I am a human trafficker

The unfortunate truth is that most of us (whether we were asked to or not ) contribute to the sin of human trafficking, we just don’t realize it. It’s seems impossible to imagine that we contribute to something so horrific.  And yet….we spend money on Christmas decorations or certain brands of shoes, or electronics that make our lives more comfortable, not realizing that such comfort comes with a price — and that price is the men, women, boys and girls who work unreasonable hours in harsh conditions, often against their will, so that we can decorate a tree or sync our phone with our laptop.

Then there is the sex trade, that stretches around the world and across our town.  Young girls, forced into dark rooms, to experience day after day unimaginable terror at the hands of their captors and “clients”.  To think that I have anything to do with any form of slavery makes me sick, and brings me to my knees. It also reminds me that if I am not part of the solution, then I become part of the problem…..This cannot happen.

So instead of asking, “what can I do” and therefore do nothing, I decided to take a step toward the fight.  For my birthday I started a site to help raise funds to support the A21 Campaign and the work they are doing to fight the slave trade.  It’s a site you can visit, and give a secure donation online.  Please….consider joining me in this fight by clicking here to view my families’ site, learn more, and give a gift of any size.

To learn more about the A21 Campaign, go to www.a21campaign.com

To see the size of your slavery footprint, go to www.slaveryfootprint.org

If you have a moment, please share this post with friends you know who will not stand for being called a “human trafficker” any longer.

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God is so….Predictable?

 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land,…And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.  So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”  Exodus 3: 7-10

If we are not careful, we read this story with such familiarity that we miss a life-changing conversation that takes place between God and Moses. Notice the movement of God’s description of the situation in Egypt:

“I have indeed seen the misery….” The God who governs every moment of the entire universe, comes to a sheep farmer (hiding out in the desert because of murder charges in Egypt) and says there is a group of people….my people….and I see the misery caused by the practices of their masters.

“I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers.” Through hundreds of years and thousands of tearful prayers, God has been gathering and holding each cry, attentive to every word of His children as He prepares for this day of judgement.

“I am concerned about their suffering.” The suffering of humanity draws the concern of a loving God wherever and whenever that suffering takes place.

“So I have come down to rescue them….”  For God, it is not enough to see the misery, to hear the cries, and to be concerned. God is one who, in the fullness of time, sees, hears, is concerned, and comes down to rescue.

“So now go, I am sending you….” God says to, Moses, I am getting involved, entering the suffering of my people in order to bring them out of slavery, and my getting involved means that YOU must go!

God’s plan to rescue humanity means the sending of a human, it always has….and it always will.  For a God who is free to respond to humanity any way that He chooses, this seems to be the predicable response throughout history: That wherever there is injustice and the cries of enslaved people, there stands the God of all creation, seeing, hearing, concerned, listening, and stepping in to bring freedom through those who have become aware of this suffering, and willing to allow God to use them to bring freedom. This is the message of the tabernacle, the prophets, the cross, and the upper room.

In this God is….predictable.

That’s what Jonah was saying when God spared the city of Ninevah. God sends Jonah to speak judgement to Ninevah and, Jonah, while he was excited about the message he was not thrilled about being the one to deliver it. So you have the boat, the fish, the vomiting, and then Jonah heads to Ninevah. He preaches a great “hell-far”and damnation sermon and….well….the people listen and repent, hoping that God would not pull the trigger. God sees their repentance and has compassion on them….and Jonah is ticked. Why? Because he could’ve predicted God’s response.

But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. 2 He prayed to the LORD, “O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Jonah 4: 1-2

Jonah, says to God, “God, I knew it!” “I knew what you were like and I knew what would happen if I warned these people.” ” I Could’ve predicted your response, you being just so gracious and so loving and so willing to forgive and set people free” (sarcasm implied by me).

What is predictable is that God is always engaged to set the oppressed free — spiritually and physically.  This is true in Egypt, and Syria, and Greece, and Nepal and in Indiana for the Super Bowl. This is true for the over 6,000 people groups that have not heard the name of Jesus and it is true for the 27 million people in the world who are held as slaves.

If this is true, then it is no longer acceptable to simply see the injustice and slavery around us. No longer can we walk around just being aware or even concerned. These are crucial steps in a process that is leading us toward our next step: We must find ways to be actively engaged. This is the way of the Kingdom of God, this is the way of following Jesus into the world. This is not for professional ministers or career missionaries. This is you….and this is me. We have been called to live this way. And we have been called today, not when you graduate or when you settle down, for the call of Jesus does not follow our plans our class credits, and following Him means anything but “settling down”.

 The truth is that you are the physical response of God to the injustice and darkness in our world.

So where is it that God is showing you injustice and slavery? Where in your neighborhood, your community, your workplace or the world have you become aware of people being held in physical and spiritual slavery?

How are you going to be the response of God in those places?

Pray.  Think specific.  Start somewhere and take the next step.

My Birthday is Coming….I Want Presents!

February 12 actually.

And this year, I am going to do all that I can to get as many gifts as possible. Not for me, but to help free the 27 million people around the world who are held against their will and forced to work in brutal conditions with little or no pay.

Slaves….today….it’s hard to believe but impossible to ignore.  There are so many factors that go in to someone becoming a slave, and just as many ways that we can get involved to help stop it.

I first became away of The A21 Campaign in the months leading up to The Passion Conference. But ever since then, I have not been able to look at my children, without thinking of the millions of children in the world who are sold as sex slaves.

Watch this:

And so, for my birthday, as well as my wife’s birthday, and our son’s birthday we are asking you to give presents, to give financially to The A21 Campaign to help end human trafficking.  I plan to blog once a month on this issue, as well as send emails, and post wherever I can, so that as many people as possible will become aware, and help provide the financial resources the A21 Campaign needs to actively combat this injustice.

So I am asking you, for my birthday, please give a gift. Please consider giving a donation equal to the amount of a birthday gift….or even more!

My family has created a fundraising page to make it as easy as possible to learn more about human trafficking, to give safely, and then to pass along the page to others, encouraging them to join the fight.

To learn more and give me a birthday gift, check out our family fundraising page by clicking  HERE

You can learn all about the problem and the solution by going to The A21 Campaign website.

Please help us spread the word and thank you in advance for my birthday presents!