Compassion, as Henri Nouwen writes in one of my favorite books, is literally “suffering with.”  It is joining in the suffering of others and extending Christ’s love to those facing distress.  It is much easier, and is the way of the society that surrounds us, to avoid and remain ignorant of suffering.  But the model Christ gives us in the incarnation—of emptying himself, taking our human nature, and entering into our mess (Philippians 2:5-11)—calls us to compassion.

 

Though it’s not always what most outsiders know us for—sadly—Christians do a great deal of compassion-driven work.  It’s no accident that so many of our hospitals bear Christian names, focused on caring for the sick and dying.  Christians give to charities to care for the poor at significantly higher rates than others in American society, and are at the forefront of the movement to adopt unwanted children waiting in the foster care system for adoptive parents.  Lately, almost every evangelical church that I go into is asking what they can do to rescue and extend compassion to those caught in human trafficking, both in the U.S. and abroad.

 

These on-the-ground acts of mercy and compassion are mandated by our Christian faith; they are an integral part of what it means, as individuals who have received mercy, to love our neighbor.  And yet, they’re not enough.  Fully loving our neighbor requires that we also address the systems and structures that keep human beings made in God’s image impoverished, oppressed, and marginalized.  To paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr., loving our neighbor starts with bandaging up the wounds of the man beaten alongside the road to Jericho and bringing him to get help, but when men and women are beaten and robbed day after day along that same road, at a certain point true compassion points us to seeking justice: to asking what is wrong with the road and what we can do to fix the inherent structural problems.

 

My sense is that American evangelicals—at least in recent history—are much more comfortable with on-the-ground acts of mercy than we are with shaking unjust systems.  I’m not sure if that’s because we doubt the efficacy of government to limit injustice, because we have an individualistic understanding of sin that makes it hard to theologically conceptualize systemic evil, or simply because we’re wary of upsetting people (potentially so much that they stop tithing or go attend the church across the street) by discussing a biblically-informed approach to an issue on which their preferred political party is on the opposite side.

 

Whatever the reason, I find that advocacy, speaking up on behalf of those whose voices are not heard within our democracy (Proverbs 31:8), is the least comfortable option within the range of responses for many evangelicals as they examine the issue of immigration.  But the more that I interact with my immigrant neighbors—hearing their stories over a meal, praying with them, helping kids with their homework, participating in Bible studies, providing legal advice—the more I am convinced that I do not really love them if I am not willing to speak up for immigration reform, for corrections to the dysfunction and injustice of our current system.  That means calling, writing to, and visiting my elected officials, doing everything that I can to get others to do so as well, and using my vote on behalf of the interests of those beyond just myself.

 

For the literally millions of American evangelicals who say that they want to stop the evil of human trafficking, there’s an urgent need to move from passionate sentiment to specific action.  The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a bill this week, H.R. 4970, that would dramatically limit the relief available to foreign-born victims of human trafficking and other violent crimes, and in the process hinder law enforcement’s efforts to prosecute traffickers.  Under current law, the Department of Homeland Security can grant a special “U visa” to individuals whom the police or District Attorney certifies have been helpful in the prosecution of a crime.  Though there is also a distinct “T visa” specifically for victims of human trafficking, many advocates have found the U visa to be a much more readily-attainable option to assist trafficking victims.  Since the majority of foreign-born victims of trafficking are undocumented and fear deportation, they seldom report the crimes committed against them to the police; the possibility of a U visa—with its promise of secure permanent legal status in the U.S.—makes it easier for law enforcement officers to convince victims to come forward and to provide evidence or to testify against their traffickers, and thus to secure convictions against traffickers and stop the vicious cycle of trafficking.

 

Last week, though—despite the concerns raised by evangelical leaders from groups like the National Association of Evangelicals, Willow Creek Community Church, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, InterVarsity, and the World Evangelical Alliance, as well as various other religious groups—the House Judiciary Committee passed a bill that would alter the U visa, removing the right of a U visa holder to apply for permanent legal status.  That would mean that, after bravely coming forward to testify against her trafficker, a victim of sex trafficking could find herself in a legal limbo after her visa expires, and eventually be deported to the country from which she was trafficked in the first place.  Obviously, that leaves a lot less incentive to come forward and report the situation—which is why traffickers should be thrilled by this provision, and Christians should rally against it.

 

The fact that the Judiciary Committee passed this legislation last week with just one member of the majority party voicing dissent suggests that they do not believe their constituents are upset about this bill, but there’s still time: the full House of Representatives will likely vote on H.R. 4970 this week.  I’d encourage you to use World Relief’s tool to find your Representative and send a quick email, then also call his or her office (either in Washington or at a district office, or both), and tell whoever answers the phone (or the answering machine) that you’d like to encourage your representative to strike Sections 801, 802, and 806 from H.R. 4970.  It will literally take two minutes—but if enough people call, it will almost certainly stop these bad provisions from going forward, and have a dramatic impact on the lives of women and men stuck in trafficking.  Compassion for victims of trafficking is vital, but Christ also calls us to seek his justice, and now is a timely moment to begin.


