Around the world and around the corner, ordinary people are helping to abolish this form of modern-day slavery. You can be one of them. (All scriptures are NKJ unless noted.)
He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger [foreigner], giving him food and clothing (Deuteronomy 10:18)
Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy (Psalm 82:3).
Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed (Psalm 85:10).
Justice and judgment are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and truth shall go before Your face (Psalm 89:14).
There is no end to the increase of His government and of peace on the throne of David, and on His kingdom, to order it, and to sustain it with justice and with righteousness, from now and forever. The zeal of Jehovah of Hosts will do this (Isaiah 9:7).
So says Jehovah, Keep judgment and do justice; for My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed (Isaiah 56:1).
I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and justice for the poor (Psalm 140:12).
To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity (Proverbs 1:3).
To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice (Proverbs 21:3).
If you see the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, do not marvel at the matter. For He who is higher than the highest watches (Ecclesiastes 5:8).
Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and one who did not forget the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in drawing near to God (Isaiah 58:2).
None calls for justice, nor does anyone plead for truth; they trust in vanity and speak lies. They conceive mischief and bring out iniquity...Therefore judgment is far from us; nor does justice overtake us. We wait for light, but behold, dimness; for brightness, but we walk in darkness (Isaiah 59:4, 9).
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 NAS).
Behold, the days come, says Jehovah, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and act wisely, and shall do judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely. And this is His name by which He shall be called, Jehovah, Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6). Righteousness = "altogether just"
The Lord, the habitation of justice (Jeremiah 50:7).
Let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream (Amos 5:24).
Around the world and around the corner, ordinary people are helping to abolish this form of modern-day slavery. You can be one of them.
"I've found Twitter to be a surprisingly helpful tool in connecting with other human rights advocates," noted Stephanie Hamilton of Nowhere2Hide. "Most of the networking I've done has originated through Twitter. Phone calls, emails, [and] face-to-face meetings have all been arranged through this social networking tool that many people have deemed fun but without much merit." If you're on Twitter, you can find fellow abolitionists to follow here and here.
Diana Scimone: You recently started working at the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking of Persons. What's your vision as the new director?
Ambassador CdeBaca: One of the main things we're trying to do, speaking for myself, Secretary Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama, is to have a sustained anti-trafficking movement that harnesses all the voices of folks moved to do something about modern-day slavery-and then take that to the next level.
In January 2001, the work of the Clinton administration was continued and intensified by the Bush administration. That's one of the things we're hoping to continue-to harness that activity and commitment on the part of civil society. That can be human rights groups, mission groups, folks in the community, worker organizers, women's groups-all of those groups, each of which brings something to the table. At the end of the day, we're talking sustainability and intensity.
DS: How have things changed since you first got involved?
LCdB: I think about the first case I did in Florida in the mid 1990s as a civil rights prosecutor. To the degree that we even knew about this thing called human trafficking, we could have had a meeting of all the people who were involved in the fight back then and met in a minivan. Maybe a Volkswagen.
Today there is this [understanding] that folks in the non-government sector are just as important to the fight as any dedicated cop or prosecutor. It really has grown past those of us who started working on it [15 years ago]. We're in a good position now, that we're able to tap into the real energy coming not from people who've been working at this for a decade, but people who are just getting involved in the fight.
DS: What do you tell people who hear the horror stories and want to do something about it, but say, "I can't rescue a child from a brothel. What can I possibly do to help?"
LCdB: A lot of people sell themselves short. They say, "I'm not the attorney general, so I can't put together a task force in my state." You can do a lot more than you think. You can go to the AG or your mayor, and say, "Our state should be addressing the root causes of trafficking in our borders. We should be doing something to reduce the demand. We should be helping the newly arrived and vulnerable immigrants, or the street people who are written off as disposable. We not only want, but we demand that trafficking victims be treated professionally."
That's when you start seeing shelters go up, when you start seeing victims being helped and put into places where they can receive help.
