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Posts Tagged ‘Gary Haugen’

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Photo from Compassion

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My whole being will exclaim,
    “Who is like you, Lord?
You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,
    the poor and needy from those who rob them.” – Psalms 35:10

A huge hotbed for child slavery is at Lake Volta in Ghana. The Volta reservoir is one of the largest made-made lakes in the world and where many children are forced into hard labor by the local fishermen there. Fishing is the main economy of many of the communities in the surrounding area. Children (as young as 5 years old) are usually deceived into long hours of very dangerous work with no pay. Many are subjected to intense violence from their “masters” if they don’t keep up with the work. They are either abducted by the fishermen or sold by their families to them for little money out of desperation because they are poor. Many are deceived because they are promised a good wage and meals upfront by the men who recruit them. The work is hard because the fishing nets get caught in the dead trees that are all over the lake. These children struggle to bring up the nets or they drown trying to free the nets from the trees. In the Lake Volta region, 1 in 3 children are labourers and more than 20,000 are considered in slavery today.

Prayer IS the work!

Organizations like IJM (International Justice Mission) seek to rescue these children out of slavery. They work in the communities and with the local authorities to detain and arrest the fishermen responsible for taking these children as slaves. They work with the local lawyers to prosecute these men. They provide a safe house for the children that are rescued so they can heal and rehabilitate and eventually be reconnected with their families.

Ways to pray:

  • Pray for peace rehabilitation, healing, hope, strength, and good health for the rescued children of Ghana.
  • Pray that God would lead the right people to apply for the positions available and that those doing the recruiting and hiring would bring the right people on board.
  • Pray for the upcoming conferences that they would lead to changed hearts and repentance with the local fishermen.
  • Pray for IJM and their offices on the lake. Pray for new satellite offices and their presence in the area. Pray that they reach out to regions where children are still trapped in slavery.

Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. – Hebrews 13:3

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CNN Freedom Project recently did a documentary called “Troubled Waters” about the situation at Lake Volta. You can watch it below. (Note – I know there are other reporters out there that say not all the children that work on the lake are in slavery. The point of my post is to raise awareness to the situation and pray about it. Only God knows the details of the situation and will bring justice to where it is needed).

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International Justice Mission was just here in Phoenix doing some promotional work and showing their movie At the End of Slavery. I’m a huge advocate for what they are doing and always willing to share how God is using them to help abolish slavery.

“If history has shown us that the monster of slavery assumes new forms, it has also shown us that its oppressive systems crumble in the face of those who heartily oppose them. It is our collective responsibility to oppose slavery in the time given to us. History is on our side.”

-At the End of Slavery:
The Battle for Justice in our Time

 

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The Justice Conference is a two-day annual event to promote dialogue around justice related issues such as human trafficking, slavery, poverty, HIV/AIDS and human rights, featuring internationally acclaimed speakers, hundreds of humanitarian organizations and dozens of pre-conference workshops.

I would be lying if I wasn’t excited about being here in Philadelphia for the The Justice Conference. This conference ties into what my heart is all about – a love for people and a movement toward justice for mankind because of who God is and how He loves us. The Justice Conference was founded a couple of years ago by Ken Wytsma and has rapidly grown to be a large movement. How ironic it is being held in the city where liberty was birth – Philadelphia. It was very clear that God was drawing me to attend this conference. It touches on every part of how He has made me. I’m looking forward to the many partnerships and relationships I’m going to build over the next few days and how God wants me to stand up to injustice. I’m also excited to hear from some of the amazing speakers like Dr. John Perkins, Gary Haugen and Shane Claiborne as well as be inspired by the Justice Film Festival.

I love coming to Philadelphia! There is so much culture and history here. The people are down-to-earth and there are so many great places to eat and visit.

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“Awareness is doing the work” – Gary Haugen

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Justice Panel

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Taking Notes

I was pretty stoked for this panel at Passion. This is the part where we learn about what God is doing in the world with all these amazing organizations that are standing up to injustice. Louie Giglio hosted a round-table discussion with several members from ministries out there that are actively raising awareness and rescuing people out of slavery and sex trafficking. The money that is given during Passion 2013 to the Freedom causes will help fund nineteen different organizations that have partnered with Passion.

