Gasparilla Recap Part 1: Team Freedom

For the last three years, I’ve been apart of a running/fundraising group in the Tampa Bay Area put together by the Joy FM to raise funds and awareness for human trafficking and Hope for Justice. This is my third year being apart of Team Freedom and I can’t imagine not being apart of it in the future! 

Check out Team Freedom runners on the side of the official car at the Expo!  

This year 280 runners raised $162,000!  Check out Natalie Grant’s face when receiving this check!! 

Hope for Justice has several projects in several areas of the world, but she shared this year about the work that God is doing in Cambodia! 

The Cambodian government didn’t even recognize that human trafficking was wrong or that it should be illegal – good for “tourism” is how sex slaves were viewed. Within the last few years, the Cambodian government recognized human trafficking for the evil it is, made it illegal and mandated that anyone resuced from trafficking must go through the Hope for Justice ministries for recovery care. Amazing! 

Read a little more about their work in Cambodia here: Hope for Justice

This year they had all runners come to the front of the room and handed each one of us a tea light, they lowered the lights and we symbolically raised our lights in the darkness as a reminder of the light that is being shone in a dark subject matter by our running and fundraising. Powerful. No other words.  

As we sang along with Natalie’s song, “Your Great Name”,  I had a hard time not getting a little misty eyed – ha, huge alligator tears! But here are the lyrics that are the heart of why I have done and will continue to do Team Freedom:

All the weak find their strength
At the sound of Your great name
Hungry souls receive grace
At the sound of Your great name
The fatherless, they find their rest
At the sound of Your great name
Sick are healed and the dead are raised
At the sound of Your great name

How great is the name of Jesus! So grateful that I have been blessed to be apart of Team Freedom for three years!! 

 On a lighter note, I took my mom as my guest this year and again the food was fantastic!! I had never been to the Pepin Hospitality Centre in Tampa before! Beautiful facility! 



Thank you and be on the look out for the fourth annual virtual race coming this winter to fundraise for next year!! 

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