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Posts Tagged ‘International Justice Mission’

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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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FEBRUARY 27, 2014

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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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END IT MOVEMENT

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Passion launched End it Movement at the end of Passion 2013. #EnditMovement is a movement to raise awareness of the 27 million people that are being held in slavery around the world. There are resources and facts on the site that are there to help educate us on the growing issue of modern-day slavery. It’s an opportunity for this generation to use their voices to fight this injustice through outlets like social media. It’s also a way to donate to the coalition partners that are out there in the world today rescuing those being held in bondage.

END IT MOVEMENT – USA TODAY AD

On February 1, End it Movement will be officially launching nationally with a full-page ad in the USA Today.

DISAPPEAR FOR A DAY ON SOCIAL MEDIA 

February 27

STAND FOR FREEDOM

International Justice Mission’s Stand for Freedom week. Sign up to stand for 27 hours for the 27 million slaves. This started with a group of passionate university students and has grown to a national anti-slavery movement.

SHINE A LIGHT ON SLAVERY DAY

April 9 is Shine a Light on Slavery day. Details of what this is all about will come out as the day approaches. Join in and sign the pledge at  www.enditmovement.com to be a part of this growing movement to make a difference in the world.

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“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know” – William Wilberforce

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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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END IT MOVEMENT

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Greg Haugen and Louie Giglio

If there is an organization making a difference in the world with the issue of slavery and sex trafficking, it is International Justice Mission. IJM is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. Their vision is to rescue thousands, protect millions and prove that justice for the poor is possible. IJM was founded in 1997 and works all over the world. I have been looking forward to this part of Passion all week as they had President Greg Haugen come and speak to us.

Greg spoke to us about how his heart was turned onto justice. In 1994, Rwanda experienced their genocide in which millions of people were murdered in a matter of weeks. The world watched and did nothing. People were asking the question “where was God?” Greg asked the question “where were God’s people?” Here are some key notes from his talk:

The World will know we are His followers if we have outward love for each other

Some facts: 27 million people in the world are being held in slavery. These people are being forced to work all day. In sex trafficking, abused and raped children are being sold. And it is in our own backyard…

We can be the generation that ends slavery. Not because we are awesome, but because we have an awesome God. We need to make the 27 million people in slavery a priority. The world needs to see that God is present and those in slavery need to know that our God is a God that saves.

DO JUSTICE, LOVE MERCY, WALK HUMBLY – MICAH 6:8

What is God’s plan? – WE are the plan (God’s people). He gives us the power.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

C.S. Lewis – The Four Loves

Christ offers five things to us (because we don’t have a chance to change this on our own)

1. Extravagant compassion – God opens our heart to a hurting world. We wants to transform our hearts of stone to a heart of flesh

2. Moral clarity – Evil is confusing. God gives us His Word to tell right from wrong

3. Sacrificial courage – We will have to see and tell hard things. Jesus grows the courage in our hearts

4. Tenacious hope – We will see more defeats than mercy. God is the ultimate Lord of this world and justice will prevail

5. Refreshing joy – Joy is the oxygen to do hard things. He gives us good things to refresh us to do the hard things

Greg showed this video from the civil rights movement of 1961. I was very moved by it. Jim Zwerg (a white man) and John Lewis (an African-American man) rode these Freedom Ride buses together to fight against segregation. Jim was beaten up for his stance. This video of him in the hospital was recorded right after the attacks. Jim would also go on to say that he meditated on Psalms 27 the night before and that he gained his strength to stand up for justice from his faith. Hundreds would later join the Freedom Ride after this video was shown.

God can do immeasurably more in us

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