JadeRider Journeys

Tag: Slavery

Restless nights

by on Mar.17, 2011, under 2011, Abolition, Freedom

It is now two am.  I have only been able to sleep for a couple of hours.

Like I said in an earlier post to twitter, I am feeling restless.  The persistent thought that the city of Houston is the number one city in this country when it comes to slave trafficking keeps steeling my sleep.  The orange color of abolition that runs through my veins is boiling.  The thought that things are about to get worst by the beginning of April, with the arrival of the Final Four to this city, increases my shame.  The thought that the media and our city government has not brought this to the public’s attention just totally blows my mind.

The thought that we were all filled with indignation when were were called the ” fattest city in the nation”, but only manage to briefly hold our breath and shake our heads when we find out the one out every five slaves in this country is trafficked through Houston stands like a scream of irrationality and immorality.  The thought that minors are charged with prostitution defies my logic all together.  The thought that we find ‘bad hair days’ more fascinating and important than human lives, more important than broken children’s lives is one that crashes against all that I believe in.

Where is our sense of humanity, city of Houston, when we care more about athletes and sporting events so much that we sweep into the shadows and the darkness the lives of children that get taken at 11 years of age, and broken on an daily basis to satisfy what can not be described without the need to vomit, and without outrage, by anyone with an ounce of decency?  What about the thousands of children and women to whom this will happen over and over again while people scream and high-five because someone just scored two more points?

What do we need to know to raise up as a city and say “We will be known as the City of Freedom” ?

Freedom Rise

Freedom Rise

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Join the Movement

by on Feb.07, 2010, under 2010, Freedom

This is not my content, but it strikes right into the middle of my soul

$27 For The 27 Million from David Hepburn on Vimeo.

$27 For The 27 Million is part of a series of videos created for the Not For Sale Campaign – http://www.notforsalecampaign.org.

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A brake in the flow: hearing a second call

by on Jan.28, 2010, under 2010, Faith, Freedom

I am taking a break from a number of flows, or lines here.  The final day of my trip still remains to be documented.  The main lessons learned from that trip also await in the digital ink well.  I am not watching my usual movie episode while I eat lunch.  It feels like God is calling again.  I feel like the spiritual phone has rung twice, and things are stirring in my soul again. I imagine myself like Samuel, being called by the Lord, and not answering him, being confused by a perceived source of the call.  Let me try to explain.

Sometime in 2009, I feel like the first call came in.  I was attending a talk by Dale Dawson on his work in Africa through Bridge2Rwanda, and his effort to help rebuild this nation.  At that time, for days, I felt my spirit and energy moved towards trying to figure out how to put my God given talents into service for a project like this.  Over time, though, I let myself be buried by the day to day things of my life.  A small flame, which actually had started burning before that talk, still kept burning.  A flame driven by the thought that our activities and practices, should not be divorced from the notion that in this world, things are more linked together than ever.  A flame fanned by the knowledge that the choices we exercise in consumption, including eating,  our clothes, our tires, and our precious digital gadgetry have a profound impact on the lives of people across the globe.

Yesterday, God hit me over the head with a not so subtle hammer, to make me understand why I had been able to open my eyes that morning.  At 7 pm last night, my team at work recorded and delivered over the web a presentation on human trafficking and slavery, entitled Not For Sale.  The presenter, David Batstone, delivered a powerful and hard-hitting talk about the variety of aspects of our lives that invisibly, for us, are touched by slavery.  He covered sex trade practices here and abroad, tires, chocolate, and cell phones, to name just a few.  David is more than an academician.  He is a creative thinker and writer that does not allow himself to be distracted by the enormity of the task at hand.  Like writing a book, in which the author plows through page by page, he moves forward in his humanitarian and faith-driven mission to end exploitation of people.  Through the Not For Sale campaign,  he offers a wealth of information, and a starting point for creative initiatives, for each of us to be driven to become part of the solution, and leverage, to end slavery.

As a Christian, I have come to believe that the true church lives outside the walls of the buildings where we congregate on Sundays to praise our Lord.  It is what we do outside, in our day to day lives that really will bring about the Kingdom of God, and glory to His Name.  So the challenge for us, believers and non-believers, is right in from of us.  The history of our faith is high lighted by the delivery of the Jewish people from the bondage of Egypt, symbolized by one of the most monumental visions, the parting of a sea, to see them through to freedom, and to drown the forces of their oppression.  In a more significant gesture though, God sent His only Son to  live on this earth, and suffer and die, in indescribable pain, to free us from the slavery of sin.  How are we, who are indebted to God into eternity, dealing with, or ignoring, slavery in this world that we have been entrusted with?

How can I use my talents, and passions in life to help in this campaign for freedom?  What are first steps in hearing this call?  My mind has been in a slow boil since last night.  For me it will start with a few things. Firstly, I will continue, my practices around coffee.  Starting last year, I have only bought Fair Trade coffee.  Further, I stay away from convenience, and do not prepare coffee with the now infamous ‘Coffee Pods’, such as the ones sold by Keurig, as they only occasionally use fair trade coffee, and produce literally mountains of unrecyclable plastic pods.  On a side note, it is ironic that one of the pod providers is Green Mountain Coffee.

Next on my list is tires.  A little known fact to the non-biker community is that motorcycles go through tires a lot more quickly than cars.  This is due to the physics of motorcycling, and how the shape and composition of tires us an essential, and critical component of steering.  I will be careful in my selection of tires for my car, and motorcycle (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1208-07.htm).

Other areas in simmer?  I have been dreaming for about two years of setting up a benefit that is directly driven by my passion for long distance motorcycle travel.  Like march of dimes, I have envisioned a benefit where contributors pledge a certain amount per mile ridden on certain events.  As I write believe I will call it Miles to Break Chains.  Will you join?

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