Friday, December 27, 2013

I Will Have Less Slaves Working for Me Next Year

For my 100th Tweet and my last blog of 2013, I have some bad news and some good news.

While I try to keep my radical reform focus in my Monday blogs on Education topics, and in Wednesday blogs on Church topics, I also try to reflect in other posts about how there is something else that needs to be reformed: me. To say the least, I am a work in progress.

Part of my reformation takes place as I learn new things, some of which are disturbing and challenging. Right now (and for some time), I am a little overwhelmed by what I am learning about the modern day slave trade. To be honest, up until a few years ago, I didn't even know slavery still existed on any kind of large scale. In reality, most estimates say there are about 27 million slaves worldwide. Go here to see a world map that breaks down slavery stats across the globe.

The bad news is that many women and children are trafficked across borders, including our own, for the commercial sex trade. More bad news is that forced labor exists in many places to produce items consumed here. Even more bad news is that the amount of exploitation and abuse of these slaves is enormous. It is almost too much to take in. It is easy to feel that there is nothing I could do to make a difference.

BUT...there is good news! There are organizations and ministries working hard on behalf of those enslaved. These groups are getting smarter and more efficient. Churches are beginning to collaborate to counter this problem like never before. Individuals are networking with businesses, law enforcement, and each other to educate people, leverage resources, and promote peace and freedom. I was privileged to attend my first Allies Against Slavery meeting here in Austin earlier this month. I can promise you there are great people making sacrifices to help others.

I personally cannot think of anything else that could be more to the heart of Jesus than setting people free. So, as terrible as the current state of affairs is, I am hopeful that we can make a difference. I believe we can lift people out of devastation and introduce them to a joyful future. I am confident that I will have less slaves working for me in 2014.

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