We had a director of operations for IJM come and talk to us this week about what they are doing and how we can partner with them. He told some pretty unbelievable stories about raids they have done to rescue girls out of brothels in Thailand and prosecutions they have made on slave owners in India (yes, there are still slaves... in fact, more people are in slavery right now that over the entire course of the trans-Atlantic slave trade).
Their work is victim relief (retrieve and rescue the victim), prosecutor accountability (sadly this is not taking place with many justice systems), victim aftercare (make sure they are equipped to rebuild their lives, spiritually, economically, and physically), and structural transformation (helping to get justice back in the justice system). He started to get a little choked up when he talked about this last aim. He said, "It's great to be able to rescue a young girl out of a brothel and say 'You are free. You will be restored.' but would that we could say to her 'This never happened to you!' "
We long for the day of justice. We long for these ugly things to never happen. We believe God deeply cares about justice... and thus we believe that he calls us to care deeply about it too. Andrew and I are thinking and praying through what this call means for us at Southern Miss so that we can have a response to this verse:
Isaiah 58: 6-7: “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter? When you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?