Passion 2012 - I was there
Passion 2012 - I was there
WOW. We’re still in shock!
Thank you, Passion 2012, for your generosity and support. We are honored and humbled to be participating in 72 Days For Freedom. Will you join us?
Monday, February 6, 2012 - Day 6 of February Tumblr/Facebook Fast
Pictured Above - My younger brother and I during Thanksgiving break.
Alternatively Titled - Slavery Stills Exists
I worked a few hours this morning at the front desk of a residence hall here on campus. I drank coffee and read the ironically titled novel, "The Joys of Motherhood" for my World Culture class.
Its set in Nigeria in during WWII, and is basically about the poverty and mistreatment of Africans by the British, and the mistreatment of African women by…everyone. The main character, Nnu Ego, describes herself as a slave to her family, specifically to her responsibility to her children. Her culture uses her love for her children against her, twisting it to oppress her throughout her life. She is never praised for her hard work and sacrifice, but is always blamed for whatever goes wrong in her family. They compare the poverty and mistreatment of the Africans to the slavery that was recently abolished for them. At one point, when Nnu Ego’s husband, Nnaife, is forcibly drafted into the British army, he says, “We don’t have slavery anymore, so why should grown men be captured in broad daylight?”
Nnaife does not realize that such thinking is tragically erroneous. He believes that slavery no longer exists. He fails to see that his people are still enslaved, that they are still at the mercy of the British, paid hardly enough to live on, with no voice in the government, and little chance of ever gaining an improved quality of life. And, of course, the men can be snatched from their jobs and forced into the army without even the chance to say goodbye to their families.
The enslavement is worse still for the women, who have even less options in life than men. They must marry. They must produce children. And even more importantly, they must produce male children. They believe that a man is made immortal through his sons, and so women who are unable to produce male children are considered responsible for killing their husbands. If a woman is unable to have children, she is worthless, and a man will usually take on another wife to give him heirs.
A childless woman had no value in their culture; this was such a strong belief that Nnu Ego was ready to kill herself when she was at first unable to have children. Luckily, she began having children later in life, and eventually has three sons and two sets of twin daughters. Her husband is very disappointed in her for having twin daughters, blaming her for it as soon as she gives birth and he sees that they are only girls. The only value a female has to her parents is the bride price they receive when she marries, and the only value she has to her husband is the children she is able to bear.
In this culture, women are basically sold to their husbands and used to give them children.
Perhaps the saddest thing of all is that over 60 years after the fictional Nnaife wonders why it is possible to be taken when there is no longer slavery, the harsh reality is that slavery still exists in our world today.
Over 27 million people are enslaved at this very moment. I had no idea slavery of this magnitude existed until about a month ago, when I attended the Passion 2012 conference. My eyes were opened, not only to the devastation and plight of the slaves, but to the hope and freedom that we can bring to them if we do something now.
During lunch I managed to spend a few minutes watching Elevation Network. Amazing how five minutes with Jesus can change your outlook on your whole day. Pastor Steven said (paraphrased),
"You don’t know what God is saying behind your back, how much he brags about you, how he is using you to impact the lives of generations to come. You don’t even know the ways the things that you do impact others."
Excuse me while I store these words in my heart.
In the afternoon I worked with my film crew from my video production class. We edited the short demo video we shot last Thursday for the campus marketing department. We are pitching our idea for a new Spirit Song Video to them on Wednesday, so we are giving them an idea with the demo video. My team is all going to wear suit jackets. I am the Director, which I am loving. Apparently our Producer is planning to bring muffins for the marketing team on Wednesday, so we’ll see how that goes.
Then math class.
I spent the rest of the evening finishing up a short edit of a documentary I shot to add to my Portfolio on Vimeo. I then (hopefully) finished up my resume for my Internship application and finally came back home to my dorm room after a 13 hour day.
Goodbye Tumblr, Hello Father
Along with Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) and my Bible Study girls, I am participating in February Facebook Fast. But I decided that since I normally spend more time on Tumblr than on Facebook, I would fast from both of these sites in order to spend more time getting to know my Savior, Jesus Christ.
