Thursday, January 5, 2012

For the 27 Million

Did you know that over 27 million people are living enslaved in the world right now?

IN 2012.

What do you do with that?? I honestly don't know. Here is what I do know—each of those 27 million matter. They are someone’s daughter, sister, brother, father, son, friend, aunt. Each of these individuals were created in the image of God—they matter to Him.

This year, Passion 2012 has begun to peel back the curtain and allow 40,000+ college students to see the reality of modern day slavery. In the span of just 72 hours, these broke college kids have given over THREE MILLION DOLLARS to fight the enslavement of brothers and sisters from the city of Atlanta (where the conference is being held) to the ends of the earth.

Louie Giglio, John Piper, Beth Moore, Francis Chan, and Christine Cain are coming alongside Hillsong, Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, and Lacrae to bring Truth from God’s word and time to worship and praise His glorious name. This is the first year I have not gotten to be at Passion in real life, but I have been blessed to watch it all via simulcast this week and the Lord seems to be breaking my heart for His enslaved children all over again.

Praise Him, that He would give me a hope and a future beyond my past—oh, I do not deserve it. And He will do the same for them.

As I have been listening to these men and women speak the Truth which has been placed upon their hearts, I consistently see a theme which is this:  who am I, that HE would CHOSE ME?? And yet, in His floods of grace and mercy, He has done exactly that. He has called each of us to proclaim with boldness the Truth that sets the captives free. And yes, that was us—that was me—apart from Him, that still is ME.

The line between us and them is getting slimmer and slimmer for me. The line between the 27 million and myself, that is.

This week the reality of slavery has resonated in my heart deeply. Lord, why not me? Why was I born in America, in the land of the free? Why was I not sold for money as a little girl? Why did you guard my life in such a manner? Why am I able to afford an education? Why do I have freedom to follow after you?

This week, my “daughter” has gotten to come home with me to St. Louis. As we have spent lots of time with my family and friends, there have been many questions she must answer over and over again. The fact that she is from South Korea has consistently brought up questions and discussion about the recent death of the dictator in North Korea. It was through these conversations I realized just how real this 27 million really is.

Sometimes, I think it is easier to ignore the world outside of my own (which has enough problems of its own) then to even attempt to rationalize the enslavement across the ocean.

In North Korea, men, women and children are starving to death. If a man or woman does not express their deepest sorrow at the loss of their dictator by shedding tears, they will be imprisoned. There is no way out—they cannot escape the borders of the land. Not by place, train, car or even by foot. From edge to edge, they are walled in. Women and children are being sold into the trafficking ring for $40 so that their families will not starve. In fact, women are selling themselves—selling their bodies for food. Over 80% of North Korean refugees are victims of human trafficking in China. There is no option to worship freely—men and women must raise their children to place all of their hope in a man on a throne, a sinner at that. All of their hope is in a man who busies himself with training up an army while his own people are being bought and sold, oppressed, and dying of hunger. My brain begins to shut off. Then it hits me—

Had my precious, beautiful “daughter” been born merely an hour north, this would be her that we are talking about. Starving. Selling her body night after night. Sold for a few dollars. Unable to escape. Hopeful in a fallen humanity. Enslaved. A matter of minutes difference, and this would have been her. All of a sudden, the oppressed people of North Korea are not so distant and no longer can I ignore their enslavement.

The 27 million people enslaved in our world today are not just a number we read about—she is someone’s daughter, of great worth in the eyes of our heavenly Daddy.

So now do we even begin to combat the enslavement of 27 million??

I don't kow. I am wrestling through that myself.

However, of this I am sure:
"Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." -Ephesians 5:14


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