As I pondered and meditated on that scripture, the reference to the poor and the brokenhearted made sense. When on the mission field you encounter the poor and brokenhearted.
However, the captives and those who are bound? I wondered, am I to go into penitentiaries? I had been a part of the prison ministry at church. I've been to the jails and prison facilities involved in ministering to women who desperately need forgiveness, hope and love. Was I to resume doing that? The more I sought an answer the more shocked and yes, even terrified I became.
Human trafficking ... Really?
Why was it that I began to notice more and more the women that walked on the sidewalk near motels? Why was it that I began to see news reports about undercover investigations abroad of children being taken into the sex slave trade? Is it just a coincidence that I reside in the main human trafficking corridor in America?
I didn't have a clear understanding of my part in it but I knew it was beyond just being aware and praying for God to move in the lives of the millions affected by human trafficking. Wasn't the enslavement of Africans for 400 years in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world the end of any human trafficking? Hadn't we made strides toward understanding that enslaving others was not the way the world should function?
At first, I was terrified and only worst case scenarios entered my mind. Why me? I knew virtually nothing about it and I certainly had no suggestions as to how to combat it. I cannot explain how I came to the release of, "not my will but yours be done" but I did. I began to educate myself and pray ... and pray harder.
January is human trafficking awareness month and January 11, 2015 is human trafficking awareness day. This month I am going to look at some scenarios and cases of human trafficking that I hope will open your eyes, if they are not already open, and prompt you to pray and ask God about what your response should be.
Will we read reports, shake our heads, and say, "What a shame", yet continue to live our lives without being affected? Or, do we choose to be bold even in our fear and ask God to show us what we can specifically do? His answer to each of us will be different. Not all of us are called to act in this area but I am sure we are all called to pray. "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" is a really great start.
Perhaps you and your family will research the countries that are known to be the most egregious offenders in human trafficking and you will pray for change via actions by their security forces and politicians so that laws are upheld and justice will be served. You can most certainly pray for God to reveal himself to the victims and let them know that even in their captivity He is with them and working on their behalf. Then there are those of us who are told to "go" - to actively do something and we must pray for wisdom and our specific steps and only be led by the Holy Spirit.
Regardless, it is my earnest prayer that you will be affected - that you can't go on being the same. That your heart will cry out for the victims and you will, at the very least, remember that there are victims and you will regularly pray for them.
Will you please journey with me this month?
Just Around the Corner,