The Issue of Child Labor

28 Apr

Blog post by Amanda W., Team Haiti 2011

CHILD LABOR

“An estimated 158 million children aged 5-14 are engaged in child labour – one in six children in the world. Millions of children are engaged in hazardous situations or conditions, such as working in mines, working with chemicals and pesticides in agriculture or working with dangerous machinery. They are everywhere but invisible, toiling as domestic servants in homes, labouring behind the walls of workshops, hidden from view in plantations. “

It’s so easy for people to want to overlook problems like this because we are too comfortable to admit we need to get out and be the helping hands and feet of Jesus Christ. It is way too easy to want to sit back on our comfy couches, in our designer-labeled clothes, in our luxurious homes, watching our favorite reality TV shows than to give up those temporary things God has so graciously blessed us with and get out savings souls and bringing the children of God to His Kingdom.

Can you imagine growing up being forced to work on the streets, farms, or even being called a servant at the age of five? Five year old children should be enjoying Gods beauty and creation. They should be out playing, going to school, learning new things, getting dirty, and exploring. However, some parts of the world are not as blessed as others: “almost 74 million children risk their lives because of working, only making less than a dollar a day.” These children would love to go to school and be a normal kids, but this world we live in forces them to do things beyond their control.

We, as Christians, should see that and jump at any opportunity to rescue these children and stop child labouring. One news channel made a point to say that the things these children find in mines, such as copper, could end up in our own homes. Look around….what do you see? You might own something you bought that was from a sweet, innocent child that risked their lives for our temporary, worldly needs and wants. Childhood SHOULD NOT look like this. Most children work 12 hour days and still do not make enough for an evening meal. (See this youtube video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruh0O_mj1v0&feature=related)

God has not laid these worldly things in our laps to enjoy for ourselves but rather to GLORIFY His name because of it all. If God has allowed you to have a nice home, a nice car, or a nice business where you make a lot of money, He is then calling you to take those things and further His Kingdom. It takes a lot of prayer, patience, and wisdom to know what exactly God wants us to do with what He has given us but staying faithful is the number one key in realizing what His calling is for us in those certain situations.

“Child labor is one of the many concerns and the most disturbingly one of the most rampant problems we face in this world. In the endeavor to create an awareness of an already existing law that is evidently not properly implemented, child labor clearly falls within this category. Every child has the right to the most basic of necessities in life-like a healthy environment, formal education, and most importantly, a loving family to come home to. Yet, poverty hinders the child to any of these things and forces labor in farming fields, mining shafts and peddling in the busy and dangerous streets of the country.” Gods word says that children belong to the kingdom of God. There is a huge calling in major parts of the world for help in protecting children because of child laboring.

God wants us to love, nurture, bless, and care for the children of the world. Let’s take a stand. Let’s continue to be the hands and feet of Christ and let God allow His love, peace, kindness, hope, and positive encouragement flow out of our hearts to others. Can you imagine a world of peace? I sure can. Our God is bigger than any problem we face; He is in complete control and THAT alone deserves more praise than anything in this world.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”   – Psalm 127:3-5

Amanda will be serving on the 2011 Haiti Journey 117 Team leaving in May.

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