Saturday, September 21, 2019

Join Us Today, 9/21/19, for International Justice Mission Freedom Weekend: Continuing the Fight to End Slavery

Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public. + Cornel West

Join us this Saturday, September 21, 4-5:15 p.m. for our International Justice Mission Freedom Weekend Mass at the Fusion Center, 30 Tyler Prentice Rd. featuring welcome, homily on Matthew 9:27-38Eucharist, and songs including All the Poor and PowerlessHeal UsBreak Every Chain | Fill Me Up Medley, Surrounded (Fight My Battles), and The Kingdom Is Yours 

I was introduced to International Justice Mission (IJM), the largest international anti-slavery organization in the world, back when I was in college nearly twenty years ago. I had friends that served as interns with IJM who went to Duke Law and UNC Law, and I have continued to follow the organization's development as the years go on.

Emmaus City Church is an IJM Freedom Partner church and we cannot speak highly enough for all that God has done through IJM to bring justice to countries around the world. Check out their How We Work and Where We Work pages for more of their story.

And their numbers speak for themselves.

Below are links to three videos, with the scripts below the videos, that provide an introduction to IJM.

I hope you join with me in beginning to see that justice is possible in our often bankrupt world, and that whatever part we play, it can be significant when one life is saved.

| 1 | International Justice Mission (IJM): Fighting to End Slavery (3:45 minutes) 

Video Script: We have operations all over the world, rescuing people from slavery. Because today there are criminals who abuse children, sell girls, and force families into slavery.

Criminals prey on the easiest target: the world's poor because they expect no one to defend them.

But today, there are thousands of people gathering to seek justice for those in slavery. We are a group of lawyers, counselors, activists, and supporters.

We are called International Justice Mission.

And together, we form the largest international anti-slavery organization in the world. 

But slavery won't come to an end until criminals know they can't get away with it. So we partner with local police to arrest and prosecute criminals. This sends a message to slave owners: we will not go away. 

We stay with the survivors until they are healed, until they are free. 

Each year we rescue thousands of slaves and protect millions around the world. We are transforming how justice systems protect their citizens. 

To those who are still enslaved, we promise to find you. We will get you home to your families so you can have the freedom you deserve.

Slavery still exists.

Together we can end slavery.

| 2 |  International Justice Mission (IJM) Spoken Word: Justice Video (2:51 minutes)

Video Script: In the beginning, God created people and gave them power to do good for others. To work, to create, to build. To make the whole earth good. To imagine new combinations of color and flavor and rhythm. To keep singing the song of creation. 

Until we made other plans. 

We ripped up God's song and replaced it with towers, cars, i-Phones, selfies, and organic kale. And when those weren't enough, we sold our own people to pay for more. We changed the song.

But the Creator had a new melody, a Musician to write the next verse. The first note was death, but the next line was freedom. A chorus of restoration and healing. 

Freedom from brokenness. Restoration to holiness. And the song continues to be sung by engineers, doctors, lawyers, managers, educators, artists, post-graduates and no graduates. 

People from every field, every nation, every race to lead God's melody and stand up for the broken.

Anyone will stand for a minute. But do you know what makes a leader? A leader keeps standing. A leader won't bend. She shows up to a meeting when only four people attend and keeps believing when people stop tweeting the trend. 

A leader pushes forward when everyone else pulls back. For the hill is steep and the path is lonely. But whatever it takes, she's running the race. When the lights go down and everyone is gone, she's still there.

She won't quit. She can't walk away. She is a leader and justice is her melody. 

And eventually a few notice. A few more start to believe. Two people become six who find eight more and the movement has begun. 

The work of justice is long, but the people who lead it are the ones who just won't quit. 

Together, we will raise our voice for the broken. We will join the music. We will sing the song of freedom. We will not be silent.

Video Script: He puts the ninety-nine in the pen and He goes after and searches for the lost sheep until He finds it.

As He's very particular with that language. He goes after the sheep until He finds it.

That just shows the relentlessness of our Father.

What we do at IJM is we go look for that lost sheep, that girl that's being abused. And we will search for her until we find her. 

That's how our Father has loved us. That's how we're called to love others. Not to search for them until we've satisfied ourselves. Not to search for them until it gets really hard. But to go after them until we find them.

To be relentless in our love for those who are abused, for those that are oppressed, for those that are being held down. 

There are over 35 million people lost to slavery. Together we can end slavery. 

P.S. Click on the pictures or links below to watch actual stories of those who have been rescued from slavery.

| 1 | IJM: Grace's Story (6:37 minutes)

| 2 | IJM: Operation Gideon (2:51 minutes)

| 3 | IJM: Griselda's Story (3:55 minutes)

| 4 | IJM: Joseph's Story (5:39 minutes)

Christ is all,

Rev. Mike "Sully" Sullivan

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