Archives for category: justice

I just returned from visiting three cities across India in ten days with a team from my church community here in San Diego in partnership with Justice Ventures International, on whose board I serve. Putting into words all that we saw and experienced is extraordinarily difficult — in each city we visited, each day felt packed with a week, and the overall impression was a sort of “everything all at once.”

In this series of posts, I’ll share a bit about what we did, but more importantly, highlight people and organizations on the ground who refuse to be overwhelmed by the evil of slavery and human trafficking but, rather, hold fast to hope and continue to fight on behalf of those being crushed under the weight of sin.

As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”

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This summer, I will be going to India with a team from our church community in partnership with Justice Ventures International. I’m so excited for this convergence of my worlds (I’m one of the pastors at United and a board member with JVI), and I deeply appreciate your prayer support.

For a glimpse of the amazing work JVI does in India, please read this quarterly update. JVI works to rescue women, children, and men from slavery and to empower the vulnerable with legal resources and training.

Here is a quick glimpse at our trip:

The Idea Camp tribe has been so life-giving to me over the last couple of years.  This amazing group of compassionaries has inspired, challenged, and partnered with me in ways that have changed me and compelled me towards concrete action for good — to demonstrate the reality that God has not given up on the world by becoming better expressions of God’s love for the world.

I loved being a part of #Ideation11, even if it was only for a day. While the Ideation Conference is not strictly faith-based, this gathering of amazing idea-makers, creatives, and doers from both the nonprofit and business worlds moves powerfully together for good. A huge thanks to Charles Lee and the team for bringing together such an incredible gathering.

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As Eugene Cho commented recently, it’s altogether too easy to act like a jerk in the name of “contending” for the Gospel.

I think Rob Bell’s characterization of broader American culture is unfortunately true of the church many times as well: “There is this low-grade boiling rage that many people carry around with them everywhere they go.”

[Ironic edit: The aforementioned Rob Bell has become a trending topic on Twitter because of a group of people who are adamantly opposed to him, filled with the typical name-calling, gnashing of teeth, and end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it hysterics typical to such trending topics.]

Apologies for sounding like a stereotypical, institution-suspicious Xer when I say this (but totally not apologizing for still nerding out over The Breakfast Club, as seen in the photo above!), but I am growing weary of the infighting in my denomination. I think we could play a pretty mean game of church insider-bingo with the vocab being thrown around: tall steeple churches, white papers, open letters, angry responses, clarification letters… BINGO!

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As part of the Booksneeze program from Thomas Nelson, I received a copy of Richard Stearns’ book, The Hole in Our Gospel, for review.

In The Hole in Our Gospel, Richard Stearns describes his journey from corporate CEO to following Jesus into the poorest corners of the world. Stearns currently serves as president of World Vision US.

In the introduction, Stearns writes:

Being a follower of Jesus Christ requires much more than just having a personal and transforming relationship with God. It also entails a public and transforming relationship with the world. If your personal faith in Christ has no positive outward expression, then your faith – and mine – has a hole in it.

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