“The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;” Isaiah 61:1
Twenty-seven million slaves exist in our world today, more than at the time of the Civil War. Perhaps one of the greatest moral callings of our time is to rise up against injustice and defeat human trafficking. Because God’s heart breaks over this tragedy, ours should too.
It was about five years ago now that I first heard of human trafficking. Education and awareness of this injustice has changed my life forever. There are few things that my heart beats more passionately for. One of my best friends was doing missions work in Thailand, and she kept all of her friends and family updated with her blog that she posted to regularly. I remember reading her account of her time spent there, ministering to young girls in the bars of Bangkok, sex slaves rented out by the hour for a little as a few dollars. I couldn’t believe this was actually happening, and it enraged me to think of what man is capable of. As I began to process all that I was learning, another close friend encouraged me to read the book Not For Sale. She forewarned me that it would be a difficult read but a necessary one. And a difficult read it was.
The book goes into graphic detail of the varying types of slavery that exist in our world today, and there were times when I had to put the book down and pray. There were times when tears streamed down my face while reading the painful stories of some who had been exploited, abused, and discarded. The book addresses the tragedies of the sex slave trade around the world, even existing in our own backyard. It educates and brings awareness to the child soldiers in Uganda. It exposes the evil of bonded laborers in South Asia. It’s painful to read, but it’s necessary. How long will we turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the pain and suffering of our brothers and sisters? How can we claim the name of Jesus Christ and not care about the things He cares about, which are people?
One of the hardest things about reading this book was not hearing the horrendous stories, believe it or not. The hardest part was realizing my responsibility to be a part of the solution. With knowledge comes responsibility, obligation even. How could I know all of this and not do anything about it? Perhaps that is why we choose ignorance, because it makes us feel better about the lives we lead and knowing would be far too unsettling. Or would it? Could knowledge and awareness of such injustice actually stir within us a desire to be more like Jesus, to be His hands and feet? Would we be moved to action with a sense of urgency to bring freedom to the captive and release from darkness for the prisoner? Because, that is exactly what Jesus came to accomplish, and He calls us to follow in His footsteps. I urge you to pick up this book, read it, allow yourself to be utterly broken over it, and then let God lead you to action in whatever way He sees fit. Don’t be afraid of His calling.