Monday, January 28, 2013

How many slaves do you own?

Currently I own 43 slaves.  Shocked!  So was I when I took a simple online survey that ascertained it takes 43 people working in forced labor to enable me to live as I do.  And living in the capital city of Nairobi I live pretty much like many of you.  It was a simple survey asking me questions about what electronics I use, what I eat, what's in my closet, etc.  There is so much we don't realize about what we buy and the way we live.  Did you know that some of the metals in your electronics devices are mined through forced labor?  Forced labor is a politically correct way of saying slavery.

And you thought slavery was dead?!  Read this article to find out it isn't so.

There seems to be a bit of talk on the issue of slavery right now with the movie "Lincoln" up for twelve Academy Awards.  On January 1st the sesquincentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation was celebrated.  Some of you may be foggy on exactly how far back a sesquincentennial goes.  It's a 150 year remembrance.  One hundred fifty years and four weeks ago the United States of America began the dismantlement of slavery.  It didn't happen overnight, that's for sure.

Worldwide the problem of slavery, or the politically correct way to say it these days - trafficing in persons, is real and growing.  That's unfathomable!  I'm reading a book right now that is opening my eyes to all kinds of horrors that I thought were saved for the realm of fiction.  To learn more read Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn's book, Half the Sky.

Nineteen months ago on July 9th, 2011 South Sudan gained their independence after a decades long war with northern Sudan.  For years the South Sudanese felt enslaved by the Arab north.  But today many question whether the South Sudanese are actually free.  Many aspects of their culture still enslave them.  

And that is why World Gospel Mission is in South Sudan.  ". . . to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed." Luke 4:18

It's not just the South Sudanese who are oppressed.  I have my own set of behaviors and beliefs that rob me of freedom in Christ.  Probably different from what is preventing the South Sudanese from experiencing all that God has for them.   But as we recognize our weaknesses together and ask God to help us break free from those strongholds - He will do it!

This year has started off with a flurry of activity.  Activity is good.  But I am convinced that it will only be a flurry of activity and not activity that transforms unless it's covered in prayer.  Please pray with our team and for those we minister with and alongside.  We want to break free from all that is holding us back from becoming all that Jesus has for us.  We want to be freely used for His Kingdom.  

Please pray for current and upcoming activities:

1.  Surgery clinic going on at Memorial Christian Hospital, Werkok until February 1st.

Surgery Team: Philip Langat, Dr. Russ White, and Dr. Elijah Mwaura headed to the airport

2.  Community Health Evangelism training in Werkok from February 2 through 7.  This is the first week of training in this community.  Pray as community members are being selected to attend.  Our goal is that they will be great trainers and role models in their communities.

3.  On January 31st I am headed to Werkok with another volunteer.  We'll get to see the start of CHE training then we'll head to northwestern South Sudan where we'll visit Kenya Africa Gospel Church missionaries, Brian and Debbie Mutai - longtime friends, to plan for ways we can partner together this coming year.

Debbie Mutai loving on a Dinka toddler during a trip several years ago. 

Brian Mutai 

4.  In March we have a Biblical Storytelling seminar planned in Tonj along with a follow-up CHE training.

"For those who insist they would have been abolitionists during the Civil War, now is the chance to become one." (Louis P. Maseur)  

What is Jesus asking you to do this year to free the oppressed children, women, and men in the world today? 

Maybe one of my New Years resolutions should be to live more simply in order to cut down on the number of slaves that I own!  How many slaves did you say you own?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Joy! I am usually a silent reader, but I had to comment today:) I took that same quiz awhile ago and it was so disturbing to see how connected I am to slavery. I have really been making an effort to buy fair trade when I can (there are some great online stores that sell goods made by former slaves and vulnerable people). I read "Half the Sky" as well and was definitely informed and moved...I believe as Christians we can be at the forefront of helping abolish modern day slavery. It is encouraging and challenging to hear other people like yourself move in that direction.