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Lenten Devotional: Mar 18

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Today’s Texts: Exodus 1:6-22; 1 Corinthians 12:12-26; Mark 8:27-9:1

Daughters Save a Nation (Exodus 1:6-22)

While the book of Genesis is about a God who creates life and blesses his people, this passage in Exodus is about a king that deals in death-dealing efforts because he does not know this life-giving God. While God has chosen to bless the Hebrew people the king of Egypt chooses to oppress them with harsh, forced labor.  But the more the Egyptians oppresses them, the more God blesses the Hebrews causing the Egyptians to become ruthless in their behavior making the Hebrews’ lives bitter and hard. The King even orders the killing of their babies but he is outwitted by two Hebrew midwives because they fear God more than they fear him.

The passage reminds me about our own modern-day slavery that affects millions of people around the world today. We call it human trafficking, which involves victims who are forced, defrauded or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation.  Victims of human trafficking are young children, teenagers, men and women.  Many are forced to work in prostitution or the sex entertainment industry. But trafficking also occurs in forms of labor exploitation, such as domestic servitude, restaurant work, janitorial work, sweatshop factory work and migrant agricultural work.

It is estimated that as many as 4 million persons are trafficked each year, both within and across national boundaries. (UNIFEM) Over 50 percent of those trafficked are from the Asian continent. Between 18,000 and 20,000 of those victims are trafficked into the U.S. and the majority of those victims are women and girls.[1]

In light of this passage, I would like us to think about what God might want us to do to help stop this evil practice. There are many organizations working to end human trafficking and these website can help you. Break the Chains campaign is one site, www.abwmbreakthechains.org, or, the ecumenical Women’s Ministries of the NCC USA at, www.ncccusa.org/womensministry/humantrafficking2.html.

My prayer is for those who remain in physical and spiritual bondage of slavery that God would break those chains so that they can enjoy the abundant life Christ promises to all.  And may we, like the Hebrew midwives also be god-bearers of life, shining the light and love of God in these dark places.

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Rothang Chhangte

Rev. Rothangliani Chhangte is an ordained American Baptist pastor, currently working as the Liaison for Burma Refugees with National Ministries of the American Baptist Churches USA. Since graduating from seminary, God has led her to ministry among refugees, beginning with refugees from Southeast Asia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the 1990’s. She also has a passion for ecumenism and served as the Director for Ecumenical Formation with the American Baptist Churches USA between 2000-2007. What she loves about ministry is that and it provides you the opportunity to meet people from all works of life and you get to experience all of God’s creation, its cultures, peoples and land in its totality.  What a wonderful world we live in!

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