Tag Archives: Justice

Nadeem & Manan

17 Jul

Blog post by Naomi P., Team Ethiopia 2012

For this blog post, Namoi chose to create a PDF with graphics, stories, and information about Child Labor. Click the link to open the PDF: child_labor

Child Laborer

Naomi resides in Canada and will be serving with Journey117 this month on Team Ethiopia.

I Took One Step, God Multiplied it to 9,000 Miles

13 Jul

Blog post by Sarah O., Team India 2012

Sometimes I feel like I don’t really have a Story. Like, with a capital “S”. I just have a story, with a little “s”. I’ve had no great adversity, no real struggle, no dramatic motivating factors. I was never really outgoing, never really smartest or fastest or best at anything in particular. I was just a quiet child, younger of two, with an ordinary upbringing and four loving parents (divorce can sometimes be a blessing). When I was about twelve, I decided that was all there was to me: just sort of an indoor girl who didn’t like confrontation. It wasn’t until I was maybe around 17 that I finally decided that if I was going to sit around and wait for an external factor to make my life meaningful, I was going to be waiting forever. My life is what it is, and I have plenty to be grateful and proud of. How many punch lines my story had was ultimately irrelevant—it wasn’t about what I brought to the table, but what God was going to do with it.

Everything I have in my heart for orphans comes from God. I’ve never been truly abandoned, never been truly hungry, never been truly alone, and I cannot fathom what that must feel like. My life has been blessed. I don’t see any possible way for me to ever be content with what I have when I know someone somewhere has appallingly less and I can do something about it. My desire is to bring some good into the world, to put more in than I take out of it. How can anyone not want to pick up another human being who’s fallen down?

Every human being deserves a normal childhood where they don’t have a care in the world, and I want to be a part of an organization like World Orphans that helps to alleviate some of their hardships, provide for them their basic needs, and let them have back a few precious moments of carefree childhood. Children are the future. Maybe there is literally nothing that can ever be done to change the hearts of the greedy, the perverse, the corrupted, the selfish, the angry, the brutal, the ignorant. But what we can do – what everyone can do – is help to raise a new generation that cares, sympathizes, helps, heals, creates, and selflessly loves.

Why the orphan? Because someday the orphan will be the adult. Someday the orphan will be building the future. Someday, every child that is taken care of now will hopefully in turn take care of another. Every child has the ability to put some good into the world, if they are given the chance to reach their future.

Continue reading

Orphans at War

22 Jun

Blog post by Blake & Michaela B., Team Ethiopia 2012

Blake & Michaela resided in Texas and will be serving with Journey117 in July as Team Leaders for Team Ethiopia.

Modern Day Slavery

14 Jun

Blog post by Cathleen Brown, Team Iraq 2012

“And, sir, when we think of eternity, and of the future consequences of all human conduct, what is there in this life that should make any man contradict the dictates of his conscience, the principles of justice, the laws of religion, and of God?” 

William Wilberforce stated these words while fighting for freedom for slaves in 1781, in England in front of the British Parliament.   He believed it was the job of ordinary men, not just political leaders to stop the injustice of slavery.  In 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing anyone held as a slave.  The end drew near for the African slave trade due to persuasive words, incessant ambition, and continual conviction from God by these God fearing men.  Little did they know, the slave trade would still continue more than 200 years after Wilberforce and 150 years after Lincoln.  It would occur again, and not openly accepted, but just as heinous as before;  hidden, with less acceptance in culture, yet driven by money hungry pedophiles and ordinary men.  These men are not dissimilar to the men of the past.  It is human sex trafficking, the second-largest organized crime in the world.

It is estimated that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year in internationally and between 50 and 60 percent of the children are under the age of 16 (UNICEF).  Human trafficking of orphans internationally and domestically is driven by pornography and greed.  Winfrey defines child sex trafficking:

Sex Trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person forced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years.

Orphans are vulnerable to trafficking as they are emotionally, mentally and physically not able to defend themselves, they have no one to stand up for them them and due to poverty, are often sold by family members so others may have food and shelter.  In order to prevent the trafficking of orphans, there must be a place for the children to go that is an alternative to the deplorable option of trafficking life where they are loved and cared for.  The communities need education, prevention, strict justice for the traffickers, and rehabilitation for the children taken out of the sex trade. Continue reading

IJM Opened My Eyes

11 Jun

Blog post by Heather Jensen, Team Iraq 2012

The Team Iraq ladies dressed in traditional Kurdish dress.

