Orphan Care & Human Trafficking

Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day and if I wasn’t in the middle of moving I would have spent some time writing about the connection between human trafficking and orphans. My friend Chris Marlow runs a great orphancare organization called HELP and they are doing something about this very thing. He wrote this post today and I’m so thankful for his voice:

It’s a day that we can stand-up and say, “Enough already,” to this evil that exists in our world.

As I was processing what HELP is going to do as an organization; asking questions such as, “What is our mission?” trafficking was front and center. It’s hard to fathom, but it’s true, modern-day slavery is alive and well, thriving as an underground business model. I wanted to start an organization that would help fight this evil.

This is why we desire to rescue orphans, restore their hope and renew their community. Because orphans are some of the most vulnerable opportunities available to those who traffic.

If these kids are rescued from streets, fields, parks, and dumps, and are placed in a loving community, led by spiritual leaders, their chances of being trafficked are much less. This is how HELP fights trafficking.

Also, if your church is doing nothing to fight these issues, I would suggest you deeply repent, seek forgiveness and get involved. The church should be leading the fight to seek justice and rescue those trapped in this industry, PLEASE do not ignore this call!

For those who are looking for more information, I would suggest the following resources:

Movie-Trade: A legit movie that deals with the real-life issues of human slavery.
Rockumentry-Call & Response: A great way to begin to comprehend the human trafficking industry.


International Justice Mission: They’ve been fighting these issues for years.
Not For Sale: Another organization working on the front-lines.
One Voice to End Slavery: A community of activists who are trying to make a difference.

Abortion and Racism

I watched two videos today that are powerful and disheartening in their own ways. First is the video by Bound4LIFE making the connection between abortion and racism. I’m so glad they did this video because there needs to be more said about this connection and the strategies of Planned Parenthood. If you only watch one video watch this one and pray and consider what you can do to be a voice for the unborn.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The second video breaks my heart on a number of levels. Tishana, a pro-choice African-American woman, is being interviewed about why she is protesting the Health Care ammendment that opposes public funding supporting abortion. She argues:

I’ve had an abortion and I’ve also labored, twice. I was at different points in my life at the time. And if I had not been able to make the decision to abort, I would be the mother of five children right now and that doesn’t exactly work. Especially since there are slim to none social resources for women who do decide to labor in Georgia, especially teen mothers. And I was a teen mother at that time I already had my two children, but I needed an abortion. If I didn’t have the right to make that decision, then they wouldn’t have known what to do with me anyway, because I’d probably be homicidal. And that’s just the truth. You know, when you’re standing between a woman and her child, whether she’s decided to abort that child or have that child, you’re in the way of something that has absolutely nothing to do with you. So just get the f- out of my way, you know?

I was stunned when she said “I needed an abortion.” And her feeling of being homicidal in response to those who would get in her way is amazing to me. Essentially she is saying “If you try and stop me from committing homicide through abortion, I’ll commit it elsewhere.” That has stopped me in my tracks today! I can’t help but pray for Tishana and the many other woman who are like her and who are being seduced to believe this lie. I can’t help but wonder what she thinks about adoption and why that was not an option for her.

Why is the pain of giving life to your child and placing it in a loving family and living with a potential sense of loss greater than the pain of ending that child’s life?

We need to pray. We need to act. We need to rise up as a church and reach out to woman like this with mercy and gospel truth. We need to do this for their sake and the sake of the unborn. It is a justice issue. It is a gospel issue.

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Woe to You Who Laugh (Video on Injustice)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Jason Bollinger, Pastor of River Stone Community Church:

It is wrong for us to spend our life and energy pursuing our happiness at the expense of those who live in oppression and poverty. If our prayer is truly for the Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven, then we can’t pretend like the world is not a disaster. I compiled the following information about the condition of things around the world. I pray the Lord would lead us into the best opportunities to dance upon these injustices. This is not ok.

* Tragically, nearly 27,000 children under age 5 die every day, mainly from preventable diseases and related causes.
* More than 2 billion people lack access to electricity and modern forms of energy.
* More than 1 billion (one in five) people live on less than U.S.$1 a day.

Read more stats like this…

AIDS, the Social Gospel, and the Gospel

The other day, Thabiti Anyabwile posted some powerful reflections on his time in Africa. He was in an area where 85% of people there–men, women, and children–are HIV positive and dying of AIDS. What he said about the ministry he worked with I could say the same for Africa Renewal Ministries in Uganda. Here is a powerful must-read section explaining the important relationship between the gospel we declare in words and the gospel we demonstrate in our deeds:

Today, we visited a ministry called Lily of the Valley. It’s a very comprehensive effort to try and address this pandemic: gospel preaching and Bible teaching, housing for AIDS orphans, medical clinic, cottage industry/business. They’re doing a valiant work. Please pray for them.

As we toured the place and heard more about the ministry, I was left with a couple thoughts:

1. These people are trying to re-engineer an entire society. The problem and the work are massive. For example, just how do you re-introduce fatherhood to a culture when virtually none are known or exist?

2. The implications of the gospel are enormous for this re-engineering effort. Not only must these dear people in God’s image come to believe in Christ and be saved, the outworkings of gospel life must be freshly imaged and lived as the only reconstructive force powerful enough to address this plague. If the succeeding generation isn’t swept up in a revival, a supernatural enlargement of God’s converting and sanctifying work through His Spirit, then the catastrophic effects of sin will destroy them. And this sin attacks at the very point where promiscuity meets reproductive hope.

3. This makes squabbles about the social gospel almost irrelevant. I say “almost” because anything that obscures or supplants the gospel that saves cannot be completely irrelevant and must be avoided. The social gospel dooms people to hell. But in the final analysis, so too does a so-called “biblical” gospel that gets penal substitution, justification, repentance and faith correct but never moves us to preach it, teach it, spread it, apply it, and risk it and ourselves in caring for the needs of people perishing in sin and disease and hunger and war and poverty and illiteracy.

Please take the time to read the whole post.