According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, 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

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

IJM - A Christmas Pledge for Children of Slavery

This Christmas, Counter the Lies of Slave Owners

A message from IJM President Gary Haugen
December 2011


A year after her rescue, Malavika is vibrant and full of life.
A year after her rescue, Malavika is vibrant and full of life.
 
 
 
Give to IJM
Last fall, Malavika was five years old – the age my own daughters started school. But Malavika was spending each day as she had the one before: sitting on the hard dirt next to her mother, helping to crush rocks, as her father carried massive stones out of a deep pit. Though she was young, Malavika knew enough to understand her home – a remote and massive granite quarry – was a terrible place.
 
Malavika’s parents were slaves. The fabric of her childhood was a cycle of abuse, pain, work and need. It was hearing the vulgar shouts of the owner and his henchmen berating the labourers and threatening to sexually assault the women. It was her father’s bloodied face after the owner kicked him in the head over and over again for the ‘crime’ of being too sick to work. It was sleeping in a shack guarded by one of the owner’s thugs. It was never leaving the quarry.
 
Malavika didn’t wish for freedom – because Malavika had no idea what freedom was like. But her parents did. They grieved that their precious daughter and her little brother were growing up in this terrible place. The owner made it clear just how worthless, how expendable they were to him. He had even reserved a plot of land for graves for labourers who died. He often told the two dozen slaves in the quarry that if they didn’t work, he would put them there. At least one man was buried already.
But, try as he might to pretend that little girls like Malavika and men and women like her parents didn’t matter, their owner was wrong. He had enslaved people created in the very image of God. People of infinite value.


More than 20 slaves were held in this granite quarry.  Children like Malavika we
Last year, this was Malavika's entire world: More than 20 slaves were held in this granite quarry. Children like Malavika were forced to work to help their parents.At this time last year, my IJM colleagues in India had just discovered the brutal prison in which Malavika was spending her childhood.

On December 1, 2010, the reality that she and her family were indeed of very great worth became apparent to the man who had enslaved them. In a coordinated operation, IJM and the local government freed the families enslaved in the quarry. The owner who had spent the past five years tormenting these children, women and men was placed under arrest. Gloriously, Malavika’s family left forever the place where they had known so much pain.


On December 1, 2010, everything changed:  The oppression at the quarry came to
On December 1, 2010, everything changed: The oppression at the quarry came to an end through an IJM-supported rescue operation. Malavika and her family were freed.
 
Today, Malavika doesn’t have to see her parents bowed down and assaulted. They are free: Her mother, Sharadha, hopes to become a teacher, and her father, Madesh, works as a guard. Malavika is in school. She loves math, and she says her favorite games are “running and catching.” When you talk to her, it’s impossible not to see how very full of life she is. Her mother hopes that someday, her daughter will grow up to be a teacher; for her part, Malavika wants to be a doctor.

Theirs is now the story of a family leading an ordinary, dignified life together. It is not a complicated story, but it is a good one.

As Christmas approaches, we remember another story – that our Maker placed on each of us such great value that he sent his own son into this world. The slave-owners and thugs and tyrants are wrong – and terribly so. There are no worthless people. And at Christmas, we are reminded of this truth forcefully. In the grand story, you matter. We matter. Little girls like Malavika matter.

But even now, other families like Malavika’s toil in slavery, told in word and deed that they are forgotten, worthless. This Christmas, let’s proclaim the truth that those who wait for rescue matter. Will you help us continue the work of rescue with a year-end financial gift?

With deep gratitude for your partnership and wishes for a joyous Christmas season,


Gary Haugen's signature

Gary A. Haugen
President and CEO, International Justice Mission



The pictures of newspapers covering the rescue The operation made front-page n
Today, instead of helping her parents work in a rock quarry, she's dreaming of a career as a doctor when she grows up.