A few weeks ago I was invited to an Accessories for Hope party. Curious about what exactly that was, I went. A friend from church, Krista, and her mom hosted a party to talk about the issue of modern day slavery, and what we can do to help. I learned that human trafficking and slavery are happening all around the world, and they estimate 27 million people are enslaved today. After talking about the issue, it's easy to dismiss it as too far away and too big...but next we talked about what God had to say about injustice and slavery.
Again I observed all the oppression that takes place in our world. I saw the tears of the oppressed with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power and the victims are helpless... Ecc. 4:1
This is what the Lord says: Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
The Lord looked and was displeased to find that there was no justice. He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. Isaiah 59:15-16
I know for me, I had heard about these things before through other groups such as Invisible children, missionaries in Thailand, and other sources, but Sherry was able to show how some of our choices can make the problem worse. Such as where we buy chocolate and coffee, two infamous industries for poor treatment of workers. All of this is very overwhelming, and you might be thinking what can we possibly do to help?
Krista's mom started a non-profit to link a bunch of organizations together to sell products that have been made by rescued slaves (hince the name, Accessories for Hope). She brought several things, such as jewelry, purses, coffee, chocolate, clothes, scarves and more for us to take a look at and possibly buy if we wanted to. I know this does not solve the problem that people are sinful and are continually forcing others into slavery, but it encourages those out there making a difference. And these accessories provide a new way of living for women that
have possibly never known anything other than prostitution or coffee been pickers who have been forced into hard labor with their children. Many of the groups Accessories for Hope supports are Christian organizations that are sharing the love of Christ and the possibility of new life to those with no hope and a life worse than we could ever imagine here in the midst of our comfort.
This is just food for thought, and I know I have much to learn about this issue, but wanted to share about how a simple Sunday evening party is really changing how I view being a consumer and the choices I make.
All of the beautiful bags and purses.
and the jewelry...
and fair trade shoes!