I spent this past weekend in Washington DC with a group of about forty individuals from across the United States who came together not for recreation or relaxation but to advocate for the cause of International Justice Mission.
IJM’s mission is to secure justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.
The amazing thing for me was that in a climate in which the political left and right are divided on almost everything a diverse group of people from many walks of life and all political stripes came together for a common cause. We spent a weekend together to train to advocate for the poorest of the poor who are oppressed and have no voice or power to change their circumstances. There was no mention of the whether the Republicans or Democrats had the right or wrong ideas for the country. We simply met and tried to develop skills that would enable us to effectively speak to influence others to act on behalf of other people who are the victims of gross injustice across the globe.
After spending the weekend together we went to Capitol Hill on Monday and met with our respective Senators and Congressmen aides to solicit our representatives’ support for the Child Protection Compact Act. The CPCA, if enacted, would release funding to the State Department for NGOs to fight child slavery and bring about structural transformation in local governments that would free children and provide the aftercare that they need.
A few times the facilitators of the weekend referred to us as 'activists’. I felt a little strange being referred to as an activist but after reading the definition of activist on one online dictionary source - an especially active, vigorous advocate of a cause – I would be happy to wear that name for this cause which cries out for the 27 million slaves in the world today which includes nearly 2 million children that are abused in the commercial sex trade.
I was inspired and encouraged by the passion and sacrifice of the IJM associates and volunteers and hope that I have many more opportunities to work along side them until slavery and the exploitation of children is brought to an end.
Note from the wife:
This is a cause that we are passionate about and choose to invest our time and energy into.
It is not right that children, women, and men are forced into slavery in the times that we live in.
And…we CAN do something about it.
We would LOVE an opportunity to talk with you more about IJM and how you, your church, your friends, your school, your youth group….or anyone can be involved in seeking justice in our day.
Just email us (link at the top)
Isaiah 58:6-11 sums it up well
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness† will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.