Yesterday, Sunday September 24th, 2017 was an important day for the Church in America. It was the day set aside to educate, motivate, and take action on the perhaps the most grievous 21st Century problem facing humanity. I’m not talking about global warming, or in-credible leadership, or political partisanship or millennial angst, or declining church attendance. I’m not talking about economic growth, or job security, or clean water initiatives, or polluted oceans, or nuclear proliferation.
I’m talking about something that is old, insidious, and growing. I’m talking about a corruption so disgusting and degrading that few want to even discuss it but it is a problem to which the Church MUST speak up about.
Human Slavery is Growing Across the Globe
Today, there are more slaves than at any time in the history of the planet. Experts estimate that the number of slaves tops 45,000,000 people. 45 million people made in the image and likeness of God are enslaved around the globe. That is approximately 3x the population of every man woman and child in all of the states touching the Missouri River!
Many of them are young children sold into slavery or abducted into slavery as young as three years of age. Many of them become sex slaves, tools for wicked men to do unspeakable things. Twenty-five percent of them live in India. Chances are good that you have a shirt or a pair of shoes that were touched by slave hands. This past Sunday, after the service one of our missionaries who is back home on home-assignment for a year told me of an incident that he experienced at the airport in Ethiopia.
He related a story of seeing hundreds of young women boarding a flight to a middle-eastern country. He asked about it and was told that EVERY NIGHT, there were flights like it taking young girls who think they are going to work as domestics and escape crushing poverty in their home country. The reality is that many will be sold into the sex trade and marketed like so much meat throughout the oil-rich Muslim countries of the middle east.
Horrors! Wickedness! Corruption! Oppression! Slavery!
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17 learn to do good;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.
Isaiah 1:16-17 (ESV)
This is the work of the people of God.
This is what life looks like under the Lordship of Christ.
This is part of the good works that God has prepared for us in this generation (Eph. 2:10).
This is the work that should accompany and adorn the proclamation of the gospel of our Savior.
So despite the fact that we are running behind on our budget, our elders green-lighted a challenge to our congregation to give every family in our church the opportunity to become a Freedom Sunday partner with the International Justice Mission in working to pray, give and support the work of freeing slaves in the name of Christ and the advancement of the Kingdom of God. Each family in the church is praying this week about, as a family with kids involved in the process, beginning to give $24 a month in support of Isaiah 1:17 ministry.
- Would you pray with us?
- Would you consider giving with us?
- And would you do one more thing?
- Thank God for the elders of Manchester Creek Church who believe justice is more important than fully funding more ministry to serve ourselves. [Can you tell I love serving with these men?]
Kumar’s Story – We were Free
(If the link above doesn’t work, try copying it into Youtube.com and watch it there, or search for “Kumar’s Story – We Were Free”)