Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 15 of Lent :: Helping the Helpless

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit
(Psalm 34:18)

Today, may our attention be drawn to some of those in the world who could use a voice speaking on their behalf.  May our awareness first turn us to prayer, and then, perhaps, to action.  There are many in the world who need a voice. Let us consider one large population that often goes unnoticed.

According to the United Nations, twenty-seven million individuals are held as slaves throughout the world.  Of those who are trafficked across international borders, it is estimated that seventy-percent of them are women and young girls who are being sold into prostitution.  One million of these are children who are brutally exploited by the global sex trade.  This is not a new reality.  According[i] to the organization, Unite for Children (UNICEF), these numbers have been consistent for the past thirty years.  This means that two children have been sold, raped, and resold, every minute of every day for the past thirty years.  Thirty million children lost to the villainy of injustice is no small number to ignore, nor is the thirty-two billion dollars accumulated annually from human trafficking.

"If we respect the image of God in other persons,” writes Ron Sider, “we must give them what is their due.”[ii] If we are truly "ambassadors" for God, then the Gospel should, in some way, compel us toward prayer and action. (2 Corinthians 5:14-21)

Prayer: The realties of injustice in the world are astounding, and God’s heart breaks for such atrocities.  Christ died to bring healing to the broken, and the Church has a responsibility to extend this healing to the world.  Spend time praying for those who have no voice raised in their defense.

Learn more: Visit the website of International Justice Mission ( to learn more about what is happening in the world and what others are doing to become voices for justice.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:
to look after orphans and widows in their distress
and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
~James 1:27

[ii] Ronald Sider, Justice, Human rights, and Government, 164

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