First up was a mother from Houston, TX with three children who had her world rocked. She went on a van tour with Elijah Rising and saw brothels and other places where sex trafficking goes on in her own backyard. Elijah Rising is an organization that uses a holistic approach to training warriors to stand up for injustice with an emphasis on sex trafficking. After seeing this, she felt the call to stand up to this injustice and is actively involved with a ministry called As Our Own that rescues children out of slavery in India.

Gary Haugen of International Justice Mission – Greg reminded us that this is God’s fight, not ours. We need to pray and talk with Him first before we go out and do His work. If we try to take this evil on ourselves, we will be crushed. He also reminded us of Stand for Freedom on March 5-15, 2013. This is a movement that started on college campuses that is asking us to stand for 27 hours for the 27 million held in modern-day slavery.

Steve Martin of Love146 – It’s all about the Kingdom. All these wonderful organizations are just pieces of the Kingdom. We serve a Big God and there is no end to His resources. Love146 recently opened the Round Home in the Philippines – a safe haven for girls rescued out of sex trafficking where they receive therapy and are eventually reintegrated back into their local communities.

Brad Myles of Polaris Project – Only ten states have “safe harbor” laws (laws that protect people who are victims). We need to write the representatives of the states that don’t have this law. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

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Justin Dillon of Slavery Footprint – How many slaves work for you? There is child and forced labor everywhere. We have to change the marketplace. It’s the supply chain that has enslaved more people than at any time in human history.  Self-discovery and knowledge is so you can raise awareness. Go to the website and find out how many slaves have worked to get you that t-shirt or the beans that make up your cup of joe.

Beth Redman of The A21 Campaign – The A21 Campaign prevents trafficking through awareness and education. Beth represented A21 and talked about a song that her husband Matt Redman wrote to raise awareness for the 27 million people being held in slavery.

Mary Frances Bowley of Wellspring Living – Mary talked about the The White Umbrella Campaign. The White Umbrella tells stories of survivors as well as those who came alongside to help them to recovery. You can also download a 40 Days of Prayer devotion book to pray the names of God over the survivors of sex trafficking.

Bryson Vogeltanz is in charge of the Freedom Causes at Passion. He makes sure that the money that is given at Passion gets to the organizations and that it is used wisely. John Richmond is a federal prosecutor for the United States Department of Justice. He has investigated and prosecuted numerous victim centered labor and sex trafficking cases throughout the United States. He mentioned that evil is real and it is powerful. But light is stronger than darkness.

Mark Wexler of Not for Sale – We need to wake up and the church needs to step up. Why are there 27 million in slavery? Why is human trafficking generating 32 billion in profits? The information is there. He talked about REBBL tonic. REBBL is a tea company started with a vision to end slavery in the Peruvian Amazon. The company employs freed slaves in the Amazon and reinvests proceeds into projects that combat human trafficking. It’s about the way you purchase. If you change the way you purchase, it will change the way they sell. Purchasers will eventually listen.

Leif Coorlim of The CNN Freedom Project – Leif is an editorial director for CNN Freedom Project and produced the documentary that covered Passion 2012 last year. He is currently putting together a film he filmed in the Philippines about sex trafficking called “The Fighters”. Here is the premise:

The Philippines has a problem. Whether for profit or pleasure, many of the young and poor in Asia’s largest English-speaking nation are being exploited in alarming numbers. It’s estimated more than 100,000 children work in the sex trade. For 20 years, Cecilia Flores-Oebanda has fought to protect children from ending up in brothels. And for 20 years, she’s fought an uphill battle to convince others to join her. Recently, Oebanda found new hope in the form of world-champion boxer, Manny Pacquiao. Oebanda believes if Pacquiao, who is also an elected congressman in the Philippines, speaks publicly about human trafficking, it could be the turning point in the battle. It may seem like a simple wish, but for those fighting for a better world, nothing in life comes easy.

72,000 NAMES FOR FREEDOM

Between Passion and International Justice Mission, 72,000 signatures for a sign-on letter were collected and delivered to the White House last year to urge them to end slavery. On the anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation, President Obama gave the longest speech since Abraham Lincoln on the fight to end modern-day slavery.

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