According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

IJM Rescue Operation featured in the New York Times

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Nicholas Kristof accompanied IJM and local authorities on a rescue operation at a Kolkata brothel. After entering the site to locate one girl, Nicholas, law enforcement and the IJM team "emerged from the brothel with five lives that had just been transformed."

What happens next? Answers to readers’ most common questions:
Kolkata red-light district
What happens to the girls and women now?
After girls and trafficked women are rescued, IJM’s in-country social workers partner with local aftercare organizations on the ground to secure shelter, medical care, psychological assistance, and schooling or job training. IJM social workers will continue to provide support to help ensure that these survivors do not become vulnerable to being re-trafficked.

What happens to the perpetrators?

In this case, one pimp has been arrested, and warrants have been issued for two more. Holding perpetrators accountable is absolutely critical to both protect their victims and to create a deterrent will stop others from committing the same crimes. In IJM’s work around the world, we have seen that even a small number of significant arrests and convictions can have a major effect on the behavior of would-be perpetrators.

Currently, there are approximately 100 suspects facing charges for trafficking crimes in Kolkata as a result of IJM-supported operations. In 2009, 9 traffickers and pimps were convicted for their crimes in Kolkata in IJM-supported cases.

Can rescuing individual victims really make a difference?

While the rescue of each survivor obviously makes a difference for her, IJM’s mission is to transform entire communities so that vulnerable people are protected from abuse through their justice systems. We pursue this transformation by using what we learn in each individual operation to partner with local governments, communities, NGOs and other major stakeholders to pursue training, capacity building and other critical changes. We are seeing incredible proof that this strategy is actually working – including a stunning 79% decrease in the number of minors available for commercial sexual exploitation in metro Cebu, the Philippines after four years of IJM work there. Learn more.

What's the role of the local authorities in this kind of operation?

Local governments – including law enforcement – have the only legitimate authority to conduct such an operation. Engagement with law enforcement is the best and only sustainable way to protect victims and apprehend perpetrators of sex trafficking. It is a strategy supported by virtually every credible anti-trafficking organization – including UN agencies, NGOs and responsible governments.

Who actually conducts these operations? Locals? Foreigners?

IJM staff are locals – more than 90% of IJM staff worldwide are nationals of the countries in which they work, including the Kolkata-based staff who conducted this operation. IJM is building the world’s largest indigenous force of justice professionals – sensitive to the needs of their own communities.

Is there a way I can hear about other rescue operations?

Last year alone, more than 800 people were freed from sex trafficking and forced labor slavery in IJM operations. Don’t miss out on breaking news: You can get the latest updates on IJM rescues, convictions and arrests with our free mobile app, available on all smartphones and optimized for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone, or by following us on Twitter @IJMHQ.

Is there a way I can help make more rescues happen -- and support aftercare for girls like these?

Absolutely – your financial support is vital in making the work of rescue and aftercare possible.

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