Each February many Shine a Light on Slavery. They will be donning a red X on their hand, taking a selfie showing their red X, posting it on their social media pages and tagging it #enditmovement, to let everyone know that slavery still exists and they won’t be a part of it!
Why? Because they want to be a part of something larger than themselves and they want to make a difference in the world! We want slavery to end!
END IT is a great organization and many influential people are building their teams to help raise money to make others aware. Their Coalition Partners are working to bring AWARENESS, PREVENTION, RESCUE, and RESTORATION.
Did you know?
Estimates say 21-36 million people are enslaved worldwide!
Slavery: being forced to work without pay, under the threat of violence, and being unable to walk away.
Slavery is a $160 billion industry
78% of slavery victims are in labor slavery
22% of slavery victims are in sex slavery
55% of slavery victims are women and girls
45% of slavery victims are men and boys
26% of slavery victims are children under the age of 18
Slavery wears many faces: debt bondage, bonded labor, organ harvesting, domestic slaves, sex slaves, child labor
India has the largest number of people in slavery – 14 million!
A couple of years ago Senator Bob Corker enlisted Peyton Manning, Todd Helton and his Chief of Staff (and friend of ours) Todd Womack.
As a matter of fact in 2015 Senator Bob Corker announced a bold, bipartisan legislation to create a focused, sustained effort to eliminate sexual and labor slavery worldwide, the End Slavery Initiative. (You will want to click on this link and share it) He isn’t simply putting a red X on his hand and posting selfies, he’s taking action!
Hope and Help International is also taking action! We are on the ground in South Asia working to prevent slavery of all kinds. Don’t miss future posts where I will highlight some of the ways we are participating in this global movement to abolish slavery.
So, you’re sporting a red X on your hand, you have posted your selfie making your friends and the world aware of slavery and the need to abolish it. Now what are you going to do?
Good intentions don’t change things. Be intentional, take action!
Join the fight by helping us change lives and bring hope to those in India, by helping those who can’t help themselves! For more information hopeandhelpinternational.org
Our team was driving in the state of Assam to check on a bridging school when this little girl digging a hole in a rice paddy captured their attention. She was one in a group of other children.
When they stopped to see her, an older man came out of the house on the property. He seemed friendly enough and not upset that we stopped but the leader of the team was worried about her after they left. Unfortunately she was too far away to attend the bridging school of our pastors attending our Timothy Leadership Institute (TLI) in that area.
One Tuesday during a trip to South Asia we attended church and then I walked through the small village where tea garden workers lived. We saw women washing clothes at the village well and sweeping the dirt in front of their huts, children were playing and men were milling around talking.
At church I learned the reason they met on Tuesday was that it was their day off from work at the tea garden. The workers spent 10-12 hours/day picking tea leaves and making $1.50/day and usually both the husband and wife worked. Many children “help” their parents and receive no pay at all. If a worker was sick they lost a day’s wages but if they were sick on Sunday they were docked three days pay, so they all met on Tuesday in order to not lose wages.
It wasn’t until later I found out many of the children were not just “helping” their parents, but were forced to work picking tea leaves as well. Unfortunately, the tea gardens are not the only place where you find children working very long days in grueling jobs.
Sadly, India has the largest number of child laborers in the world!
It’s estimated that millions of children, mostly 5-14 years old (although some are as young as three) in India live as modern-day slaves. It is hard to pin point exactly how many children are working because many aren’t officially registered at birth and of course the owners keep the existence of child slaves a secret. They work in the fields, in factories, brothels and private households — often without pay and usually with no real chance of escaping.
Unfortunately poverty, death of a parent(s), lack of education, are all factors in the child labor phenomenon. The majority of the children are sold for as little as 80 rupees ($1.33) by a relative. Or their own families, with promises that they will be treated well, hire them out. When traffickers hand the youngsters over to an employer, they earn a commission of up to 1,000 rupees, or nearly $12 per child. Often times these children are taken to another part of India never to be seen by their parents again.
They are NOT for Sale!
The conditions in which the children work are unregulated and they are often made to work without food and very low wages.
Aid organizations estimate that three-quarters of all domestic servants in India are children, and 90 percent of those are girls.
Physical, sexual and emotional abuse of child domestic workers is not uncommon. Often, children are placed by their families in these homes because they can’t afford to care for them and/or they need the extra income.
Although both child labor and child trafficking are illegal, police rarely intervene and the courts seldom convict child traffickers and slaveholders.
Unfortunately, the Indian government is unwilling to completely ban child labor.
Hope and Help International has boots (well flip flops) on the ground in South Asia and are taking action to prevent child slavery by
- building bridging schools which are located in the rural villages and give children an opportunity to receive a good education as well as at least one balanced meal a day (and sometimes two), vitamins and most importantly hear the Gospel. By attending these schools these children are less likely to be abducted by traffickers because they are known. Children who are left unattended by parents or are on the fringe of society are more likely to be lured away or stolen.
- building and/or supporting orphanages to house and care for abandoned and orphaned children. These also provide a safe haven for children.
- training national pastors to be effective ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In doing so we empower them to shine the light on the evil of slavery and as a result we have seen them engaged in setting the captives free.
One of our national partners has a bridging school in a slum area near a rock quarry. They are given hope for a better future and protected from traffickers who scour the slums for children to abduct or sometimes buy.
