Thought for the Week

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Many people know Isaiah 61 as foundational theology for all of God’s children across this world.
‘The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners…’

However for many people across this world this is far from the reality that they experience. The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally, including 5.5 million children. 55% are women and girls. Modern slavery is now the 2nd most profitable industry in the world and its here right in the heart of England, in Derbyshire and probably in Swadlincote too. If it wasn’t in Swadlincote that would be a big surprise to anyone working to combat slavery; it is now everywhere.
Bishop Alistair has been part of the Parliamentary Select Committee on a new Act of Anti-Slavery, which looks at many aspects of slavery today including working globally with governments, the Catholic Church and international charities (NGOs). It also, if passed into law, would make directors of companies in this country responsible for checking their supply chain. Why are those jeans so cheap?; Why is that food so cheap? Is it because there are slaves forced to work so that others can make profits?

However, there is much that we can do locally. First here is a cases study of how one young lady helped in her community:
Claire decided to raise money and increase awareness of trafficking in her own community. To help her in her quest for a traffic free community, she put out a collection box and leaflets in her local dry cleaners. After reading the information Claire provided, the dry cleaner confided that he had concerns about the woman staying with him, he thought she may be a victim of trafficking for sexual exploitation. He asked Claire what he should do and Claire called STOP THE TRAFFIK.
Ava was from the Middle East. She married a Romanian man who bought her to England and told her she would have to have sex with other men. Ava was scared and ran away. She did not speak English so went to a Middle Eastern restaurant for help. By chance the dry cleaner went to that restaurant and offered her a place to stay. In less than 24 hours Ava had a place at a safe house and was getting support and the help with the things she needed. All this happened because one community member told another community member about human trafficking.

Small actions make big differences… Over the coming months I’ll be sharing information on how we, locally here in Swadlincote, can make a difference. Look out for it. Maybe God, through Isaiah, was talking about you when he said…
‘He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners…’

God bless, Mike