I have no words to add, only tears.
“You have not lived today successfully unless you’ve done something for someone who can never repay you.” – John Bunyan
I am an avid college football fan! More specifically, I’m a University of Alabama football fan! The electricity that fills the stadium on game day is exhilarating! After living overseas for ten years, my wife’s cousin gave us tickets to an Alabama game and asked us to join him and his wife. Not only was it an Alabama football game, it was the Iron Bowl…THE Alabama football game! Holy Mackerel! I have not been to a game in 16 years. What a blessing! What an opportunity!
Although the Crimson Tide fell short by one point it was a wonderful day with friends and family. Yet while sitting in a stadium that seats 101,000 attendees, I was awe struck and convicted as I considered the money spent and earned by the university. For example, the university charges $65 for a general admission ticket. With a sold-out stadium they gross over $6.5 million. Wow! That’s just revenue from ticket sales. I cannot begin to estimate the millions of dollars earned from souvenir and concession sales.
In that moment, I could not help myself from thinking of how $6.5 million from one college football game could change the lives of the 27 million enslaved around the world. We could buy some out of slavery, give them food, clothing, and a home while providing vocational or university education. Better yet we could prevent children from ever entering the slave-trade by supporting the families that chose this option because they cannot provide. We could build and staff 100 orphanages in Thailand for 18 years.
That day at the game was unforgettable. However, that’s it: it’s now just a fond memory. Yet when I give generously of my time and talents and treasure, the impact last long after I’m gone. Who know? It may outlast me both now and in eternity!
The 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report was released by Secretary Clinton and United States Department of State. The US Department of State has probably had the most impact on human trafficking around the world in the last 10 years. I am usually a less government is better type of guy but one area where the government has had a huge impact has been in curbing human trafficking. If you would like to read the Report you can download it here.
If you would like to see Secretary Clinton speaking about the report you can watch the video here. The report is really more like a book so you probably aren’t going to read the whole thing but you might want to look at it and skim parts of it and especially any countries that you are interested in.
For the first time the United States has included itself on the list in recognizing that we need to continue to make efforts to combat slavery and trafficking in the US as well.
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke.
I spent today with a good man. One who is making a difference in the lives of others. His name is Sareth. He survived the reign of Pol Pot and the killing fields in Cambodia. At 5 he was ripped from his parents. He had no clothes and his only possession was a blanket from his mom until that was taken from him. He would often sleep like a frog; His body in the water with his head on the bank because the water would be warmer than the air during the long winter nights.
After horrible experiences during that time his heart became very hard. God rescued him and drew him to himself at the age of 19. He went on to Paris to study environmental engineering and then the Philippines to attend Seminary and get his Masters of Divinity Degree. He now lives in a small house with no running water, no electricity and no Internet in a village of 540 families. I asked why he had chosen to live here instead of in town where he could have some of the modern conveniences that he had experienced overseas.
There are two reasons he told me. The first was to see what was going on in the border area first hand. (He has named his house the Minefield Hospitality House because of all the mines laid there during their conflict with Thailand) The second was because he heard there was a bad man who was trying to take the land from the people. The land owner had sold off the land but was trying to force the villagers off the land through a variety of means or at least hope they would not be able to make the meager payments and he could resell the land to others.
Sareth moved into the village two years ago and began helping them communicate and understand the different things that were going on in this battle for the land. He started a church and has since hired a pastor that he provides for monthly so that he can pastor the people of the village and not have to work. One of the keys to the land battle was the access to the land because the land owner was trying to sell the land between the village and the road. Sareth, with the help of others from Cadence and LightBridge purchased land to develop a road.
He sent letters to the village leaders, district and provincial leaders and to the largest local city council asking for permission to build a road, which would add legitimacy to their claims to the land. No one responded. He sent another letter to all of the same people asking them to deny permission to build the road. No one responded again. So he moved forward building the road. The road was completed yesterday.
I visited the village 4 months ago and it seems like a different place. A few years ago the only way into the village during rainy season was to walk through mud soaked paths. The new road has opened up the village. At the front of the road the property has a small place for a small store for the villages to sell their goods and produce.
In addition to the land owner the village leader was a corrupt man as well working with the land owner against the villagers. Sareth and others prayed against this man. He ended up in jail for other corruption. A few months later he had to sell his house (one of the nicest in the village) and land for $700. The house alone was worth $2000. Sareth purchased the house to extend his ministry in the village and provide a place of hospitality to others.
Yesterday the 30 village leaders got together and asked Sareth to be the new village leader. He said that he would continue to be their advisor, pastor, counselor and friend but that they needed to elect someone from within their own ranks to lead them.
One of the ladies told him “The road from the Lord Jesus gives us freedom.” They have hope for their future and there is an excitement in the village. I can’t wait to see what the place looks like in another year. Plans are in the works for an elementary school, playground, community center and soccer field. The land has been leveled and construction will soon begin.
Evil was defeated, Jesus Christ has been glorified and hope is growing in the minefields because one good man did something and made a difference in the lives of over 2500 people.
We thought you might want to know about the Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act of 2009 that will be appearing before the U.S. Senate.
You can read the bill for yourself by clicking here S. 2925
Click here to contact your senator.