Shining a Light on Slavery #EndIt
By Naomi Zacharias
Today is the call from End it Movement to shine a light on the modern day tragedy of human slavery. We are so proud today of our friends at Bombay Teen Challenge, a coalition partner for the movement, as they tirelessly advocate for justice for women and children in sex slavery. We are reminded of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” May our fight be guided by truth, justice, and love.
At Wellspring, one of the issues we are often called to address is the understandable call and hope for abolition. When we hear estimates of 25 million people in modern day slavery, something in us rises up against such injustice. It is a God-given sense of what ought to be, and a very part of what I believe we were created to do–to advocate for justice, and for an other.
It has its rightful place, and it calls us to remember what ought to be and to stop at nothing less. But it also holds a great challenge. We want to see these compelling numbers of global change. NGOs feel a pressure to report mind-blowing statistics of all they have accomplished for fear they will lose support or appear insignificant.
Yet with the rise in awareness and global funding, we have continued to see a rise in human trafficking. The reasons are many: though we oppose trafficking, secular culture often encourages the ideology of commodification and objectification of sexuality and of women, specifically. We continue to learn that aftercare is as complicated as it is critical. And ultimately, trafficking–like war-related crimes, domestic violence, hunger, illness, poverty… each of things speak to the limitations of a broken world. As Dr. King said during his tremendous call for civil rights, “We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”
So should we give up? Absolutely not. We have a moral obligation as human beings, a grand command and privilege as follows of Christ to advocate for those who are vulnerable, exploited, abused or brokenhearted.
We have been somewhat conditioned to measure success in numbers, we want to be able to report that all brought out of sex trafficking stay out. But as one man explained to me, “This is not that kind of work; you don’t see numbers like that here. But it matters for the one. It is worth it for the one.”
RZIM Wellspring International boldly shines a light on modern day slavery today and stands for men, women, and children whose personhood stands violated. May we never lose sight of the one. May we continue the fight, for all.