Monday, December 8, 2014

Hope and Glory

I was at a retreat over the last week end and one of the sessions involved a doctor telling us about some of the 'side effects' of reaching a certain age. At the end of her presentation she put up a quote. It was the Amplified version of Luke 1:37. I had never read that particular scripture in the Amplified version, but it really spoke to my soul and I have meditated on it for a few days.

For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.

Considering all that is going on in the world, sometimes I feel so overwhelmed in prayer that words fail me. Ruminating on this scripture made me think of some impossible situations. Situations where one would feel trapped; that there is no hope and that the world they live in is very small and very bleak. Living a life without hope maybe tantamount to being dead. In this post, especially as the the run on to Christmas has begun, which may be the most depressing time of the year for some people. People who either have no money, or no family or friends to hang around, or worse maybe, people who are estranged from loved ones.

In this post I would like to highlight the work of an organisation that does alot to help people who are maligned by rescuing people falsely accused, people who are sold into slavery and used in the sex trafficking trade. This organisation is International Justice Mission (IJM). The following is taken from one of their brochures:

Violence is as much a part of poverty as hunger, disease or homelessness and is devastating the developing world. This violence is not only destroying individual lives, but undermining the world's efforts to end poverty.

The poorest are so vulnerable because their justice systems - police, courts and law - don't protect them from violent people. The threat of violence is relentless and pervasive. For the poor it is part of their every day.

In nearly 20 communities throughout the developing world, we fight everyday violence against the poor, including Citizenship rights abuse, police abuse of power, property grabbing, sex trafficking, Sexual violence and Slavery."

One of the senior staff of IJM came to my church a few weeks ago and he told a couple of stories of people who had been rescued. One was a man in Kenya (let's call him John) who was falsely accused of stealing a policeman's gun during a riot in his city. His wife was pregnant with about 3 or 4 children at home with no means of livelihood. John had no money and no recourse and no way to prove his innocence. His plight came to the attention of the IJM staff in his city and so began a long and arduous task of getting his released. Imagine for a minute what it would feel like to be falsely imprisoned and forgotten. IJM represented John in court and after the trial the judge pronounced that he would render his verdict the following month. Each month the judge postponed judgement to the next month. This happened quite a few times. On the last occasion the just as the judge was about to speak the power went out. It was pitch black and before the judge could postpone judgment yet again, the quick thinking IJM lawyer blurted out, 'Let me get a candle' and ran out the courthouse to a shop across the street and bought a few candles. Back in the court she lit the candles and the judge was forced to read his verdict. Thankfully John was acquitted.

The other story involved a teenage girl in Vietnam (let's call her Lynn). Her family was very poor, so when a cousin from the "big city" offered to get her job in a restaurant in the city, her family were very grateful. With the money Lynn would make and send home with one less month to feed things would be easier for the family. When Lynn arrived in the city she was taken to a restaurant to work, not as a waitress, but as a sex slave. She was locked in a room and different men would rape her. They paid for her services, but she never got an money. When she was rescued years later she always looked down. Her self worth was gone and she believed she did not deserve any better. It took years of therapy and love to restore her identity. These issues are not only occurring in the 'third world', but in our very backyards.

This is part of what Christmas is about. Christ came to redeem a fallen mankind. It is by this, the greatest of sacrifices that we are able to look beyond where a person is and fight to restore them to God's purpose. With the love of God we can be instruments of healing and rehabilitation. There is no limit to what we can do: pray, volunteer, donate, campaign.

Let us go out of our way this Christmas to make things a bit better for someone who would otherwise be left out.

Ufuoma Daniella Ojo is a Senior Technical Author and Software Trainer. She lives in Potters Bar just outside London. She is working on some new stories about relationships and is trusting God for connections leading to publication.


  1. I have never heard of this group, Ufuloma. Thanks for the heads-up. They're obviously doing a great job.

  2. Thank you, Ufuoma. I was aware of the IJM but you brought home their mission in a powerful way.

    They have a website where we can discover more.

    I wish you well in your writing efforts. May God bless your work.

  3. Thank you for sharing, Ufuloma. A good reminder to see those around us!