It started as a typical day. A normal life. A humble person.
The story of Freedom’s Promise is one of God working through ordinary people to do extraordinary things. What was purposed long ago began to breathe in 2006 as Amber Cunningham read an article on the epidemic of child slavery and human trafficking in a nation called Cambodia.
Human trafficking was not a word in her vocabulary. And Cambodia was not on her radar. But God had a plan that was bigger than her own.
“One tentative step in faith can lead to a mighty shift in the Kingdom of God,” Amber reflects. “Saying yes to God led us on a journey to fight for justice, freedom and the hearts of people.”
Freedom’s Promise was founded in 2007 with a Middle Tennessee church standing behind Amber to help with the startup costs.
Amber knew Freedom’s Promise was called to fight human trafficking in Cambodia from a prevention angle. Many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) already worked in Cambodia to rescue and rehabilitate victims; Freedom’s Promise would instead stand as a front-guard to keep people from ever becoming victims.
In 2008, two “vision trips” to Cambodia provided opportunities to build relationships, survey the land, and see how we could help. During those trips, the Freedom’s Promise team met many of the partners we still work with today.
Over the next three years, Freedom’s Promise worked to identify at-risk communities, an effective prevention model, and the best way to empower and equip locals in the fight against human trafficking. Schools were opened, medical teams were sent and women were trained with dignified skills.
And as we encountered the brokenness in communities, heard the stories from survivors of Khmer Rouge and saw the devastating effect of modern-day slavery, we saw the fundamental need to introduce the Gospel and the hope of Jesus Christ.
Our avenue was and is to work with the local church, with local people passionate to see their own communities transformed. A vision of safe places, whole communities, freed people and nothing less.
From the beginning, Freedom’s Promise has existed to fight for justice and freedom. It happens through the restoration of communities. And it happens through a local teacher kneeling to tell a child their incredible potential – both as a student and as a child made in the image of the living God.
The Freedom’s Promise story is really about a group of heroes – supporters who desire to see lives transformed; Cambodian leaders who are bringing life to their communities; the overcomers we serve who are full of hope; and our God who relentlessly pursues and restores.
It’s a story that anyone can step into and be part of the next chapter.