Friday, July 31, 2009

Heavy Information: Human Trafficking

Our lack of internet at our house has not allowed me to blog as often as I would have liked to. Thus, I sit in my office at The Bridge after reading more information about human trafficking. And I don't even know what to say or do or think. The injustice that takes place on a daily basis is indeed overwhelming.

I often wonder how gaining this information is helpful there is no action on my part. It has been on my heart lately to talk to whoever about trafficking. More often than not, I find out that people have no idea that there are 27 million slaves worldwide, which is more than the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade in the 1800's.

The current slave trade consists of: bonded slavery, illegal detention, organ trafficking, child labor, illegal property seizure, and the ever so sickening sex slave trade.

And I can't get away from the information. Last night, while lying in bed, I changed the station from the show I was watching (because it was a commercial and I am impatient) to Law and Order. And you want to know what the show was about? You guessed it. Human trafficking. Individuals were "adopting" Haitians and once they were brought to the US, they were treated as slaves, lived in squalor, given very little to eat and no education.

There are so many different organizations, websites, and articles about human trafficking that it can be overwhelming at times.

The one thing that I realized in all of this, is these people are taking action in ways that they can in their context.

And if you don't think that human trafficking is taking place here in Fresno, you are wrong. If a girls is 17 years old and is a prostitute, she most likely isn't there because she wants to be. She has been coerced by this individual who promises a better life. Once it is too late, she is addicted to drugs and stays on the street. Federal law defines trafficking in persons as “sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.” And I will tell you this much, the age of prostitutes in Fresno continues to become younger and younger. According to this news report by abc30, they are as young as 12.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

"Revolution in World Missions"

I am reading Revolution in World Missions by KP Yohannan. Yohannan is the founder of Gospel for Asia (GFA), a missionary organization that raises up native missionaries to reach their own people.

At first, I was intrigued by his story of how God brought him to this place of starting such an organization. Then I was a little annoyed by what seemed like a plea for those in the US to give away all their money (which I think speaks more to the fact that I am materialistic, even though I try extremely hard not to be). Today, what I read was extremely convicting.

He wrote on the social or humanistic gospel. That for years, organizations go in and speak only to the physical needs and not the spiritual needs. And how in China, organizations built hospitals, schools, etc, for a hundred years, which added to their life here on earth, but millions of people never heard the Gospel. So although they had good health care and good education, they never heard the gospel. First and foremost, as Christians, we are suppose to be preaching the Good News of Christ.

Yohannan states "It is a crime against lost humanity to go in the name of Christ and missions just to do social work yet neglect calling men to repent-to give up their idols and rebellion-and to follow Christ with all their hearts"


"Substituting a bowl of rice for the Holy Spirit and the Word of God will never save a soul and will rarely change the attitude of a man's heart"

He isn't saying that you shouldn't care for the physical well being of a person, but "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?" Mark 8:36

Jesus had compassion on the multitudes, but it was a compassion having to do with their spiritual condition first, and their physical condition second. He fed them with the bread of life, and filled their stomachs with fish and bread. He not only opened up the eyes of peoples hearts but he also made the blind see.

If we, as Christians, as missions organizations, do not proclaim the gospel, then feeding an empty stomach will not save them from hell.

Reading this book has me thinking about which missionaries and organizations we support and how strongly or effectively they are sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ...