Around the world, there are millions of people enslaved. In sweatshops, on farms and in brothels. We’ve all heard the stats – 27 million, 30 million, 2 children every minute – horrifying, heartbreaking statistics that tell the story of a mass market in the trade of human beings. The scary thing is that these stats are all still estimates; no one really knows exactly how many people have been sold or bought – how many lives have been stolen.
Ultimately, this isn’t about the stats though, this is about people. Behind each of those numbers are people – faces, hands, lives. Mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers. Desperate families. Hopes and dreams. Loves and hates. Favourite foods. Favourite games. All those every day things. Sleeping, breathing, real people. Just like you and me. Just like your kid brother. Just like your neighbour. People who are JUST LIKE US.
Of course, just like us, but for one vital, life-giving difference. Just like us, other than the fact that they have been born into a world where poverty prevails, where despair has stripped them of their rights; a world where desperation sells them into slavery. A world of inequality that is so unjust that children are stolen and forced into acts that no child should have to endure. Where these real lives become commodities to be traded. The ultimate betrayal of our consumer society – where money is more valuable than people. Where “the love of money” leads to all kinds of evil. Our consumer society that tells us money can buy us whatever we want, whenever we want and as long as we have enough money, even people are for sale.
Soul Action (and loads of other wonderful organisations) want to say no to that. No to children being bought and sold as a commodity which can be used and thrown away. Let’s not be a part of a world where that is ok.
Jesus came that we might have life in all of it’s fullness. The last. The least. The lost. Jesus came for all of us, Jesus paid the ultimate price, once and for all for all of time. Can we use our freedom, our voice, to speak up for those who can’t do it for themselves.
Look in the mirror and see not yourself, but the other. Jesus came that we might have life. Not just you and me, us richest-in-the-world-own-a-computer-and-can-actually-read-this few, but everyone, the many. We, the community. We, our friends and family. We, our neighbours. We, the slaves. We, the last, the least and the lost.
Stand with us, raise your voice, be a cry for justice. The stats are stories. The stats are lives. The stats are individual people. People…just like us.