Thursday, January 3, 2013

Gary Haugen at Passion 2013: You Can Be the Generation That Ends Slavery in the World

By Ruth Malhotra , CP Guest Contributor
January 3, 2013|8:19 am

ATLANTA – Gary Haugen, president and CEO of International Justice Mission (IJM), told the 60,000+ Passion 2013 participants that 27 million people in slavery today is a massive problem of injustice in our world and that they must make this cause a priority, in what was both a plea for awareness and a challenge to take action Wednesday afternoon.

"As your brother in Christ I simply want to tell you that slavery is real, it's massive, it's brutal, and it's also in our own backyard," he said. "But you can be the generation that ends slavery in the world."
IJM is an international human rights agency that rescues victims of violence, sexual exploitation, slavery and oppression worldwide, and in recent years the Passion movement has partnered extensively with their global initiatives raising significant finances in the fight to free those enslaved today.
"You are for me the manifestation that God can do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine," said Haugen, commending the students for their efforts in this cause thus far.
With compelling burden to free today's 27 million slaves, Haugen recounted his own experiences in the justice movement from his first encounter with humanitarian atrocities in Rwanda in 1994 to the many recent dark profiles of child prostitution in brothels and forced labor in brickyards more recently. Describing the brutal Rwandan genocide when much of the world stood silent and turned a blind eye to the horrific and deadly violence, Haugen said, "The world was asking, 'Where was God?' I was asking, 'Where were God's people?'"
Haugen has had a long and dynamic career of fighting human rights abuses around the world and uses his investigative, legal and social work expertise to rescue victims of slavery and hold their perpetrators accountable, but has often been frustrated by the perceived apathy of the church on this issue. "For more than two decades now I have been praying for a better day, a better generation; a generation whose hearts break for the things that break the heart of Christ," said Haugen. "I believe today that you may be that better day, that generation that manifests God's compassion and His heart for justice in the world."

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