There are more than 30 million people in the world today held in the bondage of forced labour, slavery. That number can feel overwhelming, because of its size and because we feel powerless to do anything about it.
Slavery exists because people can make a profit from it. Organizations like Stop the Traffik have done the research to find what industries around the world rely on slave labour, and how to avoid products that have been tainted by their use of forced labour. If we make slavery unprofitable by refusing to buy, the abuse will stop. People are more vulnerable to exploitation when they lack basic essentials.
A mother who lacks a roof to keep her children dry will take whatever risks she must in order to care for her children. Each time that you build a home alongside a family, you reduce their vulnerability to exploitation. James 3 speaks to the contradiction of using our words to both praise God and curse our neighbor.
The same principle applies if we use some of our monetary resources to bless people while allowing other purchases to contribute to exploitation.
On GivingTuesday, during our live chats, we spoke with Charlotte Instone who shared with us about the importance of taking steps and giving yourself goals as you attempt to reduce your slavery footprint. She said her goal is four years. Challenge yourself today to look up some of the products you frequently buy, see where they are sourced from, and look for ways to do more with your spending.
P.S. If you are in San Diego, tomorrow we'll be at the Christmas Collective where you can find alternative gifts and worship with an amazing band at the San Diego Convention Center.