Could the iPhone be Fueling a War in Africa?

NY Times journalist, Nicholas D. Kristof, wrote an article published in today’s paper he titled Death by Gadget. It’s a timely article in light of the release of the latest iPhone. Would you believe that by purchasing the iPhone and most electronics, for that matter,  you might be funding one of the deadliest wars in history?

Kristof has this to say about the conflict in Congo:

I’ve never reported on a war more barbaric than Congo’s, and it haunts me. In Congo, I’ve seen women who have been mutilated, children who have been forced to eat their parents’ flesh, girls who have been subjected to rapes that destroyed their insides. Warlords finance their predations in part through the sale of mineral ore containing tantalum, tungsten, tin and gold. For example, tantalum from Congo is used to make electrical capacitors that go into phones, computers and gaming devices.
continue reading

World Refugee Day

Yesterday was World Refugee Day.

Reuters AlertNet, a humanitarian news source, has, over the past couple months, been covering stories of the worlds displaced individuals. According to John Holmes, head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 27.1 million people were displaced within their own countries in 2009 and it’s looking as if we see an even high number in 2010. There were 43.3 million forcibly displaced people around the world in 2009 - the highest number since the mid-1990s. All over the world (US included) people are torn from their homes due to natural disasters, war, conflict, human trafficking, loss of income, etc.

The video here is about a tribe in northern Columbia that is right now facing the possibility of being uprooted from their home due to threatening conflict.

continue reading

The World Cup at Night

ESPN has a done an impressive job of heightening the concerns of human trafficking centered around the current World Cup games in S. Africa. This series of videos (there are 3) they have released are worthy of view. Please check them out and learn about the after hours when the games end for the day. It's unbelievable what is taking place there.

Check out the videos here.

Is Ignorance Really Bliss? I'm Not So Sure

As the saying goes, “ignorance is bliss.” I can’t help but wonder though, “is it really?”

I used to pride myself on my travels to developing countries. I felt cultured and well rounded; experienced ya know?

I had tea with the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I helped build 6 homes in 4 days in Tecate, Mexico. I spent 6 weeks in the Eastern European country Moldova by myself. In Romanian I hung out with gypsy children and sewer kids. In Malawi I held abandoned infants and walked miles through villages with teenager head of households. In South Africa I watched the sun rise while on Safari.

I’ve gained a lot through those travels. I learned a lot. I grew a lot as a person and as a person who believes in the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I’m thankful for those times spent in foreign lands and among foreign people. I have witnessed both pain and joy within every people group I have been among.

continue reading

Reading Acts

In June 2004, I moved to the beautiful North Shore of Massachusetts from the South West coast of California. I knew one person who was living there at the time and I did not know her well. Jamie had been in the area less than a year herself. We had met at a mutual friend’s house only 6 months earlier. As is the case with any move, I was feeling a bit homesick those first few months in my new state.  

I remember whining to Jamie about my feelings of loneliness and about how I didn’t know what to do with so much time on my hands. And I did have a lot of free time. I went from socialite, party hopper in California to loner in a state where the people had quirky accents and who frowned upon SUV’s, which of course I drove. I was feeling like an outsider for the first time in my life.  
continue reading

Slavery in America: Prostitutes or Slaves?

When I first began writing about slavery in America, I identified the different types of slavery that exist today. In posts past, I have talked a bit about domestic slavery, bonded labor slavery, I've brought attention to some organizations who are combating slavery today and I have mentioned just briefly what the Bible has to say about injustice and slavery. There is however, a component to modern day slavery that I have been somewhat hesitant to write on. Hesitant because I am really unqualified to speak about it intelligently and because it's an area where there remains in debate.

By the title of this blog you know I am talking about the sexual exploitation of children happening in America that unfortunately makes up a vast majority of the prostitution in our city streets. 

continue reading

Not For Sale: A Book Review

I am not for sale
You are not for sale
No one should be for sale

These are the final words found in the book Not For Sale. Author David Batstone takes the readers on a journey around the world as he unveils the reality of slavery on 5 continents.