There are lots of different ways to get engaged on a grassroots level. Put together a house party and ask people to bring clothes they're no longer wearing so that women and men who are rescued can have something to wear for a job interview. When someone flees through a window, they don't have anything but the clothes the traffickers were making them wear. Having a sweater and a decent skirt can make a difference to them.
DS: When you and Secretary of State Clinton released department's annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP), you said you'd like to add a 4th "P" to the categories of fighting trafficking-partnership. [The other Ps are prosecution, protection, and prevention.] What was behind that suggestion?
LCdeB: A lot of countries see the TIP Report as the U.S. coming to them and saying how bad they are. We wanted to make it very clear by releasing the U.S. government self assessment at the same time that we have people still in bondage right here in the U.S. They're in our agricultural fields; they're in prostitution; they're in many places.
We realize we have to work in partnership with those around the world who are working to stop human trafficking. When President Obama was in Ghana recently, he gave a speech to the parliament and talked about trafficking heroes. He mentioned a journalist in that country who went undercover and helped bring down a trafficking ring.
While the president was in Ghana, I was in Nigeria meeting with cops who work to stop trafficking and with nuns who operate a shelter for trafficking victims. When they heard the president speak, even though he was talking about what was happening in a different country, they felt it was recognizing what they are doing and how hard they are working.
These are the trafficking heroes and we want to work in partnership with them and others who know their own affected populations.
On July 21, the House Education and Labor committee marked up HR 3221, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009, by a vote of 30-17 - the single largest investment in higher education in history that will significantly reduce loan debt burden for college graduates, according to The Institute for College Access & Success.
HR 3221 reinvigorates the Pell Grant program, which provides need-based aid to over 7 million current college students. The bill raises the Pell Grant maximum to $5,550 for students of the most modest means, and guarantees that the Pell Grant amount will increase thereafter on a yearly basis by the cost of living plus 1 percent.
It also cuts the interest rate on subsidized Stafford student loans, and invests in community college access programs that should help hundreds of thousands of students get to graduation.
These investments are paid for by cutting excessive lender subsidies from within the loan programs, and redirecting those funds toward higher education.
Watch testimonies from young women healed of a myriad of addictions through the Mercy Ministries program in Nashville, Tenn. Also watch an interview by Joyce Meyer with the ministry's founder, Nancy Alcorn.
How can you demonstrate God’s love in your community? Here are just a few things Jesus might do:
Pray fervently. If your church has an intercessory prayer group, participate in it. If not, start one, and encourage others to join you in interceding regularly for the lost in your city.
Be an active school parent. Prayer may not be allowed in the classroom, but the government can’t stop your light from shining in a school environment. Become friends with the principal, teachers and other parents.
Celebrate holidays in style. Gather neighbors, co-workers or relatives for Christmas or Easter. Then tell the old, old story of Jesus’ birth or resurrection in a brand-new way.
How do you live with the guilt and shame of taking the lives of four of your children by legal abortion? Only through the blood and healing of Jesus Christ.
Within the next three months after my last abortion, I tried to take my life twice by overdosing on drugs. Friends and family knew nothing except that I had returned to the drugs and was once again out of control. The truth was that I hated myself and couldn't live with the memory of my decision.
You can’t just ignore the shame caused when you kill an unborn child. But you can find mercy and forgiveness.
My son David never had the chance to live because I made the choice to abort him in 1988. I was divorced with two children and was living a very promiscuous lifestyle. When I discovered I was pregnant I felt irritation and fear. To hide my sin of sex outside marriage, I chose to abort my child, even though I knew it was wrong.
Initially, I felt relief. The unwanted pregnancy was taken care of. I didn't tell anybody what I had done because I was too ashamed. In order to forget about it I stuffed down my feelings and didn't allow myself to think about it at all.
Learn what the Bible says about our culture’s hot-button issues with a gift from Charisma, the book 'Personal Faith, Public Policy' by Harry R. Jackson Jr. and Tony Perkins. Download your free copy before July 31: