This is the fourth in a series of five blogs. (They will be interspersed among the others) If you don't read any others, please read these. This is the heart and soul of our summer.
In Part 1, we saw that there is a problem in the world. In Part 2, we saw that God is not silent about his heart for justice. In Part 3, we saw that God has a command to followers of Christ to take action on behalf of the oppressed. Now, in part 4, we would like to offer tangible opportunities for involvement in the work to stop human trafficking.
First, we would like to offer up a small disclaimer. We are not experts in this area. Our suggestions are not professional counsel. We have simply researched this problem, we have been convicted to take action against it, and we are offering suggestions based on what God led us to do in our own lives.
The informations we shared in Part 1 only begins to scratch the surface of the problem of human trafficking. The first action we would suggest is to become more informed about slavery in today's world. Or, in keeping with the routine of the four 'gets', get informed. You can do this by reading books, attending conferences, or watching documentaries. On the right column of the blog we have several resources that would serve to expand your knowledge about trafficking. A critical aspect of this becoming informed is being exposed to the reality of this problem. If you can, read accounts of rescued or escaped slaves. Read about the girl from Mexico who was chained to a post in a Texas backyard. Read about the 15 year old slave in suburban Detroit who was assaulted in unspeakable ways for two years. Read about the women in east Asia. Read about the Millions of slaves in India trapped in bonded labor, working to pay off unpayable debts. These are not easy accounts to stomach, and they shouldn't be. On our trip we witnessed the damage of numerous natural disasters: fire damage and smoke, hurricane winds, flooding, avalanches, and tornadoes. It is so easy to see the damage on the television and continue sipping our coffee, but when we rode or walked through the damage, it hit us in an entirely different way. As you become informed, you will begin to see the problem in a new way, and the urgency and seriousness of the problem will become clear.
The second 'get' is get involved. Fortunately, there are many organizations that are working in the fight against trafficking. These are found on a local, national, and international level. There are many different skills and fields of work that can be used and offered to anti-trafficking organizations. There are also a multitude of un-skilled volunteer opportunities that are critical for organizations to continue to operate. These organizations can be found around the United States. If you do have an interest in getting involved with an organization by volunteering your time, we would be thrilled to be in contact with you and point you in the right direction.
The third 'get' took some creativity, and it is get your wallet out. Or, in other words, offer financial support of faith-based organizations that are working in the world to fight for the oppressed. Again, there are multiple organizations doing great things, and they are all dependent on the support of donors. This summer journey was not and is not a fundraiser. We simply desire to highlight the problem and what God has to say about it. However, if you are feeling led to support an organization with the financial blessings God has given you, we do have a webpage set up at firstgiving.com where you can support International Justice Mission. (If the link doesn't work, simply search 'moped justice mission' at first giving.com) They are a faith-based organization that we met and prayed with on this trip, and who we prayed over for the duration of the trip. One donation we would suggest, based on our summer trip, would be donating one cent for every mile we traveled. One cent times 8,500 equals $85. Or a tenth of a cent per mile. Or a dollar per mile. That's just a suggestion. Feel free to contact us if you want to know more about the work IJM is doing, or you can investigate their website at www.ijm.org
The fourth and final and overwhelmingly most critical 'get'.. is get on your knees. Pray for the victims, pray for the traffickers, pray for those who are working to bring justice to the oppressed. Pray for God to strengthen the hearts of the victims and liberators and to call the evildoers to account. God hears our prayers. Trust us. If you don't trust us and our testimony to God's faithfulness, trust in the truth of Psalm 10:17-18
"O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more."
God is also specific in Isaiah about his desire and design for fasting in our lives.
"Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?" Isaiah 58:6
As we mentioned earlier, there are many different skills and career fields that are needed in the work to fight modern-day slavery. We cannot predict how much God is moving in your heart, but it would be no surprise if you too saw the severity of this problem and the need to become involved. This work is not confined to investigators and lawyers. There are many other needed fields, including but not limited to: nursing and medical professions, political science, journalism, public relations, Bible/theology, linguistics, social work, and business.
As God lays on your heart a concern for this problem, making others aware of the problem comes easily. All you need is a moped. Okay, you obviously don't need that, and you don't even need to be a trained professional, fully immersed in the fight against injustice. We have both applied the four different 'gets' in some way, but that's all. And now we've gone on a trip, with the desire to bring more people alongside us to make waves in the work to rescue people from slavery. If we met you on our trip, we prayed for you before we met you, and we prayed for you after we met you. We pray that God's passion for justice radiates through the passion he bestowed upon us. We pray that God is doing a great work in your heart to continually draw you closer to him, as he continues to do in ours.