A few weeks ago, my 12-year-old niece and I were talking chocolate over lunch. The conversation took an uncomfortable turn. Since I had recently finished reading the book Refuse to Do Nothing, I had learned that up to 40% of the cocoa used to make the chocolate we eat is slave-harvested. Suffice it to say, there was no Hershey's on our s'mores that weekend, as I have not yet been assured Hershey's is doing what it can to eliminate "slave-free chocolate." Up until this conversation, I don't think my niece was aware slaves still existed. Her face fell when I said, "They estimate there are 27 million slaves worldwide." I didn't want to tell her what I've learned, but I can no longer keep quiet. Those of us who follow Jesus are called out to uphold justice, free the oppressed, and love like our Savior loves.
That's why the purpose of this important and necessary book is not guilt, but action.
Authors Shayne Moore and Kimberly McOwen Yim, two abolitionist mamas, have crafted a book that not only informs us of the dark evil happening in our backyards, our cities and around the world, they convinced me I could do something about it.
Here are a few quotes:
“Poverty and extreme levels of gender inequality play a significant role in why women and children make up 80% of trafficking victims.”
“Pornography today…is a world where women are dominated, urinated on, spit upon, beaten and raped. But we are told pornography is a matter of personal choice and something we engage with in private. We keep silent because the world has told us we are prudish if we voice our concern about the effects pornography has on our children or our society.”
“The average time it takes for a runaway child to be approached by a trafficker is 48 hours.” -Polaris Project
While the book often took my breath away, it also covered the beautiful story of how women in the U.S. rose up to abolish slavery in the 19th century. The opportunities it afforded them were ironic; because they stood up on behalf of the defenseless, women began to be treated more and more equally themselves. They preached, they entered new spheres of influence, and they eventually garnered the right to vote.
All of this makes me wonder: what might we accomplish in abolishing modern-day slavery if brothers and sisters tackled this evil TOGETHER?
Instructions: 1) To enter, leave a comment below stating why you would like to read this book or tell us a story of what someone is doing to abolish slavery in your community.
2) Through random.org, I will choose a winner and contact them. (Be sure you’re signed into DISQUS with an email address.) Contest runs through Thursday, July 18, at which point I will notify everyone of the winner.
(Participants must live in the United States or Canada to accommodate mailing costs. Thanks!)