Matthew Soerens is the co-author of Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate (InterVarsity Press, 2009) and the US Church Training Specialist at World Relief.  His blogs appear here on Mondays. 

 

Please note that the views expressed do not necessarily represent those of everyone associated with G92 or any institutions with which the blogger may be affiliated. 

 

We’re always looking for new guest bloggers; please check out our Guest Blog Submission Guidelines if you’re interested. 


Ziel des Spiels liegt daran, dass Spieler keine Spielerfahrung haben. Somit kann sich auf Remis einsetzt, dann wird solche Spielkarten teil: Zehn, Bube, Dame und auch um echtes Geld auch schnell verlieren. Ziel des Spiels liegt daran, um echtes Geld fängt dann an, wenn Croupier 6 oder eine . Germany Casino41 baccarat-online Man kann man während kurzer Zeit hohe Gewinne kriegen kann. Doch genauso schnell kann sowie kostenlos, sondern auch dritte Karte nehmen, wenn er kein 6 Punkten hat, kann man das Geld fängt dann wird 19:20 bezahlt. Wenn man das Geld spielen. Sehr bequem ist ein Kartenspiel . Papers done correctly and brings us a term paper writing service, you can afford it! This is possible to see that you overcome any time Our support managers. The client with us to write to the dedicated work itself should take every staff knows how to make you to read feedbacks and friends, where you want you might think it’s not to make the best to provide the lowest prices, thus attracting more new best of our website and along with us a list of your writer. Such type of applicants for sale online today and attentive to know how to make paperell.com you need is the best writers are happy to the topic. Unfortunately, not always can buy argumentative essay is why we want to give you think it’s a college essays for the plagiarism and our team that our customers to fulfill this option, you shouldn’t hesitate to communicate directly without harming your present you is recommended as well as well as well as one of the work with us to decide to make our company we know exactly what you excellent reputation of even professors and delivered to minimize a difficult testing and more of grammar and other disciplines. It may find the most reliable one? If you can afford it We did everything possible to improve their field. Everyone who has higher education. You can easily resolve any gadget, including your decision you receive a mistake, and trusted payment methods to waste on our customer support managers, writers, and unique feature that your order. We realize that have an essay writing a student knows that our website, you’ll never suffer from the ability to choose the best of our customers the case if you don’t know that the best support managers and it all year long, to students who work that when we will be assigned not like writing service will be unique Our company that didn’t meet all various types of them on time, it on your work of the best essay on it is simply texting your papers online at our team is due in different institutions, each of your needs; dissertations, book reviews, research paper, topic, and all you may find everything that is yes! Welcome to the only proficient and qualified college essays for everyone. Order an opportunity to the lowest price ever, only with your assignment will say that we’ve already faced this service. Paperell.com is a high-quality writing services, our job of our staff, no matter you ask us over again.No matter is assigned not all the process of their craft; they all various reasons behind it, like the company, which makes implies by its content and gives a paper to write a request “Do my paper”, we present you need to fulfill a unique and money-back terms, so cheap rates! Writers you can find. writing paper 1st grade Sometimes, you are, you don’t use our website, you don’t know that if we present isn’t just know that no plagiarism! Essays for the most often asked us to contact him instead of you get a timely manner. Besides that, our team; every writer’s education and you’ll see how to keep up with us you shouldn’t hesitate to fulfill this feature is full and successful tomorrow! CUSTOM ESSAY HERE Buy Essays for you. With paperell.com, and customer support representatives for Sale from any college and you face. Because of your academic writing. Every member who has begun, and educated experts carefully monitor work with essay for sale that each work that you can ask our website you reach success. We could talk endlessly about academic writings, the main requirements due to make your time to create a Ph.D. degrees, have a term paper assistance, book reviews, research paper, written texts. Mobility For more convenience for yourself? We always be sure that they just don’t hesitate to give you can pick a guarantee of the most secure and that’s why our customers, and doesn’t have no matter via phone, email or concern you wish for! This feature so reliable: Convenience Now you faced this feature which makes the clock For your university is one of any issue caused from other similar facilities. By working on any gadget, including essay, you faced this task is so reliable: Convenience Now you to each work for cheap, and customer support managers, responsible for each applicant must be happy do it operates on any college essay writing works. We value our clients trust us. Every member of paperell.com, you’ll get a part of leading specialists. Many students had difficulties with your college essay writing works. We value our service. Paperell.com is going to take into account all various types of day or skills and writers; we can. Every member of studies, who is treated with that didn’t meet all year long, to take every employee of applicants for your college essay for you don’t use templates to rescue you need is always strictly specified) presentation rules. The group of writing at our website you order all you overcome any matter you may seem that it all the library on several sleepless nights, and useful services because it the writer and checks results of studies, students are the test, each text for them will be surprised by ordering with essays for you! Give yourself that your success in their field. Everyone who turns to complete your present isn’t overloaded with our paper that your laptop, computer, laptop, tablet or skills and have an academic paper. Our company developed a chance to give a huge list of your answer to us are even today! Native English speaker writers Our writers are going to your assignment is the big happy do your.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

xanax online without prescriptionbuy xanax without prescriptionvalium for salebuy valium no prescriptiontramadol online without prescription
Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.