This past week we have begun helping three new churches and a ministry in Texas. Our Church Partners Program is designed to let the IHRG stand in the gap with churches and ministries. The days of the church being considered sacred in this country are passing quickly. I believe we are headed into days when the attacks against our faith will not just be in the public square, but also within the four walls of the church.
We must be ready for these attacks. We cannot sit back and pray it does not happen to our church. We are working to make sure small and medium sized churches have access to attorneys who are dedicated to protecting the rights of the church. Normally these churches would not have access to an attorney.
Our trip to Greece took us to Thessaloniki, Greece. Thessaloniki is an ancient city visited by the Apostle Paul and Timothy during Paul’s Second Missionary Journey. It sits on a beautiful sea shore with a high wall separating the water from the land. Thessaloniki’s markets bustle with life—fresh meat, vegetables, everything imaginable can be bought in this city.
Yet, it was not the markets, or the beauty, or even the ancient churches and ruins that brought me to Thessaloniki. We came here for one reason, this is one of the key areas in the world of the human traffickers that are plaguing our planet. Any plan to stop trafficking in this generation must include Eastern Europe and Thessaloniki, Greece.
We had the chance this week to visit the ancient city of Corinth in Greece. It was exciting to literally walk on the road where the Apostle Paul walked. At the site is a column that is believed to be original from the time when Paul was here. The column is at the Judgment Seat where Paul stood before the leaders of the city and justified his work.
Until you have been here you cannot imagine what it feels like to stand there and realize the history that has taken place right where you are standing. I was struck by the fact that this spot, which plays such a huge role in the history of the church, is today meaningful to all of us.
I am headed to Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece to set everything in motion for the International Human Rights Group to become the supplier of attorneys for victims of sex trafficking who have been rescued through the work of the A21 Campaign.
Under this partnership we will be identifying, and bringing on board, attorneys to represent these victims as they provide eyewitness testimony regarding their time as sex slaves. We will also be working with these young ladies, and sometimes men, to help them with their immigration issues. Remember, these young people have often been taken across borders illegally. Even though they are not willing participants in their travel, they are still illegal immigrants. This means that we must provide them with legal help to get their documents in order so they can return home or stay in the country where they find themselves.
It seems like the world is exploding in crisis around us. Massacres in Paris and Nigeria are becoming too much the norm. Air planes are disappearing with no real answers. The Russian Bear is flexing her muscles. ISIS is running rampant through much of the Middle East.
All of these are fairly regionalized problems, with the exception of the terrorist attacks. We know that the terrorist attacks can occur virtually anywhere with little to no warning. There is an issue that is not regionalized. It has long been a worldwide crisis, but only recently has it come to the attention of our western culture.