When you hear the word “slavery,” you probably think of 18th and 19th century America and the Civil War that was fought to end that monstrous practice. Would you be surprised to discover that there is more slavery today than at any other time in the history of the world? About 36 million people are forced to work under threat of violence for no pay except for subsistence. 36 million! Eight million of those are forced into sex trafficking and 10.5 million of the world’s slaves are children.
And if you think slavery is a problem for “other” nations, consider this: in the past half hour, one more person was trafficked to the United States into slavery. Between 14,000-17,000 human beings are trafficked into the U.S. each year and forced to work or prostitute themselves within our borders.
I know; shocking, isn’t it? This weekend we are hosting a multi-sensory experience on the epidemic of slavery called SOLD. This experience exposes you to the harsh reality of slavery while, at the same time, presenting hopeful stories of deliverance. If you have not yet participated in SOLD, I invite you to do so either today from 10:00-8:00pm, Sunday from 8:00-2:00pm and 4:00-8:00pm or Monday from 9:00-1:00pm. This is definitely for mature audiences.
When Jesus preached his inaugural sermon in Nazareth, he quoted Isaiah in declaring his mission: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” May this SOLD experience be used of God to bring about freedom for his beloved children.