514 Bonded Labor Slaves Freed in India!

In April of this year, International Justice Mission hosted their annual National Prayer Gathering in Washington, DC. This prayer gathering was not unlike the others in the year's preceding it. Field office directors from their offices around the world, IJM headquarters leaders and volunteers and interns from across the nation gathered to seek God's face and direction as they work to bring an end to the world's slavery.

This April, the gathering felt an overwhelming need to focus their prayers and conversations on India. India is home to millions to slaves, many who find themselves working without end in sight in labor mills. In such cases the slavery is generational so that the children born in such violent and oppressive environments will work their days enslaved and paying off the debt of their parents and grandparents. The slave owners have created a corrupt system that makes it incredibly impossible to ever be freed from the debt owed. In the most violent cases, the women are regularly raped by the slave masters and the men and children are beaten sometimes daily.

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Where in the World is Samaria?

Recently I heard Brenda Salter McNeil say that Samaria is the place where you do not want to go. It’s the place where the people who you despise live. Samarians are hostile. Samaria is the place we build freeways around so we don’t have to drive through.

There are two significant passages of red letter scripture where Jesus is clear as newly washed glass windows regarding a place called Samaria and a people group called Samarians.

The first is the all too famous story of Jesus` encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. Jesus is fully present with the woman at the well. He goes straight to her heart and penetrates her deepest well of her soul. The Samaritan woman is then quick to determine Jesus is who he says he is. Jesus is a credible witness to her in her life.

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When the Will of God is Scary

True or false? “God yearns to rescue people so that they know God is good.”

Awhile back I visited a mini conference in the Los Angeles area with Gary Haugen as the speaker. Gary Haugen is founder and president of International Justice Mission, a DC based organization that works in a number of countries to combat slavery and ultimately wipe it out completely.

Immediately following the quote above, Gary said, “We are called to help rescue people.” I agree with Gary. As I continue to seek in the Bible what God would have of me in this life, I am more and more convinced that it is the work of justice. In fact, God doesn’t even want my offering and worship to him if I’m not obeying his commands to care and serve those in need. Read Isaiah 58 and you'll see what I mean.

I’m in Pain and it Feels Good

About a year and a half ago I turned 30 and gained 20lbs practically overnight. I hadn’t changed my diet at all yet it didn’t matter. There I was, 30, needing eyeglasses and bigger sized jeans. It seemed to me the fallen world had given me the gift of extra unwanted padding. Thanks fallen world and by thanks I mean no thanks.

 

I refuse to stop eating chocolate and cupcakes so that leaves me with needing to exercise if I want to loose the extra 20lbs or at the very least slow it down. So I’ve been riding my bike more. I went out for an hour ride today in fact which hopefully my belly rolls will later thank me for since I demolished a handful (okay so it was 2 handfuls but whose really counting) of jelly beans just 30 minutes earlier.

The first 3 miles were really hard.

God's Plan for Justice is You

When I was 19, I wanted to work at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Ca. My aunt, who was an employee at the time and still is today, allowed me to put her name down as a referral on my application. She even made a phone call on my behalf to the casting department which helped me get an interview and eventually led to employment as a cast member of the magic kingdom. (After working there for awhile, the magic kingdom morphs into the tragic kingdom).

 

Since it was her referral that got me the job, I wanted to be a good, dependable worker so that her referral was not made in vain. If I had been a lazy, unreliable worker, one, I would have made my aunt look bad and two, the casting department could have lost trust in her abilities to bring on good workers to the resort. My actions had a direct relation to her reputation as my referral.

 
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CNN Announces Launch of The Freedom Project

Tony Maddox, CNN International Executive Vice President and managing director was quoted today saying, “It’s our journalism-based assertion that this [human trafficking] is the greatest uncovered news story of today, and CNN plans to rip the lid off.”

 

CNN’s effort to “rip the lid off” begins with the official launch of The Freedom Project. The site will include regular features such as tracking the numbers of people currently enslaved, solutions to the issues and success stories of survivors and organizations committed to ending the world’s problem of human trafficking.

 
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I am a Human Being

There is a lot of crap in the world today, no doubt about it. Sin is everywhere and people are hurting. There is no denying it. Tonight I gave a presentation on Human Trafficking to some cool local college students. As they discovered, this issue is dark. The only hope I see in it all, is the light of Christ which reveals itself in those who know Christ on the personal level. As Moses' face radiated after seeing God, so do Christ's followers radiate light where there is darkness. This video is what light looks like when shone over the dark. I am a human being. I am loved. I am a work of art. I am precious. I am created with purpose. I am no different than any other person God has created. Here is a man who gets what it means to be a created human being and live with purpose. It's awesome really what one person can do. This guy could be you. 

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Release of The Cape Town Commitment

Rev Dr Doug Birdsall, Executive Chair of The Lausanne Movement, said: 'In advance of the Congress we gathered a group of senior theologians, drawn from each continent, to compile a clear and engaging declaration of belief. With this as our basis, we wrestled with some of the toughest issues imaginable - within the Church, in global mission strategy, and in the public arena. The Cape Town Commitment's Call to Action, coming out of those discussions in South Africa, is our roadmap for the next ten years.'

Dr. Birdsall is quoted here referencing The Cape Town Commitment, the third document of its kind. Before the Cape Town Commitment,   The Manila Manifesto  was written after a global Lausanne movement conference was conducted in Manila, Philippines in 1989.  Prior to the Manila gathering, the first global conference was held in 1974 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Out of that gathering, where some 2,300 people attended representing 150 nations came the first document of its kind called The Lausanne Covenant

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13 Yr. Old Prince has a Dream for Congo

Have you ever thought about what you might say if you drafted your own version of Martin Luther King Jr.’s, I Have a Dream speech? What dreams do you have? What hopes do you have for yourself and for your community?

 

Prince lives in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Four years ago, Prince, who is one of many street kids born in a war zone and living on the streets, asked my friend Esther if she could help him go to school. Now 13 years old, Prince and his classmates recently studied the life of Martin Luther King Jr. This past November, Prince stood in front of his class and recited MLKJ’s I Have a Dream speech. As he finished, his classmates applauded and Esther told him he did a great job and that he could take a seat again.

 

Prince stood there in front of the class. He hesitated for only a moment and then said, “But that was MLKJ’s dream for America. I have a dream for Congo.”

 
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January: National Slavery Awareness Month

January is National Slavery Awareness Month. In fact, tomorrow, January 11th, is National Slavery Awareness Day. I know, I know. It's hard to believe slavery still exists today, especially in America where slavery was abolished back in Abe Lincolns day. Wiliam Wilberforce spent 26 years of his life to get the Slave Trade Act of 1807 in place abolishing England's slave trade.

Yet long after the days of the honest President and the philanthropist Willberforce, slavery or human trafficking is the second largest grossing industry in the world. National Geographic estimates there are roughly 27 million people are held captive as slaves around the world, approximately 1 million of those are living in the States. 

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About
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.


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