Monday, September 3, 2012

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With exception to white males, Pat Robertson has managed to offend every other demographic in America and cause most Christians to wonder why CBN refuses to pull the plug on the American Church's crazy drunk uncle.  After Pat Robertson's recent, absurd adoption comments on The 700 Club, I laughed out loud when I read a tweet by Rachel Evans -  

"I think it may finally be over for Pat Robertson. 
He just pissed off a bunch of moms."

Isn't that the truth?  I'm not downplaying the role of men in taking on an issue, but I do believe there are some core values that are deeply ingrained in most women, and when those issues are threatened, we can go a tad bit insane.

One of those issues deals with children.  You get the moms mad - and you better watch your back. We will cut you.

There’s an estimated 7,000 children who work in the Ghana fishing industry. Some of
these children are as young as 5 and 6 years old. All of these children are slaves.

Today while many in our country will take a day off from our jobs to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers, over 100 bloggers are using their voice to raise awareness about child labor, child trafficking, and what Mercy Project is doing to push back against those grave injustices.  Today as we celebrate Labor Day - a tradition that has largely been shaped by Labor Unions - organizations that are dedicated to protecting workers’ interests and improving their wages, hours, and working conditions, we're mindful of children who do not enjoy the same protection.

My kids are slowly waking up this morning.  We have big plans to do nothing at all today.  They will play in the creek, catch turtles and crawfish, and run wild and free.  Across the ocean five and six year old boys will work 14 hours today, eat one meal, sleep on a dirt floor surrounded by other slave children, and fall asleep missing their families.

Today I'll watch my kids with loving wonder and ask myself the same question I've asked more times than I can count.  What if my children were enslaved?  My answer brings an uncomfortable dissonance because I know what I'd do if these were my kids. I'd wage an all-encompassing, bloody, sweaty fight for them. Real life as we know it would be over until they were free.  All hands would be on deck.  Until my kids were safe and sound - in my arms - exactly where they belong, there would be no rest - for anyone.

So what is it about the ocean that causes my resolve to weaken?  If I want my children to live in a world free of injustices like child slavery, child labor, and child trafficking, what am I personally doing as a mother to fight Heretowards that end?  These questions siphon sleep from me at night.         

Today I'm grateful for the many voices (many of them women) who are raising awareness about child labor, child trafficking, and what Mercy Project is doing to free enslaved kids in Ghana.  I know I've talked a great deal about the work Mercy Project is accomplishing in Africa.  Being a modern-day abolitionist is closely linked to my faith, and I'm grateful to personally know the people behind Mercy Project. I'm thankful they allow many of us to put feet to our faith and join them in bringing freedom to children in slavery.

Later this month, Mercy Project will free their first group of child slaves.  We'd love for you to follow along and celebrate with us.  In case you haven't watched the short, 10 minute documentary about what Mercy Project is busy doing in Ghana, will you watch it today?  Not only is Mercy Project freeing kids, they are bringing hope to entire villages in Ghana.  Their methods are holistic and culturally sensitive, removing not just the kids from slavery, but removing the structures that cause the need to traffic children in the first place.

If you want to connect with Mercy Project and follow along this month as the first group of kids are freed, here are a few ways to be a part of this story:

4.  Use your voice to advocate for kids without a voice.  Share Mercy Project with your friends. 

If you're one of the writers who advocated for these issues and specifically these kids today, thank you.

Happy Labor Day.  May we each labor towards the day when all can be free and the vulnerable are protected.

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