Forty-five million. That is the estimated number of people in our world today who are slaves. Treated as property, not as people. I would rather ignore this statistic and get on with my life and my own problems. I want to tell myself that “we” dealt with slavery a long time ago. What can I do about all those people “out there” anyway?
A lot, actually. This past Sunday we participated with thousands of other churches around the world in “Freedom Sunday.” This annual day was created by the International Justice Mission (IJM), a Christian non-profit responsible for rescuing thousands of people out of slavery and protecting millions more from systemic oppression.
IJM has rescued more than 32,000 people from oppression around the world. That’s a large number, but still a small percentage of people still caught in the web of slavery. That’s where the Church is called to be—where injustice rears its ugly head.
IJM is helping protect more than 21 million people from violence around the world, through training and helping bring justice to bear against slave owners, rapists, and other criminals. That’s what it means to be the Church!
You can get involved and support IJM financially by going to www.ijm.org today. Your tax-deductible gift will make a difference for someone.
We also heard a story from a person within our own church who was once caught in the web of sex trafficking and found hope and healing in Jesus, freed from the bondage of abuse. The story we heard is a testimony to God’s power to rescue and God’s people to intervene.
The story is still being written, but God specializes in writing redemptive stories. This past Sunday’s message is not available on our web page due to the sensitivity of the topic. We’re sorry you missed it if you weren’t present. But know this: God has used Community of Hope to help “loose the chains of injustice” for a family that was desperate. And God will continue to use Community of Hope to live before our hurting world what it means to truly be what Jesus called us to be, the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). Where there is darkness, we must shine the light brightly!