This Missionary Spotlight is a bit different for me. For the first time, I am highlighting someone I have actually never met. One thing I love about the Body of Christ is the fact that, at the end of the day, we all exist to make Jesus famous. Period. Regardless of our location on the globe, our denominational affiliation, our past, or our God-given gifts and talents there is a connection through the cross of Christ that is unmatched. For this reason, I can feel just as connected to a ministry half-way around the world as I do something happening right across the street.
I first heard of Christine Caine a few months ago while listening to a Podcast from Hillsong Church. She spoke with such passion and conviction that as I drove, I honestly kept forgetting she wasn’t sitting in my car with me. As I read more and listened to more of her teaching, I discovered a few things that are undeniable. One: Christine Caine loves Jesus. Passionately. Two: Christine Caine is authentic. She tells it like it is, and desires to allow her story and what God has done in and through her to bring redemption to many. Three: Christine Caine (and her husband Nick) are passionate about bringing an end to global human trafficking.
The statistics are quite horrific. An estimated 27 million people are held in slavery worldwide. Every 30 seconds, another person falls victim to human trafficking. It is estimated that by 2010, human trafficking will be the number one crime worldwide. The average age of a trafficked victim is 14, and the average victim is forced to have sex up to 20 times a day. Christine discovered the magnitude of this atrocity while walking through an airport in Greece. Plastered on the walls were posters of missing women and children, some as young as 6 years old, which she later discovered were faces of people who had become victims of human trafficking. Christine began researching this global injustice, heard countless stories of women and children being forced into prostitution, and decided immediately that doing nothing was no longer an option.
Christine and her husband Nick have launched the A21 Campaign, which stands for “Abolish Injustice in the 21st Century.” A21 is committed to the abolition of human trafficking by rescuing girls caught in sex slavery, and bringing them freedom, justice, and hope. Currently, A21 is focusing their work in the city of Thessaloniki, Greece - with the long-term goal of moving into other areas of Europe where there is a need. You can read more about the specifics of their strategy here. A21 has partnered with agencies and organizations that provide rescued victims with legal representation, psychological and medical care, housing, and vocational training.
Generally, I ask the missionaries I highlight “Why do you do what you do?” As I have only communicated with Christine on Twitter (in 140 characters or less), this question really was not able to be asked. I did, however, come across a blog she wrote after a trip to Mumbai back in 2008 that I feel really answers that question. I will leave you with her own words:
"I have experienced every emotion possible today but I am now ready to fight for justice at a whole new level. I want to see the cessation of human trafficking and am passionately envisioned to see the A21 project fulfil its potential. I want to see women set free and children fulfil their purpose and destiny and am determined to play my part in seeing this come to pass. I have a fresh revelation and total conviction of the fact that Jesus Christ and His Church are the only ultimate hope for this world. Nick and I purpose to give our lives to this end... bringing a living Jesus and life giving Church to a dying world." (1/19/08)
Amen and Amen.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
1. PRAY (these requests were e-mailed directly from the A21 Office)
-for fear to break over the girls that are being held as slaves right now. We have come across many girls that are so afraid to escape their traffickers because of fear that harm will come to either them or their families back home.
-for corruption to cease within the legal system in Greece. Just last year a brothel was found in the basement of a courthouse in Athens, and just a few weeks ago, several police officers in Greece were found guilty of trafficking.
-for new ideas and strategies on how to get girls out of being held in slavery
-for protection over all of our staff as we are actively taking new ground in enemy territory – and we are not ignorant of the enemy’s devices.
2. LEARN MORE
-Go to the A21 website and learn more about the issue.
-Check out the "21 Things You Can Do," and pick one...or twenty...and do it. (I personally am committing to #1 and #2 at the moment
- Check out this video or this one to hear some of Chris' story and hear her passion first hand
-Check out Nick and Chris' ministry website
-Her blog, her Twitter , her Facebook
-Her weekly Podcast "Coffee With Chris"