“Justice is doing for others what we would want done for us.”
- Gary Haugen, Founder of IJM
God has called us to play a role in something far bigger than any of us could have imagined just a few short months ago – the global fight to end slavery. We need God’s help and your prayers and support in this.
More than 45 million people live in slavery today. Let that sink in for a moment. 45 million. It’s enough to leave all of us staggering and feeling hopeless.
But there is hope. International Justice Mission is the world’s leading anti-slavery organization. God uses IJM to perform miracles all over this broken world on a daily basis. This video gives a great snapshot of how IJM does its work. Please take four minutes to give it a look.
IJM brings hope, healing, and transformation. IJM works in seventeen (17) field offices throughout Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. IJM protects the world’s poor from violence by rescuing victims, bringing criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts. Since 2006, IJM has rescued more than 23,000 people from violence and has secured the conviction of more than 800 criminals. IJM is protecting more than 21 million people by working with justice systems on long-term solutions to violence. IJM has been highlighted by U.S. News and World Report as one of ten non-profits “making a difference” and has also been recognized by the U.S. State Department, the World Economic Forum, and various media outlets around the world, including Forbes, The Guardian, The New York Times, National Public Radio, CNN, The Times of India, Foreign Affairs, The Phnom Penh Post, and many others.
The problem of modern-day slavery is very real. But so is the rescue and restoration work done by IJM. In fact, on the day of our departure for Cambodia, IJM rescued 24 young boys from the lake featured in the video above. This brings it all home, and it's what IJM is all about:
Thais and Doug have both accepted unpaid, one-year fellowships to work with IJM in 2017, in the Cambodia field office. Thais is now helping local staff to prioritize, set strategic direction, and evaluate and improve aftercare and system reform programs in a Program Design/Monitoring and Evaluation Fellowship. Doug is working with local lawyers in Cambodia to help prosecute slave traffickers as part of a Legal Fellowship.
In early January 2017, we spent a week of orientation at IJM’s world headquarters in Washington, D.C., where we were trained with other participants in the fellowship program. We returned home briefly to finalize packing and preparations, and then all five of us made our way to Cambodia on January 23-24 (a 27-hour journey, and we lost 13 hours in the process!). This has been and will be an adventure of a lifetime, and we continue to pray that God will equip us, use us, and put us to work in whatever way we can be of help.
We have been providing updates through the blog on this web page, and we plan to continue doing so throughout our journey. Please check in and join us on our adventure! If you are interested in learning about opportunities to pray for our family and/or provide financial support during our year of service, you can do that through the "How to Help" page on this website. Finally, please let us hear from you! Your notes of encouragement and support are a huge lift for all of us. Thank you for being part of this. We are so grateful for your friendship and support!