July 2020 – Love Your Neighbor

July 2020 – Love Your Neighbor

Program Ideas

Play the video “No Way Out: Sex–Trafficked at 16 Years Old” from the website: www.helpsharechange.org. This is about how a survivor escaped human trafficking.

Coordinate a time of prayer and then share the opportunity for the women’s ministry members to sponsor a Salvation Army Justice Gift (www.SAjustice.us). These are small Salvation Army mission projects, such as buying meals for a child living in the Red Light District in India, literacy materials for WORTH Women’s Program in Kenya, purchasing medical supplies or vocational training for “Survivors of Prostitution Program” in Kenya.

Share with the women the gifts available from the website “Others/Trade for Hope” (www.tradeforhope.com.) “Others” is a Salvation Army initiative, assisting vulnerable victims in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kenya and Moldova to produce goods, giving these people a means of livelihood and independence.

Follow on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/othersusa/

Coordinate a “Support Team” to connect with and care for women in your community working in the sex industry. There are many resources available on www.SAjustice.us: Support Team Basics (English), Contact Card and Flyer (Both available in English, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese).

A Southern California Division corps launched such a group, a weekly “Support Team” to women working in clubs and parlors in their neighborhood. Named “Sweet Prayers” to identify the means and purpose of their ministry, the team visits locations each week, bearing sweet gifts, offering friendships, resources and prayer. Men from the corps serve as drivers and pray as the team talks to the workers inside the parlors. One particular parlor manager, uncomfortable with the visits, told the team their treats were “too sweet” and not to come back. Undeterred, the team learned the Asian cultural palate did not indulge regularly in American sweets, and instead came the following week bringing gifts of fruit. The parlor manager now welcomes and looks forward to “Sweet Prayers’” weekly visit.

Make contact with community liaison (Policeman or local Anti–Trafficking Task Force) to identify needs in your community. A recommended resource is: www.polarisproject.org, a nonprofit, non–governmental organization that works to combat and prevent modern-day slavery and human trafficking. The organization works directly with victims, hosts tip and crisis hotlines, and offers solutions to those victimized by human trafficking.

Quiz: True Or False?

  • The Salvation Army once owned a Match Factory.

True: To fight the unsafe conditions and poor wages of match factory workers in 1891, The Salvation bought a match factory, which led to significant work reforms in the industry.

  • The Salvation Army helped raise the age of consent in England.

True: Through the Army’s continual pressure and petition of over 300,000 names, Parliament was pressured to raise the age of consent from 13 to 16 years old in 1881.

  • The Salvation Army was pivotal in thousands of women being freed from brothels in Japan.

True: The Army campaigned actively in the 1900s against the brothels to the point of being beaten and injured. The press joined in the coverage resulting in an imperial edict to declare women and girls would be given protection if they wished to go free. Within one year, 12,000 secured their freedom.

  • What do these three facts given above have in common?

Since our founding, fighting for Social Justice is in the DNA of The Salvation Army.

 

Love Your Neighbor

I have a confession. I am very selfish. I don’t like to feel bad. I even avoid books and movies that are tearjerkers or have a bad ending because I don’t want to feel bad or hurt for others, nor feel any pain or sorrow. How does this translate into my everyday life? Sometimes I talk myself into being too busy to care. If I see a disheveled, greasy–looking homeless man lying motionless in a building entrance, I take great pains to stay far away as I pass by. If I see a toothless, middle–aged woman panhandling for money at the intersection, I convince myself she would just use any money toward her addictions.

But I first learned compassion on December 14, 1983. My first baby, Christopher, was born extremely jaundiced and was whisked into Intensive Care for newborns for intravenous liquids. An IV needle is usually inserted into the arm of an adult, but with a newborn’s risk of knocking the needle out, the medical staff inserted the needle into the soft spot at the top of my baby’s head. To further prevent the needle from displacing, they taped a Styrofoam cup, cut in half, onto his head. There my baby lay, looking like the little monkey from Aladdin with that cup on his head, in an incubator where I couldn’t touch him. For eight straight days, I cried as we visited him in the hospital. “It’s not supposed to be like this! My baby is supposed to come home with me!” This is when I learned compassion, truly hurting and caring for another person, my baby, and doing whatever I could to ease his pain and discomfort.

I realize from the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30–35), that love and compassion through God’s eyes spurs one to action. It’s not enough to merely recognize and feel another’s pain. Today, outside our very doorsteps, millions of victims around the world are suffering with injustice, imprisoned in real and virtual shackles of poverty, hunger and abuse. And it is in the DNA of every soldier and member of The Salvation Army to be a voice for the voiceless, to bring awareness, healing and hope to those who are suffering.

As the Good Samaritan’s compassion spurred him to action, how is God calling you to love these victims of social injustice? Isaiah1:17 says, “Learn to do good. Seek Justice. Help the oppressed.” Solomon writes: “Never walk away from someone who deserves help, your hand is God’s hand for that person” (Proverbs 3:27, The Message.) God’s love in us spurs us to action. How can you help your neighbor today?

 

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