There is a song that contains the line "break my heart for what breaks Yours". I have sang the song multiple times. I have written it on scraps of paper, and placed it on the kitchen fridge and bathroom mirror. I have markered it on the inside of my arm as a reminder. I have prayed this as a prayer. It has been an anthem of my heart for years. But, I don't think I really understood it until this past week.
On January 1st, I went to Atlanta for a conference with some friends. We went to the Passion Conference. (www.268generation.com) This was my fourth time going to Passion. Passion is for 18-25 year olds. It is a Christian conference. But it believes in doing so much more than just singing songs and hearing sermons. It's heart is to do something now. (www.dosomethingnow.com) We have raised money and awareness for the 'least of these' all over the world. Built wells for clean water, given life saving surgeries, translated the Bible into unknown languages, given business loans, built houses, etc.
This year's theme was freedom. I had believed I was a pretty well informed person on the world. I was so wrong. I heard and read statistics and stories that broke my heart, made me sick to my stomach, and left burning tears down my face. How can slavery be an issue in our world today? How do we not know about it? Why is no one doing anything?
I am learning even more about how much God loves us like a father. His heart breaks when we hurt. Begging God for His heart and His eyes has torn up my world. Realities I had believed to be true, were crumbling. I have a newly lit fire in my heart to be a voice for those who don't a voice, to shine light in a broken world, and to proclaim Jesus. I refuse to stand by and do nothing.
Here are just a few facts I have recently become aware of, that have upset my world.
- 27 MILLION people are enslaved. That's more than ANY other time in history.
- Every minute 2 children are sold into slavery.
- 2,500 women and children are sold into sexual slavery EVERY DAY.
- Over 80% of human trafficking victims are women.
- In 1850, a human slave cost roughly $40,000 in today's dollars. Now a person can be bought for as little as $30.
- Right now there are AT LEAST 200,000 slaves in the USA and 17,000 more will be trafficked into the US next year.
- Atlanta is a major hub of human trafficking and child sex exploitation. The average age is 14.
- Top goods produced by child labor and forced labor : rice, toys, soccer balls, produce, chocolate, clothing, Christmas decor, shoes, coffee, electronics, leather, and cattle.
So, what is the response? Turn a blind eye? Be depressed? Complain? No! I believe we can do something. Pray for freedom and deliverance. Pray for people to rise up in Jesus' name and take action. Be aware. Be informed and educate others. Give to organizations that are out there getting it done. Talk about the issues. Believe we have a great God. Beg Him for a broken heart. Spread the word.
www.tinyhandsinternational.org prevents trafficking between India and Nepal with border out posts and has safe homes for rescued women and children.
www.theA21campaign.org prevents trafficking in Ukraine by education to out smart traffickers and avoid becoming a victim. Nearly half a million girls 15-27 have been trafficked in the last decade in Ukraine.
www.ijm.org rescues and restores forced labor slaves in India.
www.hagarinternational.org restores children in Cambodia, including medical care, counseling, and education in a Christ centered home.
www.wellspringliving.org provides counseling, group therapy, education, life skills, vocational training, family reunification, and spiritual care for rescued girls in Atlanta.
www.slaveryfootprint.org can help you understand how goods we use in every day life have been touch by slavery, and what are response can be.
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and to release from darkness the prisoners.
Have a wonderful Sunday! And a fantastic week! Can't wait to share more of my adventure. There is so much stirring in my heart.
Bolivia is just a few short weeks away. I need to purchase my plane ticket by Saturday. In six days. I am still in need of a seven hundred dollars. Please pray and believe with me that He will provide.