Home is where the heart is…or should be.
It's been a while since I last posted.
As one interested (and at times involved) in the work undertaken in reaching out to children/teens in crisis, I do read a number of magazines and books relating to the topic.
I recently came across a good book…“True Grit…Women Taking on the World, for God’s Sake” [Auth: Deborah Meroff, 2004; Pub: OM Authentic Media, Secunderabad India], and it’s quite an eye-opener…containing some outstanding stories of heroines who are taking their work for God to the front lines of need across the globe – despite facing all manner of obstacles to their endeavours and confronting alarming situations of the human condition.
The accompanying lists of statistics (and appropriate comments) relating to 20 or so different, specific, categories of human need, present a much larger expanse of the enemy’s front line than is generally brought to our attention by most (usually ’sanitised’) presentations brought before sensitive ‘church-folk’…including:
- Child Labour
- Child birth
- Domestic violence
- Female infanticide
- Female circumcision
- Girl soldiers
- Religious slaves
- Honour killings – Getting away with murder
- Child brides
- On the streets – The sex trade
- and more
As is to be expected, the highest figures in the lists of statistics realting to the slave trading, trafficking and abuse of children/teens belong to the ‘two thirds”/developing nations of the world. I was surprised, however, to discover the following statistics listed amongst them:
Child Labour – Asia and Pacific (page 32)
According to a report in 2000, seventy thousand (70,000) children under sixteen work for the clothing industry up to 20 hours or more a week for the clothing industry up to 20 hours or more a week alongside immigrant parents. The children, as young as eight, work in poor conditions in homes and backyard sweatshops and are exposed to hazards. An average of 1,600 children aged between twelve and sixteen are seriously injured, maimed or killed each year in industry. (Ref: ‘Child Slaves of South Asia’, Anti-slavery Society)
“On the Streets” – Australasia (Page 138)
Australia: Over 3,ooo children work in the sex industry, some younger than ten. Girls work in brothels and engage in escort work, street prostitution, pornography, sexual favours and stripping. Paedophilia is a serious problem. (Ref:Dr Benoit Finck, Médecins Sans Frontières; UNICEF reports)
If such issues could ever be classified as ‘relative’, I suppose one could deem these as ‘mild problems’ – but how can these circumstances exist in this country…Australia…’the lucky country’…home of the ‘fair go’ for everyone????
The questions have to be asked, “How close do any of us live to someone who is caught up in these and other serious situations?”
“What ( if anything), is anyone – Government Politicians…welfare department…health authorities…law enforcement…aid organizations…Churches…individual Christians…anyone – doing about these and other disasters that entrap the helpless on this, the world’s largest island-continent?”
Yes, there are many needs to be addressed here… and I suspect that the nation’s rate of Indigenous & Outback poverty and health could very well earn disgraceful mentions in their appropriate categories, too.
I speak often to folk considering short, mid or long-term, volunteer or mission service abroad, and I’m always excited to hear of there keenness to be involved, but there are many opportunities to become engaged in our own land..in our cities, suburbs and beyond!
When I was young, I can remember attending missions conventions with my parents and singing a hymn which included these words… “I’ll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord; I’ll do what you want me to do; I’ll say what you want me to say, Dear Lord; and I’ll be what you want me to be…”
Our willingness to go, is superseded only by our compliance to be in the place and time of His appointing, when He calls! (Jonah WAS willing to go – anywhere but Nineveh! It cost him a lot to try to negotiate his own terms, though. He DID finally arrive at the place of his calling, but by the least desirable route and transportation!)
Get yourself into some good books on evangelism and missions…biographies, testimonies, histories of mission/aid organizations and heroes of the faith… to help you to grow and feed a desire to get involved in God’s call on your life. Read and study the New Testament record of the empowering of God’s Holy Spirit in the lives of those in the early church…especially the Acts of the Apostles…and catch a glimpse of what can be wrought in the lives of committed, ordinary people filled with extra-ordinary power.
Keep lookin’ up!