Who Cares about Social Justice?

Working with Kids in Cambodia

I never used to care about social justice. I used to sit and watch videos of children being forced to labour, or women being trafficked, and while I didn’t like it, I (like many others) just accepted it as a tragic part of the world’s current state. Yet another sad reality that we all had to come to terms with. I remember catching myself thinking these thoughts, while watching what I am sure was one of the most powerful advocacy presentations surrounding issues of social injustice. As I looked to the right, people were crying. As I looked to the left, more people were crying. It got me thinking… What was I missing?

I asked God to give me his heart for these issues, so that I would start to see things from His perspective. Over time, my head turned when I heard about a volunteer trip heading overseas, and I started to become intrigued by other cultures and religions, about anthropology and human rights. I was finding myself signing up to every Amnesty, World Vision, UNICEF, humanitarian NGO, and Not for Profit agency’s newsletter, in the hope that I could learn more about how to get involved or end the diabolic issues that face the majority of the world’s population.

Ethnic Minority Village

My heart began to stir. I wanted to know about how the church could get involved. I began to studying intercultural ministry, learning about God’s heart for all people of every nation and status, which led to participation on a few short term team trips overseas. I tell you, once you’ve seen, you have to act.  When you stare into the eyes of a poverty-stricken child and have them look to you in search of a hope, something triggers desperation to see their circumstance change.

I don’t think it was God’s plan to see His people hurting, being crippled by injustice, corruption or greed. I don’t think He intended for one nation to step on another in order to get a ‘foot up’ in the global economy, and I certainly don’t think that God intended children to be the victims of trafficking, abuse or poverty. So then, this poses the question, ‘why do these things happen?’

Now I’m sure there is a very long theological answer to that… But I think the more important question that I was faced with was, ‘WHAT are YOU going to do about it?’ If our responsibility is to go into the entire world and make disciples, to become just like Christ, in order to see heaven permeate throughout our broken world… then what are YOU going to do to see this happen?

In the Villages of Cambodia

No, I didn’t go and sell everything I’ve ever owned and given all my money to the poor. And no, I didn’t pack my bags and move to the middle of a developing nation. While those things may happen (if God so intends), currently my journey is just one of putting one foot in front of the other, learning and applying. Seeking out ways to get involved with eradicating poverty, spreading hope and love, all the while, urging people such as yourselves to consider… what small steps will you take to see our friends in the developing world move leaps and bounds towards a God-filled, equitable and just future?

– Christina Hanger