There was a time, not too long ago, when I couldn't look at the dirty/ugly/hard things of this world. I would feel guilty as I would listen to my friends Kathleen and Gideon talk about the genocide in other countries. I just couldn't bring myself to even think about it. It was as if, as long as I ignored it and kept it at arm’s length, it didn't really exist. I honestly think that I didn't believe that my heart or my faith could handle it. I have come to learn that my faith can and is the only way to handle it, and my heart definitely cannot and that is okay because no matter how much it hurts, I cannot ignore it any longer. I am still figuring out what I, little-stay-at-home-mommy-me, can do. But I DO know this. I can no longer live like it doesn't exist. I have to do something.
I heard a story told about a church in Germany during the time of the Nazis. They said they could hear the trains go by carrying the Jewish people to the concentration camps. They could hear them crying and screaming as they went by so they would always arrange their services so they would be singing hymns when the trains came by. They would sing at the top of their lungs to drown out the voices of those being taken to slaughter. Repulsive. The whole story makes me sick. I think, how could someone do that? How could they turn a blind eye and deaf ear? How could they do that in a church?
And then I look in the mirror.
I run to the store and plan birthday parties and go out for pizza like this isn't happening. I gather in a church and sing songs to my Savior while someone is being sold for sex in that very moment. I have to ask myself, how is what I am doing any different?
“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” -William Wilberforce
There are 27 Million Slaves right now, more than ever before in history. Young girls, as young as 4 years old, and on average in the early teens are sold in sexual slavery. Kept in cages and forced to perform sexual acts with anywhere from 15-30 men a day. There are children trapped in sweat shops, brick yards and rock quarries. This is happening all over the world and in our own back yard girls and boys are having their lives stolen from them.
There are places all over the globe where parents have to choose which children to feed and which children to let die of starvation because if they try to spread the food out to all of their children they will all starve to death. There are places where new born babies, with the umbilical cord still attached, are left in the dump because the mother thinks it is easier to part with them at that point than to watch them suffer and die. There are thousands upon thousands of children going to sleep tonight hungry or in torment from drinking dirty water that is filled with parasites. This is real. This is happening now. This is not okay.
I have a 3 year old little girl. She is a joy and a blessing at every turn. She is smart and funny and full of life. I want only the best for her. I want her to grow up safe and happy. I couldn't imagine having to watch her suffer or die but, for a fact, this is a mother’s reality right now as I type this. Oh God. Oh God.
How can I live like this isn't happening? What can I do? There’s a lot of things but here are 2 to start with.
1) P R A Y – pray like my life depends on it, because someone else’s does. Here is an amazing resource that is available for free until Jan 6th. It is a prayer guide for praying for survivors of sex trafficking. https://wellspringliving.org/events/40-days-prayer-guide
2) Become informed. There are so so so many ways to do this. Here are just a few depending on what information you desire:
a. www.slaveryfootprint.org This is something I did a few months ago and it was an eye opener for sure. You answer some basic questions and it tells you how many slaves are working for you. I think you will be surprised the answer. I know I was and it is making me think about the products I buy on a regular basis. It also gives you the ability to contact companies about their ties to slavery.
b. 888-3737-888 – know this number, program it into your phone. It is a human trafficking hotline. Check out http://www.polarisproject.org/ for more information and specifically spend time looking at “Recognizing the Signs” so you can be prepared to help someone just by calling this number and reporting what you see.
c. www.withthisring.org This is probably the 3rd time I have posted this website. It connects you to others that have decided to make the choice to live and give radically, the way that Jesus’ calls us to. It is, in a way, a support group for those that want to follow in the footsteps of Jesus as we walk away from the American Christian lifestyle. It isn't just about engagement rings, it is about being radical and providing physical water and spiritual water to those who desperately need both.
This is just scratching the surface. As I come across other amazing information opportunities I will post them for you. I know that this post/blog can be depressing and has become quite repetitive. Part of me wants to apologize for that but I am not going to. I know it is not human nature to seek out repetitive, sad things to read but until these topics become well known and the followers of Jesus stand up and join God in this battle (for it is truly His battle) I will keep sharing what is on my heart and I hope you will share it as well and keep coming back and we will keep growing together. We can make a difference today. Will you commit, right now, to begin praying for those that are kept in bondage? If you will, please leave a comment that says “I’m in” (or something like that).
“This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
By His strength we can rejoice that we are given this day and the opportunity to be a voice for the voiceless.