Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Numbers


From an article in this month’s Radiant Magazine, by Sara Groves:
“It was the work of International Justice Mission – a collection of lawyers, criminal investigators and other professional staff who take on causes of violent abuse, sexual exploitation, slavery and other forms of oppression around the world – that made it clear to me that abstract numbers are made up of individuals. In some cases, IJM staff work for years to secure freedom for one individual, while in other cases, it only takes a small intervention for justice to be served for many. Either way, they work consistently in the face of overwhelming numbers.

There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today. One million new women and children are trafficked each year. In an essay titled ‘The One,’ Sharon Cohn, vice president of interventions at IJM, writes about Simla, a young girl who was kidnapped and forced to work in a brothel at 14. Given the numbers, Cohn asks, ‘So why do I want to write you about her? Simla’s story is not unique, except that, of course, it is. It is unique to Simla. She has plans and dreams just like you and I.’

But Cohn concludes: ‘Not only is each victim the one, but we likewise can be the one. The one called, the one listening, the one willing, the one sent to bring freedom and justice to innocent ones who are suffering. Being overwhelmed by the numbers is an indulgence the oppressed can ill afford.’”
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3 comments:

John Lynch said...

I want to be "the one" right now. I don't want to wait until this summer. What can I do? I'm ready.

David said...

We have hooked up with them and I had a chance to talk with them at the Youth Specialities Conference in Anaheim after hearing Gary (oh man his last name just escaped me - the founder) speak at a church in Boulder.
It was awesome.
We wanna get a more formal relationship started with them as far as begining a campus organization and the like, but just haven't had the logistics to break in in that area yet.
But if you can hook up with them in anyway, please do. They have a unique and amazing organization that is so needed.
Gary Haugan (sp? but I got the name anyway!) says that we are the vessels to show the suffering that God is good. There is no one else.

Adam Gonnerman said...

The numbers are overwhelming, but on the other hand, "be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58 NRSV). There are some excellent ministries working for justice, and I'm encouraged that people like Anderson Cooper and others put the spotlight on this issues. I only wish more Christians in the U.S. were involved. Perhaps our efforts for peace and justice would lend more credence to the message we preach than our wrangling over evolution in our public schools.