Concern for justice is a quality dear to the heart of God, and one Multiply Vineyard wants to see reproduced in the DNA of every single Vineyard church plant. As we partner with the Vineyard Justice Network (VJN), we’ll be periodically bringing you stories of how God captured VJN leaders’ hearts for justice. Here’s Cheryl Pittluck’s story:
A few years ago I got involved with the Anti-Human Trafficking Movement. I fell into it when a friend asked me to teach on the subject at an upcoming women’s event. After four to five weeks of googling, I finally had the facts, figures, and stories to present my well-ordered teaching designed to educate and inform. I was scheduled to give the same teaching three times in a row.
As I stood before about 50 women, I began my first presentation. Partway through, I was suddenly and unexpectedly overwhelmed with emotion. I could hardly speak. I struggled through, finished and, after a 10-minute break, started all over with the second group. The same thing happened, only this time it was worse. By the third delivery, I had to literally steel myself against the emotion and plow through it as quickly as possible.
For the next several days I felt as though I had been hit by a truck. What I finally realized was that in speaking the words out loud, the reality of what I was saying had gone from my head to my heart. While preparing the teaching, I had actually prayed that God would make the information “real to me” so that I could be genuine, but I never expected this kind of answer. God impressed upon me that His compassion was breaking into my heart. Once again, I realized that I didn’t know my God very well. So I went to His Word:
“Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice… to set the oppressed free…to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter…?” -Isaiah 58
What does God value? How can I demonstrate God’s compassion to the world? I must put my money where my mouth is and my hands where God’s heart is, because God’s heart is overflowing with compassion for the poor, the orphan, the alien, the widow, the lost, the lonely, the last, and the least. What a way to serve Jesus, bring light into the darkness, and beautify the bride of Christ.
Excerpted from this 2012 Vineyard USA article introducing VJN.
Cheryl runs the Anti Human Trafficking Ministry at the Anaheim Vineyard, has worked with the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force for the last 4 years, is on the board for the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, CA. and is a Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAAST) Hands That Heal trainer.
She has discovered that speaking on Fair Trade and ethical consumerism is a great way to introduce the topic of human trafficking to younger children. However, her passion is Human Trafficking prevention and sees the training and mentoring of at-risk youth as a key component. She is a leader at the Anaheim Vineyard and is married to Lance Pittluck, the Senior Pastor.