Thursday, October 05, 2006

Session 4: Gary Haugen

The final session of the day featured Gary Haugen, of International Justice Mission. I am familiar with them through our involvement with Hillside Church, who supported IJM. He began by saying that one of the saddest things in life is to realize you’ve been on a trip but have missed out on the adventure. He shared about a time when he was ten years old and was on a trip with his father and older brothers. They wanted to climb a mountain together, but because Gary was scared, he backed out and instead spent the day in the visitor’s center (not something you’d allow your ten-year old to do today).

He then spent the rest of the time sharing about the adventure they’ve been involved in, fighting injustice all over the world. He said that we don’t really understand true injustice. To us, injustice is being in the express checkout lane at the grocery store, and seeing someone in front of you with two more items than they are supposed to have. True injustice deals with an abuse of power. It is taking from a person that which God wants them to have. I encourage you to go to their site and learn more about this amazing ministry. They work to free slaves in parts of the world where slavery is illegal. He said that 27 million slaves, many of them children, are held illegally in the world. They also work to free children who have been forced to become sex slaves. He said that one million children, some as young as five years old, are forced into this type of slavery every year.

The question that must then be asked is: “What does God think about injustice?” The Bible makes it perfectly clear that God hates injustice, and that it is His desire to bring justice to the poor and oppressed. The next logical question is, “What is God doing about it?” “Does He have a plan?” He certainly does, and that plan is Us. We are the only plan. There is no Plan B.

We will continue discussing this as a team. We feel that this is a critical question for us, certainly for us as Christ-followers, but also for us as missionaries in our neighborhood. I believe that people are just waiting to see us become the light of the world in areas such as this. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that have no interest in our churches. More to come on this subject later.

That wraps up Day 1.

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