Tuesday, March 13, 2012

International Justice Mission

Freedom Week Update...

Ecclesia, the college ministry at The Church as Shelby Crossings, with the help of Montevallo students and professors, raised $5,750 for organizations combating human trafficking! That total is $750 over their goal.  Ninety percent of the money raised was given by college students!

That's good stuff, isn't it? I'm proud to know those guys and girls who worked so hard to make it happen.

Now- this week's organization...  

The International Justice Mission 

Whenever I hear the name International Justice Mission these are the mental images that pop into my mind...


Growing up with two brothers, I rarely watched or played anything girly. We played army, detectives and Super Heroes. In fact, one of my favorite cartoons was The Justice League. There was just something about knowing that the Super Heroes were friends and worked together to fight against evil that made sense to me. They shared the same values and understood what it meant to live among mere mortals while balancing the responsibility of incredible super powers. Why shouldn't they work as a team? (For the sake of full transparency, I loved that Wonder Woman was a brunette- almost all the heroines in the 70's were blond and that was disheartening for a brown haired girl.)

As I have learned more about the IJM this week, I feel certain there are real life super heroes. No secret identities or capes or (thank goodness) tights, no fame or high praise, just real people fighting injustice. Real people refusing to look away even though that would be easier.  Real, normal, every day people that not only believe we are called to something more, but actually live it wielding the only true super power- God's love.

Facts about the IJM--
  • Established in 1997
  • 14 field offices, located in Bolivia, Guatemala, India, Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia
  • 2 casework alliance offices, located in Ecuador and Honduras
  • Headquartered in Washington, DC
  • Partner offices in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK
  • More than 400 staff (90 percent are nationals of the countries in which they work) 
  • IJM has an overall four star rating from Charity Navigator.
What the IJM does-- (quoted from IJM's site)
  • Victim Relief 
    IJM's first priority in its casework is immediate relief for the victim of the abuse being committed.

  • Perpetrator Accountability
    IJM seeks to hold perpetrators accountable for their abuse in their local justice systems. Accountability changes the fear equation: When would-be perpetrators are rightly afraid of the consequences of their abuse, the vulnerable do not need to fear them.

  •  Survivor Aftercare
    IJM aftercare staff and trusted local aftercare partners work to ensure that victims of oppression are equipped to rebuild their lives and respond to the complex emotional and physical needs that are often the result of abuse.

  • Structural Transformation
    IJM seeks to prevent abuse from being committed against others at risk by strengthening the community factors and local judicial systems that will deter potential oppressors.

    For more details the IJM's four step action plan, click here. 

    How can we be involved?

  • Know the facts about trafficking.
  • Sign the petition and stand up for freedom.
  • Join the IJM prayer partner program. Prayer partners are a great encouragement to the staff of IJM. Weekly prayer updates are emailed to the Prayer Partners. Notifications will be sent when an urgent prayer need arises.
  • Check out the internships and career opportunities that are available if you are looking for a "front line" position in the battle against trafficking.   
  • Share information about trafficking through embeddable banners on your blog or websites. 
  • For even more opportunities, visit IJM's get involved page. 
The founding call for the IJM comes from Isaiah 1:17 "Seek justice, protect the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow."  Let's join these real life "heroes" in seeking "Truth, Justice and the Kingdom way."  (Yes, I had to say it.)  There is a role for each of us.

    image credits:
    Hall of justice
    Super Friends

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