There are so many injustices in the world it makes your stomach turn.  Too many to even try to list.  The injustice that has deeply impacted our hearts is the fact that children are imprisoned throughout the world.   At this very moment, literally as you are reading these words, over 1 million children are sitting in prison – some are being abused, most are being denied basic rights, many are terrified and hungry.

It is a harsh and unacceptable reality.  The horrific conditions in which these children live, the danger they face, and the daily suffering they endure should absolutely shock our consciences and spur us to action.  Here are a few facts to ponder (you can see a short video on this subject by visiting www.kampalaconference.info):

*          The age of criminal responsibility in most African countries is 10

*          Today there are believed to be over 1 million children languishing in prisons

*          The largest number of child prisoners is believed to be in Africa

It’s difficult to communicate the weight of injustice, and the call of the Christian to seek justice, plead the cause of the oppressed, and rescue those in need.  One of our dear friends has put to words a glimpse of our passion on this issue of injustice, so we thought we would share some of her thoughts and what every one of us can do about it. 

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I start with the definition of “injustice”:

·         inequity;
·         violation of the rights of others
·         unjust or unfair action or treatment
·         wrong
·         oppressive
·         wickedness
 
During the act of injustice, someone is being violated, oppressed or being treated unfairly or wickedly.  And by definition there is someone committing the violation, oppression or wicked, unfair treatment.
 
My eyes have yet to see real injustice face to face.  Yet somehow this heart, it aches for the child, the orphan, the unloved, the neglected, the abandoned, the helpless, the hopeless, and the vulnerable.  The statistics are mind boggling.  Injustice is:
 
·         147 million orphans in the world today
·         Children by the thousands, aging out of orphanages each day, left to face the world on their own.
·         Children abducted around the world and forced into prostitution or into an army or terrorist group.
·         Children abandoned at prisons because no one can care for them.
·         Children gathered off the streets and thrown into prison because begging for food is a crime.
 
I could go on, but my stomach can’t take it.  My mind can’t even fathom what atrocities some of these children must live through each day.  The despair, the hopelessness, the injustice, it’s heavy.
 
What can someone like me do about it?
What can someone like you do about it?
 
Isaiah 58 tells us exactly what we can do about it.  The wonderful, life-changing words of Isaiah 58.  The words the Lord used to WAKE ME UP a year and a half ago.  Here they are:
 
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:” says Isaiah, speaking to pew warmers, “to loose the chains of injustice, and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood.”  Isa. 58:6-7
 
There is that word.  Injustice.  What does the Lord want me, you, all of us to do about injustice?  Loose its chains, untie the cords, set the oppressed free. How?  Read the whole chapter and you will find He lays it out pretty clearly.
 
But there is something else.  There is more to it than just providing food and shelter, which never seems to satisfy the void.  So what is it?  In my search, the Lord brings me to Job, and my heart skips a beat at these words:
 
So the poor have hope and injustice shuts its mouth.”  Job 5:16
 
Them’s fightin’ words.
 
Ah, the glorious day when injustice will shut its mouth forever!  But there is a diamond, a glimmer of light in this darkness.  Hope.  So the poor have hope AND injustice shuts its mouth.  They are inevitably linked.  No option.  It does not say “or”.  It does not say “maybe”.  When the poor have hope injustice shuts its mouth.
 
Is it really possible?  The end of injustice is HOPE?  Loose the chains of injustice with HOPE?  Set the oppressed free with HOPE?  This hope.  It is held out in the gospel.  It is the anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It fills us with an inexpressible and glorious joy.  Given in love.  Taken hold of by faith. It is one of the three which remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is, of course, love.
 
We each have a part in this and there is no shortage of opportunity out there to serve. There are so many organizations and so many missionaries around the world and down the street holding out the hope of the gospel, serving and sacrificing in love.  And they are shutting the mouth of injustice where they are. 
 
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To read more from our friend, please visit her blog at www.patientlywaitingonhim.blogspot.com.