Unfortunately this work is not as easy as it seems. Although the parents would like their children educated many factors are working against the bridging school, with abject poverty playing the leading role. Students often miss school because the parents need them to work and earn more money for the family. For the parents it is the only life they know and their needs are so great, it is hard to convince them to keep their children in school.
The families are in essence enslaved to the owner of the quarry. The children are forced to work because they are cheap labor. Kids break rocks or carry larger stones to the rock piles if they are strong enough. It is hard work, the days are long and the pay is extremely poor.
Now that you are aware that slavery does still exist don’t just give it lip service, take action!!!
Hope and Help International offers many opportunities for you to be a vital part of abolishing slavery. Check out our website to find out more — > hopeandhelpinternational.org.
We are embarking on a new adventure!
After working with Precept Ministries since 1987, full time for the last 18 years, God has called us to leave and begin a new adventure. So, with Kay’s blessing, David and I will be joining the team of Hope and Help International as Co-Directors of Ministry Development.
Hope and Help International focuses on training and equipping national pastors in rural India. Working with and supporting national pastors also means supporting their ministry projects such as church planting among unreached people groups, taking care of orphans, village schools, and widow ministries.
We will also work producing Bible studies, teaching, and networking with churches and ministries here in the US.
Our story with Hope and Help International
The first time we were in India I was overwhelmed by two things, the poverty and the number of people. I remember thinking to myself there is not enough money in the world to solve the problem of poverty in India. I was right.
Then we met several Indian pastors, about 500 of them, along with their wives. They were poor and powerless by the world’s standards. But as we talked and prayed together we saw something that caught us completely off guard. They were full of hope and joy.
In that moment, when the Spirit of God in us bore witness with the Spirit of God in them, we found it. We found the hope of India.
The hope for India was and is the national pastor who loves the Lord with all of his heart and does not love his own life at all.
These men and women possessed the one thing that could change the despair, the hopelessness of the world we were standing in, the gospel of Jesus Christ. But, they were poorly trained and under educated. They had zeal and passion but they needed to be equipped. They needed someone to invest in their lives and equip them for the work of the ministry.
One of the pastors moved into this village of unreached people. As a result of his preaching the gospel this woman came to know Christ! You can see it in her face.
We saw God at work and we felt God drawing us to join Him in His work with Hope and Help International.
Over the last few years we have returned to India several times. Each time God has confirmed to us the calling to invest in the lives of these men and women the way we invested in promising young men and women during the twenty years we were responsible for Transform Student Ministry. So, it was no surprise when God led us to leave Precept Ministries and join the HHI team.
This is a new adventure for us in a lot of different ways. One of which is, we are required to raise our own support. We have seen God provide miraculously and abundantly over the years and we know that where He guides, He provides. So, we are excited, not anxious, about what He is going to do.
Would you please pray for us, and with us? We need prayer partners who will come along side and intercede as we make this move, and as we work with Hope and Help International. We believe a praying team is essential!
How can you join in the adventure?
If God leads you to partner with us and with Hope and Help International financially you can send support to the following address.
Hope and Help International
PO Box 23232
Chattanooga, TN 37422
Attention: David Lawson
Or you can donate on line at https://www.hopeandhelpinternational.org , select “special needs“(ha ha, yes we are) and “other.” In the comment box please mention David or BJ Lawson.
Hope and Help International is a 501c3 and all of your donations are tax deductible.
To invite either David or BJ for an event or teaching/speaking engagement or just to keep in contact with us
David – DavidLLawson@gmail.com
Thank you for considering partnering with us. You can be a part of what God is doing to equip pastors, teach women, children and widows and to reach unreached unengaged people groups in Southeast Asia!
Please feel free to contact either of us if you have further questions.
David and BJ Lawson
We would LOVE to engage in a conversation with you! Please ask your questions in the comment box, others may have the same questions and it will help others see what God is doing in India!
Kavya’s story is a beautiful picture of Gods love and redemption. As an 8 year old, Kavya has no idea yet how much God loves her and what she has been rescued from. But, I totally believe that God has a plan for this fearless, outgoing, lovable little girl. Kavya captures the hearts of all she comes in contact with. In fact her story begins with a heart that fell in love at first sight.
In 2009 Stephanie came with a team to India to do Kids Camp with children from the Veda School, when she fell deeply in love with a 4 year old named Kavya. Stephanie told her mother all about this cute little boy in the turquoise plaid shirt and shorts with a cute short hair cut. He seemed to have picked her out for his very own too, he stuck to her during the entire camp like glue!
About halfway through camp Stephanie mentioned the little boy to Prem, one of the national partners. “What is his name?” Prem inquired. Kavya! “Kavya is a girl’s name Stephanie.” “No, this Kavya is a boy!” She replied adamantly. He had someone take her and check her out. The verdict came back, “Yes, Kavya was definitely a girl!” Stephanie was not yet convinced and questioned Dolly if Kavya was a girls name, to which she replied that it was. Dolly had her checked and once again it was determined that Kavya was definitely a little girl!
Stephanie and her mother bought her a dress, which she wore every day of camp. (it was her only dress). They were inseparable as though joined at the hip. Stephanie would lovingly call her Kavyavyavia and she would flash a smile as big as Texas and call Stephanie Akka (big sister). (more…)
Heading to India 2013!
So I’ll stand with arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
So I’ll stand, my soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours
The Stand- Hillsong
As I sang these words of worship the Sunday before we left for India they served as a reminder to me that morning, why I go to India. Before I get into my story let me share a little bit about India.