In today’s world the issues of inhumanity and injustice are escalating as the value and sanctity for life declines. Issues of human trafficking for forced labor and sexual exploitation, child soldiering, and mandatory abortion are all on the rise. Put in perspective, 400 years of the European African slave trade (responsible for providing slavery in America during the 1700s and 1800s) unjustly imprisoned some 12 million people.
Although modern history gives William Wilberforce the credit for ending this atrocity, in today’s world 800,000 people are illegally trafficked across borders every year, fifty percent of which are minors. Although it is impossible to know how many for sure, it is estimated that some 10 million children are victims of the sex slave industry worldwide. Children are always the most at risk on nearly every front of depravity, especially where there is ethnic cleansing or violent conflict. Thousands upon thousands are orphaned as a result of the African AIDS crisis, international drug abuse and incarceration. According to the UN there are 200 million children living and working on the streets due to an escalation of poverty, war and AIDS.
The issues of social injustice are so overwhelming that we as Christians can become paralyzed even to the point of doing nothing. We forget three important things; 1) we serve a God that can do all things; 2) there is great power in numbers and unity when the church commits to join forces; and 3) we serve a God who not only hates injustice, but has commissioned his people to do something about it. The i-61 solution is to respond based on the above mentioned. It is our goal to join forces with like-minded churches and Christian organizations that believe in faith that God will lead us into creative solutions to these issues. We must first be activists that aggressively educate and equip Christians everywhere concerning the atrocities that face our world, helping them capture God’s heart in these matters. Finally, together we must take what we learn and incorporate it into our international missions programs.
Our local prisons are overflowing with parents whose children who have been put at great risk. Eighty percent of those who are incarcerated have a history of drug abuse and nearly all were involved in some form of violence, often leaving children behind in dire situations.
We are told that six percent of all incarcerated women are pregnant and will be releasing infants into the hands of other guardians. There is much we the church can and should be doing for the sake of those children who have been put at extreme risk. The i-61 churches are those that promote ways to bring relief to local at-risk children through various means such as foster parenting and participating in Angel Tree (providing Christmas presents for the children of the incarnated).