Today we were in one of those posh gift shops that sells stinky candles and soaps and lots of breakables like sculptures of angels. We spotted a sign that cracked us up: "Unattended children will be sold as slaves". It was great cos after having a chuckle I was prompted to think about this whole human traffiking thing that has become quite a global campaign over the last year or so. (Don't you just love that serious part of your brain.)
Some of the stats are crazy:
*20 million people are held in bonded labour around the world
*profits from the trafficking of people are US $7 billion a year
*of the 600,000 to 800,000 men, women, and children trafficked across international borders each year, approximately 80 per cent are women and girls, and up to 50 per cent are minors.
A really important day for this modern slavery is coming up later in March- Freedom Day. It is a day for those around the globe to create awareness about this traffiking evil and to show solidarity for those kept in bondage and a renewed vision to see everyone experiencing freedom.
I love the concept of freedom. It is one of those words that is used so incessantly and has been for so long that it really should have lost some impact. But I just don't think it has. Everyone, to some degree, knows what it is like to be in chains. I also love it because it sums up, in one theme, all my spiritual and social passions! Jesus came to earth to see all of God's children set free and this liberation is to be experienced both inwardly and outwardly. Down with oppressive lack of hope, unjust economic structures and evil social problems!
Anyway, there are some really fantastic websites out there for you to get equipped to get on board the Freedom Day ship on March 25th.
Stop the Traffick has some ideas for taking the issue into your workplace/school etc.
Set All Free has some brilliant resources for churches to get involved, especially check out the pdf of worship ideas.
I like this prayer from there:
Gracious and liberating God
Lift us beyond the burdens of pain and guilt
Build our memories
into life-giving resolutions
Give us the vision of a new creation
Strengthen us to act
for justice and human dignity
And set all free.