On 24 September this year, churches around the world celebrated their Sunday worship services with the special theme of freedom. The International Fellowship of Immanuel Church joined with this initiative by International Justice Mission (IJM) to bring hope and freedom to every enslaved and abused child, woman and man.
A member from our congregation that completed an internship with IJM in Washington D.C. shared some heart-wrenching statistics about modern slavery, highlighted some of the work that is done by the organization and encouraged us to become involved by praying and by giving of our time and resources to a project or organization active in the field of justice.
We then heard from two women from the organization Talita, that offers both acute and long-term support to women that have been exploited in prostitution, pornography or human trafficking for sexual purposes. They shared about the ways in which people from around the world are deceived, enslaved and sexually exploited for profit here in our very own city of Stockholm. And they also shared stories of hope, of women that have been restored and liberated after a time of care and therapy. How God transformed their lives and started something new.
It is difficult to open our eyes and ears to this reality, to learn about the ugliness, the evil that happens around us. But as Christians, as humans, we cannot pretend that it is not there. Because God sees it. And He wants us to partner with him to bring about change.
“To be alive is to join God in caring about the oppressed, the needy, the powerless, the victims and the vulnerable. To be alive is to believe that injustice is not sustainable and to share God’s desire for a better world.” (from Brian D. McLaren’s We make the road by walking.)
When we see the tremendous suffering and need in our world, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. We tend to join Moses in saying: “Who am I, God?” We doubt our ability to do anything about it and we are hesitant to leave our comfort and to step out. But the only thing that God asks from us is to be available. To obey when He moves our hearts and to trust that He will equip us for the task.
When you look at injustices in our world, what is your heart moved by?