Albert Artis is regional manager at Destiny Rescue, a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and restoring children enslaved in the sex trade. He did not anticipate how the path God was leading him on would take him on a journey to transform the lives of thousands of children. But even in the face of fear, Albert obeyed God’s voice with every step—from 20 years in the transportation industry, to becoming the sole provider for his parents, to dedicated volunteer at his local church, Hope Life Fellowship, to now being a leader in an organization that rescued 620 children from sex slavery in 2017 alone. God has been at work in and through his life.
Albert took another step and attended The Global Leadership Summit for the first time in 2017. This event altered his perspective on the power of his influence as a leader. Applying what he learned, Albert is taking his leadership to the next level, and the lives of the children he serves depend on it.
2017 was my first year at the Global Leadership Summit, and it was life changing.
The knowledge I gained can never be taken away from me. I was inspired, challenged and motivated by leaders who have been in the trenches and triumphed. Having an opportunity to see ordinary people embracing the challenges of life, and doing extraordinary things in the world was life changing.
Regardless of their topic of discussion, all of the speakers challenged us to become better—to be better communicators, passionate, trusting, vulnerable and to develop creativity and resilience. Seeing people learn to grow and mature despite their imperfections, and how God is doing great things through their lives helped me step out and move forward. I realized that though I’m imperfect, I can grow and learn as a leader and leave my mark in this world as well.
Don’t be afraid! We’re on a God adventure.
My biggest takeaway at the Summit was the reminder that life is an adventure, and the best adventure is a God adventure. We have one life to live, so why not live it to the fullest? I was reminded not to be afraid to step into the unknown. The unknown is what makes life exciting and puts us in uncharted territory where we have to lean on God every step of the way. I’ve learned not to let fear immobilize me.
In my life, I’ve struggled with the fear of failure. It is a spiritual attack. I believe when we are getting closer to our true purpose and calling, the forces of darkness launch a full attack. God has continued to prove himself faithful every time I said yes to his call, even when I didn’t know what the outcome would be, and even when there were challenges ahead. I’ve spent a number of years saying yes to serving at my church—mission trips, disaster relief, serving the homeless, youth, elderly and in our food pantry. I believe these steps prepared me for the decision to say yes to the position I’m in today.
Stepping into courageous leadership.
What started out as saying yes to a mission trip to Thailand with Destiny Rescue turned into God breaking my heart, and changing the trajectory of my life. For the last 20 years, I was self-employed in the transportation industry. Although it was apparent, I ran head on into my destiny, the transition into a new career was emotionally fearful.
On that trip, we visited one of the areas where Destiny Rescue undercover agents rescue children. The area looked like a multi-level shopping mall designed for sexual pleasure. A spirit of heaviness gripped me as I saw thousands of people walking the streets, going into the brothels and bars. It was at that moment I was heartbroken and saddened, knowing that children were being forced to work in such a dark, evil place. I could hear Isaiah 58:1 in my spirit, Cry aloud and spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet and tell my people.
I felt like God was telling me, Tell them that children are dying, crying, destitute and being abused.
I knew I was supposed to work for Destiny Rescue, but I was gripped with the fear of failure. Can I make it as a public speaker and fundraiser, something I’ve never done before? But there was no turning back. God instilled a burning passion in my heart that required courage to face every challenge with resilience, passion and perseverance. Through courageous leadership, I can use my sphere of influence to make a significant difference in the world.
Because of the Summit, I lead differently.
Before the Summit, my fear of failure would get the best of me. I had a tendency to give someone a project and take it back if they weren’t performing to my level of expectation. After the conference, I learned to trust people. I also decided to be more transparent and vulnerable in the areas where I need to grow and perform better with my team. As a result, it created a greater level of respect and commitment from the people who report to me.
My becoming a better leader is critical to our ability to rescue more children.
Destiny Rescue is growing. Every year we increase our reach and rescue more children. My goal is to be committed and faithful to the commission God has given me, to be a voice for these children, to continue to learn all I can about the issue of child sex trafficking and to grow with this organization.
I want to increase my sphere of influence so that we see the day when the atrocity of child sex trafficking no longer exists.
Attend the Summit, because your influence matters.
For anyone who may be on the fence about attending the Summit this year, don’t hesitate. When a leader gets better, everyone in the organization gets better. You have an opportunity to listen and learn from world-class leaders who are at the top of their field. They impart the wisdom they’ve learned at the peaks and valleys of their journey. Why not leverage their experiences as a platform to launch, rather than try to learn all by yourself? You can go much further learning from others. This is a conference that empowers you to succeed. Why would you not want to attend?