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My Freshly Brewed Life: Compelled

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Catania - Chained to my soulphoto © 2010 Francesco Pappalardo | more info (via: Wylio)

Last weekend, I attended the Freedom Summit at a local church.  Over the last couple of years, I have been uniting in prayer with others for justice for those enslaved.  I've prayed and cried out to God to free the captives.  Yet I never felt like my heart was moved.  And I seriously doubt that I understood what exactly this was I was praying for.  I asked God before the conference to break my heart for those held captive. God heard my cry.  I wept much of the day of and following the conference.  I have been changed.  There is now an empty place in my heart where God can come and fill me with compassion for those held against their will. 

  • Human Trafficking is modern day slavery.  
  • There are more people enslaved today than at any other time in human history.
  • According to the US Department of State, there are an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 children, women and men trafficked across international borders annually.  Between 14,500 and 17,500 of those are trafficked into the United States each year.
  • According to the United Nations, the total market value of illicit human trafficking is estimated to be in excess of $32 billion.
Up until the time I attended the conference, I believe I was oblivious to the fact that this could happen in my own backyard, so to speak.  Just a day or two before the conference, law enforcement raided a home where I live, in the same city, rescuing those enslaved, and arresting several traffickers.  Not in my backyard?  Think again. My eyes have been opened.  I drive down the street and look at my surroundings differently, and I pray.  

Human Trafficking is more than forced prostitution, although the thought of this alone is enough to cause me countless sleepless nights in prayer.  But what about the children, women and men that are trafficked across our borders, and into our own country, for slave labor -- forced to work in fields, in homes, etc. for no wages.  What about children in other countries who are categorized as "war children", who are taken from their homes at very young ages and forced to fight wars.  They are all slaves.  And I thought slavery was abolished.  I think it's time for another abolition.

One of the things I asked God to do following the conference was to show me practical ways that I could assist in this fight to end Human Trafficking.  There are three things I feel compelled to do at this time:
  1. Blog.  I would love to use this blog as away to speak into this cause.  I hope to be able to post more regularly about Human Trafficking, possibly sharing testimonies of those who have been rescued.  I believe this is something that I need to keep in the forefront.
  2. Volunteer.  I am asking the Lord where I can volunteer my time/efforts.  I have no clear directives but I know that He will show me.
  3. Shop.  For more on that, read below.
When I shop, I like to get the most bang for my buck.  We live on a very tight budget and I exhaust every resource to find the cheapest price for most things.  However, I am no longer willing to purchase products when they are made by way of slave labor.  My conscious will not allow it.

Do you have an iPhone?  If so, there is a very handy App called "The Better World Shopper" that you can download that will assist you in making wiser choices about the products that you buy.  There is also a book entitled "The Better World Shopping Guide: Every Dollar Makes A Difference" which gives even more information. 
*Disclaimer:  Please do your own research.  This information was compiled taking into consideration human rights, the environment, animal protection, community involvement and social justice.  I am not saying it is wrong to purchase a product with a letter grade of "F".  I am simply sharing what God has spoken to my own heart.  And I am continuing to do research, because I want to be well informed and be led by the Holy Spirit in my choices.  I am willing to pay a few more dollars for a product if it means I am helping to buy someone else's freedom.

I am compelled to continue to do what I can to bring freedom to the captives.  I must keep this issue in front of me, lest I forget that there are those who are still enslaved, held against their will, for the gross benefit of others.

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