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Daily Devotionals

Day 13 – Issue 16

todayMay 1, 2015 6

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Be Still Know

Proverbs 22:6 NLT

‘Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.’

My memories of childhood are of long summer days when I pulled on shorts and a T-shirt and played with friends until bedtime. It never rained; my rose-tinted spectacles are sunglasses, for the sky is forever blue and filled with sunshine. My misty-eyed memories lie a long way from the reality of growing up, then and now. While poverty and deprivation rob many children of their childhood globally (nine in every classroom of 30 children lived below the poverty line with a household income of £272 per month or less, in 2014, according to Child Poverty Action Group), some adults seek to corrupt and dehumanise children.

Child sex trafficking is much lamented in the media and Church, yet is a hidden crime that appears to be on the increase around the world. There is much misunderstanding. Many children are themselves already victims of an abusive family and a failing social support framework. Many believe themselves to be in safe, consensual relationships, not yet awakened to the reality that manages their life, their sexuality and their future. Child trafficking isn’t only limited to the sex industry. Foreign workers are brought to the UK to work as slaves, unable to pay off their debt to the smugglers bringing them to Britain. Forced labour means no education, brutality, isolation and misery.

Child soldiers are also an international growth industry. Human Rights Watch reports that thousands of children are now serving in armed conflicts around the world. Boys and girls as young as eight serve both in government and opposition forces, on the front lines, in suicide missions, as spies, messengers and lookouts. They’re either abducted, recruited by force or see armed groups as their only way out of desperate circumstances.

Whatever it is that we expose our children to will exercise a strong influence upon their adult choices. Many lament an unstable world, yet such instability can only increase as children are brought up within violence, shaped by fear, and identify holding power over others as the only way to secure safety and security.

QUESTION: What children do you know? Give thanks for their lives and ask God to bless and protect them. How could churches become a space offering sanctuary to exploited children?

NOVENA PRAYER: Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we lift up our hands and bring before you all those children, unknown, hidden from all eyes but your own who are suffering from abuse. I ask that you comfort them and mobilise us as your Church to address their crying needs. 

Written by: Matt Weet

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