"CHENNAI, INDIA - In a stunning rescue operation that began yesterday and stretched into this morning, IJM helped local authorities rescue 273 people from lives of slavery in two brick factories.
The operation – IJM's second-largest ever – began Monday with an urgent phone call from a government official who had just learned about a brick factory where several families were allegedly held as slaves. IJM staff immediately moved to action, securing contact with some of the laborers in the facility and confirming that they and their families had been exploited in the facility."
This is the opening paragraph of the one of the latest news story from International Justice Mission, the non-profit organization that I will be working for this summer as a legal intern in their field office in Kigali, Rwanda. As you can discern from just that one paragraph (and hopefully you watched the inspiring video), they do really outstanding work. Two Pepperdine Law students are working for IJM this summer, me in Kigali and Joe Spano (who posted below) will be in Chennai, India - he arrived the day the above news happened! This post is intended to build on what Joe wrote.
The mission is to rescue thousands, protect millions and PROVE that justice for the poor is possible.
What a lofty task! I learned about IJM many years ago when I watched NBC Dateline as the team rescued girls from a brothel in Cambodia (some footage featured in the above video). Combining my love for mission work with my desire to pursue a legal career in international human rights, IJM has been my dream job for quite some time, and I am beyond blessed to be part of their great work. I want to urge you to spend some time exploring their website and reading more about their work, the story of the organization and the founder. I have included many links at the end of this post.
On the first day of Orientation at headquarters in Washington, D.C., all the new interns, fellows and incoming staff sat around at tables listening to the founder of IJM, Gary Houghen speak on the Spiritual Foundations of the organization. What a calling we have as Christians to go out into the world and live out God's vision for a just world. Throughout the week as I prepared mentally for my nine weeks in Rwanda, I kept returning to the passage we discussed on that first day: Exodus 3:7-12.
"The LORD said, 'I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Gyptians and to bring them up OUT OF THAT LAND into a GOOD AND SPACIOUS LAND, a land flowing with MILK AND HONEY... And now the cry to the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. SO NOW GO. I am sending YOU to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.'
But Moses said to God, 'Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?'
And God said, 'I WILL BE WITH YOU. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.'"
As God called Moses to be His instrument in bringing the Israelites out of oppression in Egypt, you and I are also called to join in the fight against injustice. I invite you to read along with me and the other Pepperdine students international this summer, but more importantly, I beg you to join in the movement to fight for justice for the poor.
READ the rest of the story first mentioned in the post, and stay up to date on the absolute LATEST breaking stories at www.ijm.org/news
PRAY. Pray A LOT. Pray for safety for the IJM staff working in one of the SIXTEEN field offices across the world, the investigators who are putting their lives at risk to investigate these crimes, those furiously working on how to structurally transform these communities, the victims who are waiting to be rescued and the victims who are trying to restore their lives.
Become a PRAYER PARTNER here: http://www.ijm.org/get-involved/prayer-partner
LEARN. Inform yourself. Spend some quality time exploring the links, factsheets, stories on this page: http://www.ijm.org/resources#factsheets
Here's how IJM accomplishes its mission: http://www.ijm.org/our-work/what-we-do
About the work IJM is doing in AFRICA: http://www.ijm.org/our-work/africa
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/
BE INSPIRED by reading about these incredible leaders: http://www.ijm.org/who-we-are/leadership
WATCH more videos like the one above here: http://www.youtube.com/user/intljusticemission/videos
CONTRIBUTE to the movement by telling someone else about what you learn and SHARE with your networks these great stories waiting to be told to ignite someone else to action. Like IJM on Facebook, subscribe to their emails, stay engaged and tell anyone who is willing to listen.
PRAY some more.
pIf God used a burning bush to get Moses' attention, what has He already done to capture yours?