Saturday, July 21, 2012

Half the Church

One hundred years from now may it never be said of this generation of ezers (warriors) that we folded our hands and left God's kingdom work to others. May it never be said that we ignored the cries of the helpless and focused on ourselves.
-Carolyn Custis James

For the last month I have been reading a book, Half the Church : Recapturing God's Global Vision for Women by Carolyn Custis James.  The book only has 8 chapters but it is one of those books where I read a chapter and have to think about it for a couple of days. She challenges us as God's daughters to be more, to look at ourselves the way God does and to realize that God has a purpose and global vision for his daughters. Carolyn James was propelled to write the book Half the Church because of what she read about in the book Half the Sky:Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. 

Half the Sky is a disturbing expose of the world's dark and largely forgotten underbelly where the misery and abuse of women and girls break the scales of human suffering. But I am at a total loss for words to describe the feeling that swept over me at the end of the book, where, while recognizing that Christian organizations are deployed in this fight, the authors threw down the gauntlet for the rest of the church to step up to the plate.  I was jolted to read, "Americans of faith should try as hard to say the lives of African women as the lives of unborn fetuses."  What troubled me most about this open challenge to the church was that Christians are not the loudest voices to sound the alarm, nor are we the most visible at the forefront in addressing this humaniatarian crisis. - Half the Church, Carolyn James

In the book, she talks about how we are often held back either because of the small vision we have of ourselves or because we listen to the wrong messages today about what women in God's kingdom can and can't do.  James, then moves the discussion to the devastating crisis that is happening to women and girls all over the world.  She lays down the challenge for  women who follow Christ to be on the front line of this war against modern day slavery and the sex trade.  As I have read through this book I am just hit with the thought over and over in the world can I even sleep at night when other women and girls are living hell on this earth? I want to stop worrying about my 1st world problems and focus on the things that matter to Jesus.  The statistics are sickening.

300,000 girls in the US are in prostitution

2 million children worldwide in the sex trade industry (UNICEF)

80% of human trafficking victims are women and up to 50% are minors (US Dept. of State)

1 out every 3 women in the world has been raped, beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise violently abused in her lifetime  (UN Development fund for Women)

But we can do something about it...together.  There are so many ways to help. 

God created his daughters to be kingdom builders-to pay attention to what is happening around us, to take action and contribute.- Carolyn Custis James

Check out Women at Risk International. An incredible ministry and there are so many ways to get involved.

Sponsor a girl through Compassion or World Vision.  Give her the gift of an education and change her life.

Participate in International Justice's campaign of 100 postcards.

Join Care.

Most importantly we can pray and fast for these women, girls,and the people on the front lines rescuing them.  We can pray in our Bible study groups, small groups and in church.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic post and information Tracy!!! Thank you for putting all this out there.