Tuesday, March 29, 2011

27 million most terrifying secrets

Just an hour ago, I finished watching a documentary entitled "Call + Response." I was thrilled to hear about the screening on ACU's campus since I'm passionate about its cause and have been wanting to see this film for over the past year.

In case you've never heard of Call + Response, you should definitely check out the website or a trailer for the film, but to summarize it far too quickly, it's a film and a movement to end modern-day slavery.

That's right, slavery. You thought that ended 150 years ago, right? When the North won the Civil War? Not so much. That's actually only one very limited (though of course lamentable!) expression of slavery.

Believe it or not, there are actually more slaves today than at any other time in human history. Forced labor, forced prostitution (often of CHILDREN!), debt bondage, child soldiers... The twisted schemes of slave traders are overwhelming. Over 27 million people are enslaved worldwide at this very moment. And 80% of them are women and children. And in 2009, slave traders made more than eight times the UN's entire budget -- yes, 8 times what the United Nations spends!

Find it hard to believe? Check out the US State Department's annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. You'll be astounded. And disgusted. And grieved.

Or at least I hope you will be.

Because that astonishment, that disgust, that grief... that is the beginning of a change.

(More to come soon...)

Monday, March 21, 2011

praise God from whom all blessings flow

Well, I must say that it's sad that my first post of 2011 doesn't come until March is nearly over. It's also sad that it's not going to be a long or particularly eloquent one. All sadness aside, however, I just wanted to share quickly a few things that I am thankful for.

It's wonderful to be a part of the most amazing community of roommates and friends here in Abilene that truly make this home. Whether it's an excellent dinner of beans and rice prepared by Rosten, or an evening of communal discernment around an important life moment, or finally finishing the Lord of the Rings movie "marathon" we started a month ago, there's always something to appreciate about this family I'm a part of.

And over the past two days or so, I've been experiencing the wonderful blessing of God-given joy. There's nothing in particular different about what's been going on in my life recently, but I've noticed for the past couple of days that I have more lightness and yet more substantive goodness in my heart and in my attitudes toward life and other people. It can't have come from anywhere but God, and I can't help but say thanks.

Anyway, it's time for me to be off to bed. My prayer for you tonight is that you may also experience the blessing of community and the blessing of the joy of the Spirit of God in your life!