Ministry Spotlight: Ink 180
We're taking this year to focus on local ministries each month. We hope that you will learn about these ministries and that God will create a heart in you to learn more, give or pray. Our first focus is INK 180 and here is their story.
Chris Baker was leading a youth group encouraging kids to make a difference in the community when they came up with the idea to paint artistic murals over the walls of buildings defaced by gang graffiti. That idea set in motion the answer to the prayer Chris had been praying since he had discovered faith in Jesus as an adult, "God, show me what I can do to serve and bless people."
Chris realized gang markings went beyond graffiti on buildings; gangs relied on body-altering tattoos to signify everything from allegiance to the gang hierarchy to keeping tallies of violent criminal activity. He realized his greatest artistic love, tattoos, was to become his ministry calling, covering up the markings of dark and destructive lifestyles with beautiful works of art. INK 180 was born.
It was during a meeting with Homeland Security's gang division that Chris was invited to discuss his ministry with another unit, the human trafficking operations. Suddenly, Chris was invited into a horrific underground world few see clearly in the United States.
Hundreds of young women, many of whom are domestic victims & runaways, held captive by organized crime, gangs, drug dealers, lies, abuse and threats are forced into human trafficking and are typically tattooed by their captors so they can be tracked back and returned to their 'owners.' He covers up their vile markings and the girls love to choose the art, the colors, the images, but most of all, they love to have the vile markings made invisible.
Chris has covered hundreds of destructive markings since he began in October of 2011. Chris provides his time, supplies, artwork, entirely free of charge. INK 180 is entirely funded by donations, no charge is ever asked of the people receiving Chris' ministry. He cannot operate any other way; beautiful second chances are totally free, already paid in full by the One who paid it all.
What does this have to do with you?
INK 180 needs your help. INK 180 is entirely funded by donations from people like you. INK 180 charges nothing to the people it helps, it never will. INK 180 does not exist for profit or gain; it only exists to help people live out their second chance. Whether you can give a little, or a lot, INK 180 will use your donation to change a life in the most literal way that it can, through covering up gang and human trafficking tattoos with something beautiful.
Ways You Can Help:
Support INK 180 Financially
If you are a tattoo artist, volunteering your time with INK 180
Chris Baker- 815.545.9432 or
Donations can be mailed to- 334 Century Drive, Oswego, IL 60543
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