Batstone successfully communicated the massive and global crisis of the modern day slave trade while at the same time, narrowing it down into the lives of individuals; both those who are slavery survivors and those who have dedicated their lives to the rescue of slaves.

Batstone tells the story of Srey Neang, a Cambodian girl who was sold into sex slavery and eventually rescued by Swiss born Pierre Tami. And then there is Maya and her husband Ajay, one of five couples who were deceived into forced bondage labor in Southeast Asia. Batstone continues with stories of children solders under the wicked power of rebel leader Joseph Kony. He also tells the stories of a World Vision refugee camp that is home to thousands of ex-child solders and sex slaves. He then moves on to South America where he unearths the problem of thousands of children who find themselves on the streets of Lima, Peru and in the most vulnerable state, making it far too easy for perpetrators to snatch them up.
continue reading

The Importance of the Rule of Law

The May/June 2010 issue of Foreign Affairs – one of the world’s most respected and widely read international policy journals – features an article co-authored by Gary Haugen and Victor Boutros, an IJM-friend and Federal Prosecutor in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. The article, entitled “And Justice for All: Enforcing Human Rights for the World’s Poor,” is dedicated to discussing IJM’s “collaborative casework” model – working with local law enforcement to enhance public justice systems – and is supported by powerful casework examples.

The article is available for purchase on the Foreign Affairs website and is really helpful in understanding the importance of the rule of law when it comes to ending slavery. Here is a summary of the article:

continue reading

Beautiful Slave: Free Music Download by Take No Glory

One of my most favorite aspects to knowing God is the realization that each and every person he created is designed with unique gifts and passions. As I've met people along my journey to abolish slavery today, I've heard the stories of those who are also combating slavery and those who are survivors of it. Every person has responded differently to hearing about this massive issue. Some have started organizations and businesses to help. Others have writen books. Still, others have spoken out at forums or conferences on the issue. Take No Glory responded with song. Take No Glory calls themselves Muscianaries. Their desire is to bless people with their music, all of which is free for download on their website. 

They have a number of great songs. The song, Beautiful Slave was written after one of the musicians read an IJM article about the modern day issues with sex trafficking in our world today.  Check out this video to hear the lyricist talk about why she wrote the song. 

continue reading

Catalyst Comes to a Close

What do you get when you bring together gum walls, skinny jeans, confetti, creepy mustache's on twenty-something’s, poetry, comedy, rock music, hipsters, rap music, any and all music really, Tenley from last seasons The Bachelor, time travel, 6 roach coaches and powerful speakers like Eugene Cho, Kay Warren, Mark Driscoll, Wes Stafford and Donald Miller, just to name a few?

Catalyst West Coast.

The two-day leadership conference came to a close yesterday afternoon as Andy Stanley taught leadership to the 3400 leaders present. He made comment like, "As leaders, you should be making as few decisions as possible" and "Only do what you can do." He also said "Leadership is about getting things done through other people."

Earlier in the day, Wess Stafford of Compassion International said, "I'm convinced the prayer of a child in poverty or in abuse is the most powerful force." Just before making that statement, he said something that really struck me. He said, "We may not be committing the sin of endangering a child, but we are committing the sin of omission by allowing a child to be endangered."

Erwin McManus talked about how Solomon got it wrong when he said "there is nothing new under the sun." Erwin said "God created us for originality; not just effectiveness. Everything God does is new. He is constantly creating the new. Only in the new do we find the beautiful. Live lives of story and meaning and create new beauty."

continue reading
Syndicate content
»  Become a Fan or Friend of this Blogger
I drink coffee, read books, and travel. I’ve been able to drink coffee and discuss books with friends all over the world, simply because someone built a bridge and I made it east of the Mississippi and beyond. For this reason, I love bridges.