12:35 AM

Nepal Earthquake Halts World Climbing Expedition for Human Trafficking

Earlier this spring, Nick Cienski of Mission 14 and his team set out to begin his quest to complete the "6 Summits Challenge," a world record-setting expedition focused on attracting a global audience to raise awareness on the issue of human trafficking and the fight for fundamental human rights and justice.  Mission 14 has partnered with multiple leading anti-trafficking organizations, including IJM.

On April 25, 2015, a mammoth earthquake shook Nepal to its core, claiming thousands of lives and starting an enormous avalanche on Mt. Everest.

Nick and his wife, Sandi, were at Everest Base Camp when the avalanche tumbled down.  After several terrifying moments, when Nick and Sandi realized they survived the avalanche that many did not, they immediately mobilized to help others.

"Be Brave"

49-year-old Cienski founded Mission 14 with his wife Sandi in 2011. The couple was inspired to create Mission 14 after encountering the issue of sex trafficking in Managua, Nicaragua. Realizing that there were organizations already on the front lines of fighting human trafficking, the Cienskis decided to form a non-profit that focused on strategic and innovative fundraising and awareness platforms, such as the 6 Summits Challenge.  In addition to raising awareness and media attention to the issue, Mission 14 builds partnerships with direct service non-profit groups such as IJM. According to Mission 14, the nature of the expeditions attracts corporate sponsorships so that all individual donations support their partner organizations.

In April, teams of three divided and began climbing Everest (29,029 ft), Lhotse (27,940 ft) and Makalu (27,825 ft) simultaneously, supported by Sherpa teams. In a recent press release, Cienski said that he and the team have decided to discontinue climbing Mount Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu as part of the 6 Summits Challenge in order to respect the victims of the tragedy.

You can follow Mission 14's efforts to assist other organizations in Nepal through social media and watch a video tribute to victims of the earthquake below.

Please keep Nick and his Mission 14 team, as well as all those affected in Nepal, in your prayers.

Make a move to end violence by watching Gary Haugen's bold TED Talk.

International Justice Mission is the world’s largest international anti-slavery organization, working to end modern-day slavery, human trafficking and other forms of violence against the poor by rescuing and restoring victims, restraining perpetrators, and transforming broken public justice systems. Learn more at www.ijm.org.