MB: I’ve never truly climbed before! I’m always in the ocean, so I come from below sea level! But I look forward to the brutal challenge, because I want to properly represent the pain that these women and children suffer every day of their lives. I’m excited to be miserable – I want to feel what they feel. I am training as much as is possible for me, but otherwise I am leaning on my God and asking Him to sustain me every step!
TGN: What would your advice be for other women who want to somehow get involved to help those victimized by Human Trafficking but are not sure where to start?
MB: Florida is one of the top three destination points in America for trafficked victims-specifically those used for sexual services. There are so many opportunities to get involved in the fight right at our fingertips. I would suggest women research the issue, pray about in which specific area the Lord would have them do their Life, and then do not hesitate to invest your time and heart in the various organizations that need your help. As soon as our eyes are open and our hearts are willing, we see how many doors the Lord opens for us to invest in His kingdom. All we need to do is be heartbroken for what breaks His heart.
TGN: What do you hope to achieve both personally, and for those affected, by doing this climb?
MB: I hope to raise hearts. Over these past months, the Lord has broken my heart over these issues. Crazy as it may sound, I want to be a vessel of heartbreak. I would love to see people’s hearts raised to this issue, called to action, and broken down over what breaks Christ’s heart. I would love to see people newly ignited over The Great Commission. I would love to see hearts, minds and lives changed. My heart is ultimately to raise awareness and to engage people on an intimate, personal level about this issue.
TGN: How do you feel this climb will strengthen your relationship with Christ?
MB: It already has – I’ve learned that His economy is not our economy. God is changing my heart and my mind about what ultimately matters to Him and His kingdom. He has taken my heart of stone and changed it to a heart of flesh. He has changed the course of my foreseeable future! And He has made me so willing and passionate to follow and obey Him! My love for Him has deepened, as has my trust.
More information about The Freedom Climb can be obtained by visiting TheFreedomClimb.net. Visitors to the website also have the opportunity to sponsor a climber or a cause. Causes reflect different organizations that help with prevention, rescue/rehabilitation and development and some organizations/development projects that are already on board include: Nepal: Children at Risk; India: Dalit Education; Bangladesh: Skills Training; Middle East: Skills for Women; Europe; Jewels in the Night; and Cambodia: Freedom Project.
For those who are unable to climb but still want to get involved, information can be found on the site regarding how to host a local event, how to start a grassroots movement and specific prayer needs for the climb.
Madison and Lysa hope that women from all over will take time to pray about becoming involved in what will be known as one of the greatest occasions ever to raise awareness and substantially help oppressed women and children around the world.
To learn more, visit www.TheFreedomClimb.net. Marisa can be reached at [email protected]