International Justice Mission are the the largest anti-slavery organisation in the world. Irish methodist world development & Relief partner with IJM UK in their fight for justice.
In this blog, Amy Anderson (Regional Development Intern IJM UK) shares with us how IJM are bringing light & hope into some of the darkest areas of the world.
Join them on Saturday 24th March for Ireland's first PRAY FOR JUSTICE gathering in Drumbeg Parish, Belfast. Visit their site for details.
“For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” Isaiah 30:18
From the dark doors of a brothel in Iloilo City, Philippines, came a loud and abrupt knocking. The nine girls inside the house grew anxious, wondering which may be chosen by the customer waiting at the other side of the door. The lady who owned the brothel carefully opened the door, expecting one of the brothels usual customer’s- she was shocked to see policemen.
Inside the brothel sixteen-year-old Nessa was no longer filled with fear, but hope.
“When they came in, I was so happy and I thought to myself, ‘Finally, this is the time we will be rescued from this darkness.”’
And so, after four months sexual exploitation, Nessa was rescued from the brothel and taken to an aftercare home to heal. With the support of IJM of social workers and lawyers from IJM, she decided to share her testimony in court. The brothel owner was convicted and sentenced to twenty years in prison.
Nessa’s life was forever changed.
She was finally free.
For so many girls across the world, they are still trapped in darkness, waiting for the light to come.
Today an overwhelming 4 billion people live outside of the protection of the law. When I first began my internship with IJM I found this fact most difficult to grasp- until I began seeing it from the lens of those it most impacts.
For the widow in Uganda, this looks like being beaten, homeless and stripped of your belongings. For the young boy in Ghana, this looks like working 18 hours a day on a fishing boat where the only way out is to drown or be rescued. For the man in India, this looks like being beaten, intimidated and forced to endure backbreaking work for little to no pay. I began to learn that when traffickers and slave owners face no fear of punishment for their crimes violence becomes an everyday threat to those most vulnerable.
There is undeniably a lot of darkness in our world. How could we make a difference?
Let me encourage you that light is breaking through the darkness. Here, at International Justice Mission, we protect the poor from violence in the developing world and we have seen that justice for the poor is possible. We have rescued more than 40,000 people from violence and continue to support them through rehabilitative aftercare programs that give them the tools they need to heal. But that’s not where it ends. IJM have proven that where laws are enforced, violence against the poor stops. Working alongside local law enforcement to transform and strengthen the justice system, we are helping to protect over 150 million people from violence.
So, how do we, as ‘ordinary’ men and women living in Ireland, respond?
You don’t have to be an investigator, social worker or lawyer to fulfil the biblical mandate of fighting for the poor. Each one of us are called, as the body of Christ, to seek justice. With more slaves in the world today than ever before, we rely on the support of our global prayer partners and prayer communities. We believe that God is calling His church to join Him in the work of ending slavery and we know that His desire is for those trapped in darkness to be set free into the light. You can sign up on our website today and become a prayer partner as you join thousands of people committed to seeking justice through prayer.
Yes, there is a lot of darkness in our world. But one step at a time, we are breaking through that darkness and we are trusting that our all-powerful God, the Light of the World, goes with us. We rejoice in every victim rescued and every justice system restored, believing that ‘the light shines in the darkness’ and that ‘the darkness has not overcome it.’
Will you join us in the fight against injustice?
Regional Development Intern, IJM UK