An email I just wrote to our team of justice coordinators at Open Door…
I just finished reading a book called Slave. It is an autobiography of a woman named Mende Nazer, a Sudanese young woman who was abducted and sold into slavery as a little girl, but who eventually had the courage to escape after nearly 12 years. It is a riveting true account of her story.
As I was reading, I began to wonder if the monthly dialogues around the issues of poverty and slavery could benefit from just such a book. I’m wondering what would happen if our community engaged in a book dialogue/book study of books such as these. My next book is one called Infidel and is the story of an exploited Arab woman and her journey to freedom. She also wrote Caged Virigin–the book I’ll read after Infidel. I also have a book called Sold which is a collection of stories of slaves who have been freed….
Attaching the issue to real stories of real people is one way in which I believe that God will continue to feed this break for us. More importantly, we could use stories such as these to guide us into the Text to listen for His heart on matters of poverty, slavery, and abolition.
I was just emailing with a young friend who gave a collegiate speech on human trafficking, inspired by some of the stuff happening at Open Door. She instantly had four people come up to her wanting to know what they can “do” about it. Here was my response….
Being a part of the solution here in the Bay Area is a creative process. Call+Response does offer some great ideas, however the world of storming brothels and rescuing slaves isn’t necessarily a reality here. I would recommend directing your four friends to a community such as Open Door that are experimenting creatively with being solution. One way we are doing this is through monthly round table dialogues that are focused on getting educated while exploring God’s heart on this issue. Another potential idea is hosting a book study focused on reading the autobiographies of rescued slaves so that the crisis can be attached to real people. The most tangible thing that we are engaged in is the launch of a non-profit fair-trade organization called Just Hearts. This is a creative micro-finance organization that is literally creating jobs in both Thailand and Nicaragua to impoverished families. As jobs are being created through the creation of jewelry and other goods, women and children who would typically be sold into slavery are finding a way out.
Not sure if this is helpful or not. I guess what I’m saying is that the best thing that people can do is get involved with a community of people who are about being solution and who are actively listening for God’s leading in that endeavor. Make sense?
I wonder how God is going to use this issue, our break, and shepherding to guide people into His Kingdom. He is absolutely about abolition, physically and spiritually. I long for us to be a part of both.