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Global Perspectives

Tim Krueger
Not long ago, I saw a brief note about Jaqueline Huggins, the first African American woman ever to complete a translation of the New Testament. I was very excited about this, because it happens that as a child, I was Huggins' neighbor in the Philippines, where my parents were colleagues of hers. She was always "Aunt Jackie" to me. This little note reminded me how privileged I was (and many of us are) to be surrounded by women making history. And often, we have no idea. Aunt Jackie's house was across the field, past the basketball court, and just out of sight beyond the gravel pile. She was just a neighbor. I saw her all the time—at church, at our little store, and whenever we randomly crossed paths. I have a vague memory of going to her house and licking sta... Read more
Lexi Friesen
Amani Mustafa, a former Muslim, has spent much of her life on the run, facing abuse and neglect, all the while remaining faithful to God. As a teenager, her mom secretly became a Christian while living in a Muslim community in Egypt. Appalled by her mother’s decision, Amani looked for ways to contradict her mother’s newfound faith. Instead, her eyes were opened to the truth of God’s love. She, too, became a Christian. The community she lived in soon found out about her mother’s faith and forced her to flee, but she was unable to take Amani with her. A short time later Amani’s father found her reading a Bible in private and he became abusive and threatening towards her. Because of this, Amani ran away for several years. Upon returning to the community, she w... Read more
I recently finished reading the autobiographical story of Immaculée Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide. Her book, Left to Tell recounts her harrowing journey of persecution, endurance, and deliverance. The narrative is heart wrenching and yet, somehow, so full of hope. Immaculée emerged from the weight of oppression victorious in her faith and convicted to testify to her ordeal. Today, she is an author and motivational speaker who shares her amazing story with people around the world. Immaculée is a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide, a mass slaughter in 1994 that left between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Rwandan people dead. She was targeted because she was from the Tutsi tribe, a group persecuted since 1990 by the Hutu-led government of the region.... Read more
In commemorating International Women’s Day, we remain sober about the future safety of girls and women. According to the United Nations 35% of the world’s females, over 1/3 have encountered physical abuse in their life. What is more, in most of these communities women are rarely included in the strategies and implementations that address systems that perpetuate their own violence. Too often communities lack a “gender-lens” in dealing with power-imbalances that women and girls are best acquainted with and therefore are best able to address. When developing solutions to gender-based violence, their voice and experience is essential but frequently ignored. What is more, perpetrators depend on the silence of their prey, not only through systems that marginalize their ex... Read more
“To sin by silence, when we should protest, makes cowards out of men.” These words were written by a poet named Ella Wilcox around the Civil War. In America today we have this idea that the Civil War ended slavery. That, however, is not true. In fact, there has not been a single day in the history of The United States of America that slavery has not existed. Human trafficking is the coercion or persuasion of women or men into modern day slavery (most often sex slavery), or more plainly, the sale of human beings.  We hear about human trafficking in terms of, “this isn’t really here, it’s overseas,” but there is no better way to get away with a crime than when you think it doesn’t exist in your neighborhood. Many people know what human tra... Read more
Kati Brandt
“If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.” —William Wilberforce This is the final post in this series. Some of the things we’ve learned may be shocking and hard to comprehend. But they are real. And I thought the best way to finish would be to talk about realistic ways that each of us can be an abolitionist. Because for as horrific and overwhelming as the fight against slavery can be there are incredible stories of freedom and amazing people working to see a real end to the abuse of human life. Once we know that it’s a problem we are responsible for that knowledge. Not everyone can drop their lives and spend their days freeing people from sla... Read more
Kati Brandt
[Editor's note: This is the third post in Kati's series on human trafficking for our January theme of the devaluation of women. Her first post can be found here, her second here, and her fourth here.] Last week we focused on women in sex trafficking. This week we tackle labor trafficking. To be honest, sex slavery is a pretty easy thing to be against. It’s shocking and horrifying and once you know that it exists it’s morally easy to see the problem. Labor trafficking is a different story. It’s not as organized as international prostitution rings. It’s messy and harder to detect and it affects every single human being on the planet.  Do you buy clothing, shoes, accessories? You might be part of the problem. Labor trafficking is not talk... Read more
Kati Brandt
[Editor's note: This is the second post in Kati's series on sex trafficking for our January theme of the devaluation of women. Her first post can be found here.] This week we are talking specifically about sex trafficking. When someone says “sex trafficking” what do you think of? Southeast Asia? Amsterdam? What if I told you that sex trafficking affects every single country in the world? Women, men and children are being bought and sold at unbelievable rates everywhere from Cambodia to Minnesota. The Super Bowl, for instance, has a lot more than football and beer. There are huge prostitution rings at the Super Bowl each year because there are an equally large number of men looking for sex. For the purpose of this blog, and so this post doesn’t end up being more... Read more
“More girls are killed in this routine ‘gendercide’ in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the twentieth century.” —William Petrocelli [1] What is gendercide? Gendercide is the silent elimination of females, young and old, through sex-selective abortion, infanticide, gross neglect, and for older women, lack of access to food and shelter.[2] In countries like India and China the birth of a baby girl is rarely celebrated with much joy. In India sons are preferred above daughters as a son can provide for the family and can carry on the family name. In China, the one child policy instituted by the legal system dictates that Chinese families are legally only allowed to have one child. The Chinese culture like the Indian cultur... Read more
Kati Brandt
[Editor's note: This January our theme as an organization is the devaluation of women, which will include topics like abuse and human trafficking. These are often uncomfortable things to talk about but they may be the most important issues we face in terms of gender justice. They certainly have the most grave of consequences. I've asked my good friend Kati Brandt, who is a near-expert in all things human trafficking to write a 4-post series about the topic. We will be publishing a post every week on Monday for the month of January. This is her first post.]   “The term trafficking in persons can be misleading: it places emphasis on the transaction aspects of a crime that is more accurately described as enslavement. Exploitation of people, day after day. For yea... Read more

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