Today we celebrate the birth of our country. There will be lots of grilling… the beaches will be packed out… fireworks will be booming deep into the night, keeping me up way past my bedtime… but I digress :). And the national anthem will be sung a ton of times across our country.
One of my favorite lines in The Star Spangled Banner is: “O’er the land of the free…”
We are the land of the free. I love that fact! A side note: even though I’m far from being a raving fan of country music, I love Martina McBride’s song Independence Day: “Let freedom ring….”
We are the land of the free. But not everybody in America is free.
Here’s an excerpt from the official website of the FBI (fbi.gov):
It’s sad but true: here in this country, people are being bought, sold, and smuggled like modern-day slaves.
They are trapped in lives of misery — often beaten, starved, and forced to work as prostitutes or to take grueling jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant, or factory workers with little or no pay. We’re working hard to stop human trafficking — not only because of the personal and psychological toll it takes on society, but also because it facilitates the illegal movement of immigrants across borders and provides a ready source of income for organized crime groups and even terrorists.
Approximately 100,000 U.S. children are forcefully engaged in prostitution or pornography each year. And across the globe, 2 children are sold every 1 minute. (think about how long you have been reading this blog so far and how many children have been “sold” for sex during that time).
In heaven there is no human trafficking… and we are called to join God is His work to make His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. That is why human trafficking is the primary social cause that The Eastside Vineyard Church is rallying together to do something about… and we are proud to partner with Love146 as well as ESTHER’s Children.
An underestimated weapon in the fight against human trafficking is raising awareness. Becoming aware that trafficking is happening (and not just in Thailand or Brazil but within our borders) and helping others become aware as well.
So in between grilling and watching the ball game on TV, please spend some time this weekend checking out these websites and pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide your next steps:
“For I, the LORD, love justice…” – Isaiah 61:8
***Please carve out time this holiday weekend to us this Sunday at The Eastside Vineyard Church. My sermon is titled “Faith on Fire” and will focus on Matthew 25:1-13, which continues Jesus’ teaching on the End Times. Sunday July 7th. 10:30am. More info at tevchurch.org***