Monday, October 13, 2008

a story of freedom

You know how doom and gloom, those dark tornadoes, unceasingly swirl about these days? In our own land to a degree, with the financial and political debacles, but more severely, the world over? Technology provides us the ability to hear real-time reports of famine, flood, earthquake, and genocide, and I oft wonder if the human psyche is meant to know about this tremendous suffering. For those of us without personal ties to displaced or impoverished people, there is very little we can do to help. And inability to act is very stressful.

So, with that in mind, an email I got today from my friend Stacy made my heart change directions for a small moment, and I decided maybe somebody else out there in blog-reading land could use the same bit of encouragement. Stacy is in her second year of work in India with International Justice Mission, an organization made up of lawyers, social workers, and other folks interested in human rights. Their work is specific to freeing people from literal bondage - kids in the sex trades, families and individuals enslaved in labor debt, etc. - and of bringing the perpetrators to justice. Some of those trapped in labor debt are spending their entire lives working to pay off a $2 debt that their grandfather incurred. NO KIDDING. Handily enough for the slave owners, the interest compounds faster than the worker can pay it off.

Well, Stacy sent a link today to an article on the IJM website about a recent raid. I haven't talked to her to know if she got to take part in this particular one herself, like she has in the past. Can you imagine something so heart-wrenching yet so fulfilling?! I mean, literally freeing slaves. Holy crap. Here's the story:

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