In all honesty I haven't thought much of slavery since US History in high school and the end of the Civil War chapter (that I'm sure I studied very thoroughly being such a responsible student).
Anyway, to learn almost a year ago that there are 27 million slaves in the world STILL shook me. Let's just look at how many zeroes that is: 27,000,000.
Just over 2 million people live in Houston. So imagine Houston times 13, every person is a slave and that is how many slaves there are world wide. As you sit in traffic on 610 that sea of cars represents just a sliver of those trapped in slavery. As you look at the packed out Minute Maid Park... oh wait, no that analogy doesn't work. (Sorry, I couldn't help myself.)
I learned the stat of 27 million slaves a year ago. I even watched an amazing documentary that showed you very raw footage of women stuck in brothels. If I were totally honest, I had never once really considered that those involved in prostitution had ever been coerced into it. I had judged. Judged that they did it for money or drugs or attention. Never once had I considered that they hadn't a choice. Or that the deception of the industry was so intoxicating. I was wrong. They were slaves too. And instead of helping, I sat back, like the Pharisees of the Bible, and judged.
I saw their faces and heard their stories a year ago. And I've done nothing since.
Every so often I've ask myself, "Why? Why are you still doing nothing?"
One of the answer is that I was intimidated by all those zeroes. So I kept right on in the busyness of my life. Still doing good elsewhere and getting things done that had to be done. But ignoring the 27 million that are too silenced by their oppressors to be able to ask for help.
What could I possibly do to make a dent in a number like 27 million when I can't even get simple tasks done like clean the toilets and meal plan? So I did nothing.
This past Sunday our church, that we are just crazy for and you are invited to come any time with us, Bayou City Fellowship (BCF) challenged us to do something. Our pastor, Curtis Jones, said something that I quickly wrote down: "Let's make a dent this year... a measurable decrease." They gave us some tips and I want to share them with you. Some times we just need a starting place. As we do something our purpose and vision will grow from there. Here are the tips shared by BCF:
+Join the movement at enditmovement.com. Great resource to educate yourself!
+See where slavery happens by taking a van tour. Houstonians contact Elijah Rising or BCF for details.
+Discover your slavery footprint at slaveryfootprint.org.
+Write your elected officials. To contact your senator, click here. To contact your representative, click here. This is easy and can be as simple and short as, "Dear ____, there are 27 million slaves in the world. I just want you to know that I care about this issue and thought you should too. Please use your vote and voice to end slavery." Feel free to add more. But we need them to know this issue is important and we need their help to end slavery.
+Look for signs of slavery in your city. Go to polarisproject.org.
+Pray. Sometimes we think this isn't enough because it's not really doing something. The only One that can redeem the mess we've made of this earth is the Creator. Call out to him on behalf of the 27 million.
Before I close this post out, I have to say that starting some of these things has been so sweet for me. And it's been sweeter to get to share this movement with my girls today. I've been so filled with tears today because of a few more facts:
Of the 27 million stuck in slavery, 50% are children.
Of the 27 million stuck in slavery, 80% are female.
Of the 27 million stuck in slavery, 1/3 come through Houston, TX (my hometown).
So when I look into those blue eyes of my girls today I can't help but to want to sob and hold them as close as I can. Because it could be them. And there are girls JUST LIKE THEM that don't have me and Chris fighting for their protection and pouring love all over them daily.