Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Juneteenth::Celebrating Freedom

From the Freedom Project
Today, June 19th, at 4:00 pm EST, the US Government will unveil its "Trafficking In Persons" Report -- known as "TIP". The State Department says its the world's most comprehensive look at the nature and scope of human trafficking -- and what governments are doing to tackle the problem. 
Tune into CNN International at 4:00 pm EST for live coverage from the event.

"Though Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863, it had minimal immediate effect on most slaves’ day-to-day lives, particularly in the Confederate States of America.  
Juneteenth commemorates June 18 and 19, 1865. June 18 is the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves. On June 19, 1865, legend has it while standing on the balcony of Galveston’s Ashton Villa, Granger read the contents of “General Order No. 3”:
The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor."  -- Wikipedia
We are really thankful for what this day means for America and specifically for African Americans.  In every case of human rights violations and racism we are grateful for each step - even baby ones - that point to our world beginning to dream about equal rights and value for every human being.

Over a hundred years has passed since Lincoln signed the Emancipation Declaration and yet slavery is still a national plague and is happening on a mind-blowing scale right here in the United States.

One way I hope we can honor African Americans on this day is to spend some time becoming informed about modern-day slavery.  I don't know about you, but unless I purposefully keep informed about these types of issues, it's easy in my day-to-day life to forget that we're daily being invited to push back against a lot of darkness in our world.  We have an opportunity to make a difference.  We can pray.  We can advocate.  We can give.  We can grieve with those who grieve and celebrate victories with those confronting these human horrors on the front lines.  We can fight the good fight.  Can I share some links and resources that have been enlightening to us lately? 

The CNN Freedom Project
The estimated number of slaves in the world is 20-30 million.  Find informative articles about global slavery as well as modern-day slavery right here in our own backyard.  "CNN is joining the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on the horrors of modern-day slavery, amplifying the voices of the victims, highlighting success stories, and helping unravel the complicated tangle of criminal enterprises trading in human life."  Watch CNN's website today for breaking news from the "Trafficking Persons Report" issued by the US Government this afternoon.  You can also follow the Freedom Project on Facebook and Twitter.

“Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”  ― Martin Luther King Jr.

If you haven't spent time on Mercy Project's website, today as we're celebrating freedom and focusing on how far we have left to go, head over and see what this organization is up to in Ghana.  You'll be encouraged.

“Not only will we have to repent for the sins of bad people; but we also will have to repent for the appalling silence of good people.”  ― Martin Luther King Jr.

Free the Captives
Want to fight human trafficking right here in our own backyard?  Check out what Free the Captives, a Houston based organization, is doing to raise awareness and fight human trafficking right here in the United States.

If you are yearning to become a modern-day abolitionists, these are two really great organizations to follow and support.  We're personally vouching for the people behind Mercy Project and Free the Captives.  We know their hearts.  We've seen their passion.  We're blessed and honored to see the Kingdom lived out through these two organizations.

Happy Juneteenth!

1 comment:

mandi said...

Can I add to this list of my favorite Houston based ministries?

Redeemed Ministries
Freedom Place - Houston

ok- these aren't necessarily just Houston based, but they have a presence/office in the city:
Exodus Cry
Shared Hope International