Every Day Counts: Girls Who Are Part of Something Bigger
More Precious Community: let us take heart in the knowledge that God will use our everyday decisions and choices, no matter how small they may feel, for his Glory and his ultimate rescue plan.
Have you ever felt small?
I sure have. We’ve all had moments of exhilaration – when the world opens out in front of us and we’re sure that a destiny of greatness lies before us. In moments like these, it’s easy to believe the things God says about us – that we’re chosen, loved, that we’ve got a spirit of power and not of fear.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control”
- 2 Timothy 1: 7
But if you’re like me, you’ve had other kinds of moments too. Moments when it’s hard to believe that every day does actually count. When it seems impossible that anything you can do would ever have a lasting impact.
In the face of huge evil, it’s easy to feel small.
Slavery is one of the darkest evils in our world today. Millions of people are trapped by it. It would be easy to be overwhelmed in the light of numbers like this. You might feel that there’s nothing you can do to change the lives of millions.
But everything changes when you look at the life of the one.
Damru and Hemanthi are a young couple living in India with their little son, Durga. They thought luck was on their side when they were offered well-paying jobs at a farm in a state nearly 1,000 miles away. In the hope of giving their son a good future, they left everything they’d ever known to take this opportunity.
But the good job was a lie.
They were immediately put to work scrubbing bird droppings from the floors and walls – all while their baby son lay nearby.
'We were forced to live inside the coop,’ Hemanthi explains.
When it came time for bed, the family slept in a run-down barn with thousands of chickens. They arranged plastic sacks to keep from sleeping on the wet, rotten ground. Scorpions and snakes would move near the family while they slept.
Slowly, they realised that there was no end in sight. The abusive farm owner wouldn’t let them leave. They were slaves.
When Hemanthi learned her mother-in-law was seriously ill, she pleaded with the owner of the farm to be allowed to visit. He gave them permission – but only on the condition that Damru stayed behind.
At a train station, two International Justice Mission (IJM) informants trained to spot signs of trafficking saw Hemanthi and noticed how upset she appeared. When they began asking her about her situation, she was reluctant to talk with them – she had been tricked once, and she didn’t want to be trapped again. But eventually she told them what was going on.
It wasn’t a huge heroic act to approach Hemanthi. It didn’t take long. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, it was a pretty small action. But it was going to have huge consequences. They called IJM, and a team of investigators, social workers, and police were quickly pulled together. The race to rescue Damru was on.
When Damru thinks back on the moment of rescue, he says, '…I was awestruck at what I saw. Three vehicles full of people reached the farm. There were so many of them! I cannot forget that moment. Here Hemanthi had come to save me.'
In that moment, everything changed. But the true turning point wasn’t when the cars bringing rescue pulled up at the chicken farm. The moment that would change their story forever was a lot less dramatic.
It was when two people in a crowded train station noticed a woman in trouble, and they decided to help.
It was when Rahab took a chance and did the dangerous and unthinkable. It was when Ruth acted in brave obedience to God’s call. It was when Mary put her life and reputation on the line for God to work transformation through her.
As Lent comes to end, I want to encourage you. We all feel small sometimes. But one of the beautiful things about a life with God is that we don’t have to be big. He’s big enough for both of us. He's the God who went before Moses into the Red Sea when he was breaking his people out of Egypt. He’s the God who broke Jesus out of the grave and rescued all of us - you and me - from death. He's the one who sent rescue to Damru and Hemanthi.
He has been and always will be a Rescuer.
Stories like these remind us that every day does count. That no matter how insignificant or ordinary we feel, we are girls who can use our small, everyday choices to be part of his amazing rescue plan.
Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.
Romans 12:1 (Message Version)
CHALLENGE FROM IJM:
At IJM, we’ve seen small actions have huge consequences.
Small actions may not feel like much, but together they create incredible change. Slavery isn’t going to end because of the grand, impressive actions of a few – but because of the daily determination of the many. Together, we can see slavery end in our lifetime.
So we’re challenging you to think: what could you do to send rescue?
Could you hold a bake sale and donate your profits, do a sponsored run, or hold a clothes-swap with your friends? For ideas about how you could raise money for the fight against slavery, head here. We’ve loved journeying with you this Lent. But the journey doesn’t have to end here.
Isabel spent the first part of her life in California and still has the accent even though all she wants is to sound Scottish. She studied English Literature at Durham University and now is living in London, working in digital marketing for International Justice Mission.