“You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.” [Psalm 10:17-18]

A couple of years ago, an organization called “International Justice Mission” came and spoke at our church.  The president of this organization, Gary Haugen, wrote a book entitled Terrify No More, which is from Psalm 10. This book details the many children who are enslaved within child brothels, forced to have sex with strange men. I was heartbroken by the stories of these children’s lives and the horrors that are forced upon them.  Young girls are sold by their families, deceived by people close to them, or kidnapped into this industry. Countries where child prostitution is prevalent include Thailand, Cambodia, India, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. It is estimated that 40% of prostitutes in Thailand are children. In Cambodia, 1/3 of all prostitutes are under the age of 18 and in India, an estimated 1.2 million children are involved in prostitution. Sadly, an estimated $12 billion a year is made on child trafficking, both around the world and in North America.

While reading Gary’s book and researching this topic, I came across some of the most horrific truths of this world. There are people who travel to the countries listed above for the specific purpose of having sex with children. About 25% of child sex tourists are US citizens. IJM runs undercover operations to free these children. They have caught on tape conversations with North American sex tourists who, while unaware of being taped, have offered advice on how to get away with visiting these countries for sex with children.  I read about a young girl who was sold by her neighbour to a brothel. She was forced to have sex with a grown man and when she cried during this horrific act, they taped her mouth shut. I read about brothel owners beating the girls who tried to escape. I read about “sex parties” being arranged and groups of girls being sent to hotels to service sex tourists .

Orphans are so vulnerable to being trapped within a life like this. The orphan is preyed upon by the greedy and demented acts, which reveal the worst of human depravity. To view a short IJM video about the issue of human trafficking, click on this link.

If you want to know more about what’s being done about this issue, visit IJM’s website.

Heather resides in Canada and is currently serving with Journey117 in Iraq. 

Serve with Journey 117: Iraq 2012

22 Feb

Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. – Isaiah 1:17

This verse, penned in Hebrew Scripture as early as 740 BC, speaks to God’s heart for the orphan and commands us as believers to take action on their behalf. The charge wasn’t given to government authorities, non-profits or celebrities….it was spoken to the CHURCH, to believers of the faith. These commands still ring true today as we see these statements repeated over and over in the Old and New Testament. And this command is the heartbeat and foundation of a program we call Journey 117, a ministry of World Orphans that seeks to empower and equip believers to live out this calling in their own lives.

Now, in light of this truth, we are delighted to present an opportunity for believers to get on board with World Orphans this summer to incorporate all of these things into one trip….to seek justice and encourage the oppressed, to defend the orphan and care for widows, to learn to do right.

We are organizing a Journey team to serve in Iraq in the Kurdistan region to assist our in-country staff that is working to care for orphans and widows. World Orphans has helped to build a community center called the Refuge that is being used to host events for the people in this region, most of which are displaced peoples that have migrated north to escape the war-torn regions in other areas of Iraq.

This area where the Refuge is located is called the Freedom Martyr’s Village and was established by the Kurdistan Regional Government to provide a safe haven for families whose relatives died in the war. Since adoption is prohibited and “outsiders” are not allowed to care for orphans, this facility allows our staff and teams to practically serve a desperate, hurting community with grace and love.

Would you consider joining our Journey 117 team this summer to help serve the orphans and widows in this community? Our team will use the community center to relationally engage the children by organizing VBS-style activities, sports and recreational games, arts and crafts, and music and drama, to name a few.  We are praying that God brings a variety of people to join this team, those with unique gifts and abilities, to help us organize a well-rounded outreach program for this community. The team will also visit nearby orphanages to gain a better understanding of what the realities are for the fatherless in this country.

We are so excited about what God is doing in the hearts and lives of people in Iraq and how He is equipping World Orphans to serve these people in such a real, practical way! We invite you to join us this summer as we extend His love and grace to the people in the Freedom Martyr’s Village.

If you would like to apply for this team or wish to contact us with questions, please visit www.journey117.org.

Freedom Martyr’s Village
The Refuge – almost complete!!


28 Nov

Blog post by Amalia K., Team Ethiopia 2011

As a child my family and I would always go to NYC to visit friends. Every single time I was there I always noticed the streets fill with people who had nowhere to live, the homeless. My family would always stay at a homeless shelter when we went visited because my mother was very good friends with the people who ran the place. While staying there I would have breakfast, lunch and dinner with the homeless.  Even though I was young, when I would see children homeless on the streets my heart would break for them. During my many visits to NYC I wouldn’t only watch the homeless but I would watch the business men, the beautiful people carrying designer bags, wearing $1,000 shoes and the fabulous train of Limo driving through the city. As I watched the upper-class, I noticed that they didn’t notice the homeless, the ones who has nothing, the ones who smelled bad, and the ones wearing dirty clothing. I was so disturbed by this. I would get so frustrated with them because it was like they saw right through these fellow humans. It was as if you lived on the streets you become invisible to the world around you.  I didn’t understand how they didn’t even notice the poor. I even noticed that the visitors who came to New York City would go across the street to avoid walking past a homeless person, they would hold their children close and look at the less fortune humans as aliens. It was as if just because they were homeless they weren’t as human as the rest of us. Continue reading