So I’m clearing out the blog cobwebs to share some exciting news from my world. There’s no denying that it’s been a heck of a transition to this new life. I haven’t written much at all this year, but that’s a post coming soon. However, this was a really good reason to dust off the blog & get something written.
Yesterday was one of my most exciting days at IJM thus far. There have definitely been some amazing things happening this year that I have had the blessing of witnessing (countless people rescued, prayer answered, etc). But on Tuesday we made some major progress on the world stage.
First, let me tell you that this past spring we collected 73,000 signatures (a significant accomplishment itself) on a letter to President Obama asking him to take four key steps to combat slavery. Gary Haugen & Louie Giglio of Passion delivered the letter to the White House in June. Well, our voices were heard & it’s been a privilege to be a part of it!
So yesterday, President Obama made a major speech on the topic of human trafficking. He issued an Executive Order to end trafficking in U.S. government overseas contracts – one of the very actions we had asked for! He also talked about additional steps they would take to ensure that the United States was leading the charge against this horrendous injustice that still goes on in our world today.
As a bit of icing on the cake, he even mentioned IJM in his speech!
“We are especially honored to be joined today by advocates who dedicate their lives — and, at times, risk their lives — to liberate victims and help them recover. This includes men and women of faith, who, like the great abolitionists before them, are truly doing the Lord’s work — evangelicals, the Catholic Church, International Justice Mission and World Relief, even individual congregations, like Passion City Church in Atlanta, and so many young people of faith who’ve decided that their conscience compels them to act in the face of injustice. Groups like these are answering the Bible’s call — to ‘seek justice’ and ‘rescue the oppressed.’ Some of them join us today, and we are grateful for your leadership.”
I couldn’t help but be swept up with emotion. I found myself teary-eyed, humbled, and proud all at once.
I saw on Twitter where someone said that this was the longest Presidential address on slavery since Lincoln. Appropriate, since we’re celebrating the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation this month. There is still much to be done, as 27 million people are still enslaved in our world today. But this is definitely a great step forward, and one of those days when the impact of the long hours spent doing some challenging work actually feels tangible!
If you’d like more details:
~Check out IJM’s news release about the big event or our blog post for more commentary
~Read or Watch Obama’s speech.
~Read the Executive Order here
~Fact Sheet: The Obama Administration Announces Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking at Home and Abroad
“It ought to concern every person, because it’s a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at the social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name—modern slavery.”
“Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time, and the United States will continue to lead it…”
–President Barack Obama, September 25, 2012