You may wonder why I am talking about fasting from Tumblr during February…on Tumblr during February. Well, the simple answer is that I have decided to fast from the fangirly side of tumblr - spending hours scrolling through my dashboard looking at stuff that for the most part doesn’t mean anything in life, and instead spend a few minutes a day writing on my blog about modern day slavery.
So for the next month, I plan to upload a picture of myself each day, and talk about what I have learned from God, and what I have done to fight slavery. Time to get caught up.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Actually, I’ll start off talking about yesterday (Tuesday). I attended my campus’s weekly meeting of International Justice Mission. I became really passionate about fighting slavery while attending Passion 2012, and was really excited that IJM was starting up this semester. We are organizing an event for March, where we are going to teach the campus about slavery and have a worship session. I am on the Advertising Committee, as I can best use my Telecommunications skills that way. Our goal is to unite all the Christian campus organizations (there are dozens) to join with IJM to combat slavery.
At the IJM meeting, we also wrote letters of encouragement to women who have just been rescued from the human trafficking industry, and are currently in safe houses. Unfortunately, many women, after being rescued, eventually become trafficked again, because they know no other way of life. It felt such an honor to know that some woman will actually read my letter, and that God will use it to speak to her. I’m praying for her health, salvation, and hope. To write a letter of encouragement, visit thea21campaign.org.
I also spent several hours making a bulletin board about slavery for the women’s Residence Hall where I work. I pray that at least one girl sees it and becomes interested in fighting slavery.
And at the end of the night, I watched Glee with 27millionlikeme. It was the Michael Jackson episode. It rocked.
Then I spent time preparing for my Facebook/Tumblr fast, by which I must admit I mean that I spent several hours saying goodbye to Facebook and Tumblr. At midnight I signed off of both sites.
I am prepared for God to do great things this month with my time.
Now for Wednesday.
Today was a very crazy day. I had to write out an hour-by-hour schedule of what to do today. My planner had no white space left. After spending the day in classes and running around campus, I spent four hours editing a short documentary I produced for a short-outdoors-documentary film club I am involved in on campus. I was pretty satisfied with the results, and I’m excited to add it to my resume.
I suppose now is a good time to mention that I am applying for an Internship at Elevation Church this summer. They are an amazing church, and I can’t even express how excited I would be to spend my summer working with them. I would be moving halfway across the country for the summer, which is also exciting. I have felt for a long time that I am meant to be a part of their church. I watch their podcasts almost every day. Right now I am going through their Code Orange Revival Podcasts - so awesome.
Their video production team is phenomenal, I can’t begin to express how in love I am with their videography and editing. It would be such an honor to learn from them. I feel that God has been leading me to them for a long time, that this is what I am meant to do with my life, to be a part of a video production team at a Church. Using my gifts to share the Gospel.
I know that whether or not I get the Internship this summer, I will continue to love Elevation, and continue to apply every summer until I am too old. I also know that whatever I do this summer, God will bless me. I’m putting it all in his hands. It sounds so cliche, but I am actually starting to understand that everything does happen for a reason.
Our lives are so interconnected and strange and beautiful.
It boggles my mind that anyone could look at the complexity of our world and not believe in a Creator who loves us.
After the meeting with the film club, I headed to Bible Study. We trekked over to our “brother” Bible Study to surprise them with an invitation to watch the Superbowl. We had a chant that went something along the lines of “Hey, you, boys from stu! We’re watching the Superbowl and so should you! With us!” We had a sign and everything. It was great, and only a little awkward, since they didn’t know we were coming. We found out later that they had just been discussing relationships, when, lo and behold, a knock on the door and in walk 20 girls!
"And now I wish for a million dollars"
After we got back from our excursion, we read about it means to be “daughters of Eve.” Reminded me of The Chronicles of Narnia. It was a great study.
Day 1 without Facebook and Tumblr: Complete. And what a good day it was.
Slavery still exists.
Signs of Slavery
Thanks to 27millionlikeme for several of these pictures.
How Great is Our God by Chris Tomlin at Passion 2012
He brought singers from around the world, including a children’s choir from Uganda to sing this song. It was breathtaking.