“Social Justice” is more than part of our pop-Christian-culture, but something Jesus established when he came to announce his Kingdom.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
As Jesus followers, we are called to step into His gritty footprints.
One particular area of justice which has gained much attention, but seems to be a mystery to many, is Human Trafficking. We hear much about it happening overseas and yet many are unclear about trafficking here in the States. Laura Parker from the Exodus Road recently said:
“Human trafficking is everywhere. The mechanisms for slavery exist in nearly every country around the globe. Labor trafficking, sex slavery, indentured servitude– these are realities for an estimated 27 million brothers and sisters of ours around the world.”
In the article linked above, Parker cites astonishing facts that an estimated 40,000 victims of sex slavery were identified in the US last year, an estimated 100,000 children are victims of domestic trafficking right now and 175,000 victims were brought into the country alone. (Modern Slavery, NBC News).
So what’s a woman from a little community in the South Bay to do in order to follow Jesus into this mandate of proclaiming liberty and setting the captives free?
Here are a few things:
- Educate yourself. If you want to take part, you need to know your stuff. There are many organizations doing good work who are happy to share their research with you. People like the Parkers of The Exodus Road and Christine Caine from the A21 Campaign. Call the police station and ask if they have a sex-trafficking unit and, if so, see if someone from the unit will talk to you about it. Research your local government and learn who is being trafficked, who is at risk and what’s being done about it. Read articles and blogs from those who have been on the frontlines. This one from Kirsten Howerton is particularly moving from a recent trip to Thailand where she interviewed two prostitutes.
- Participate in the solution with foster care. Last year, the Los Angeles times reported the L.A. County foster care shortage has reached a crisis level. Not all are called to become foster caregivers, but there are other ways you can come alongside those who are. Royal Family Kids camp is just one way through the camp and mentoring programs.
- Be a sensible consumer. This one may seem obvious, however if we want to work on eliminating the supply of slaves, we need to eliminate the demand. Massage technicians, nail technicians, care givers, etc… make sure the establishments you receive services from are on the up and up and comply with their appropriate business boards. Shop sensibly from companies who manufacture their products with human rights in mind. And finally… if you are looking at porn, stop (which research says more women are than we want to admit). And finally, don’t turn your cheek from those around you who are consuming services from those in the sex trade.
- Serve Jesus, not a social cause. Lisa Whittle, who is speaking at our women’s retreat next February, says “when you fall in love with Jesus and outfit your life to support that passion, there is no limit to what you will do.”
What would you add to this list?