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The moral of this story ? especially for anyone living in the suburbs of these here United States ? is SHUT UP! The Emancipation of Robert Sadler is an incredible, heartbreaking and amazing story of human cruelty and one man?s redemption.
If you ever thought that your life was difficult, that the hand you were dealt was unfair or that the odds were all stacked against you ? you need to meet Robert Sadler. At five years of age his mother died, his sister died and he was sold into slavery ? twice. This happened in 1917 ? 40+ years after slavery was abolished. The stories he shares about the nine years he spent as a slave will incite admiration, fury and awe. How people ? his ?owners? could be so cruel is beyond the comprehension of most. How he endured ? cultivated a strong faith and love for others ? is astounding.
At fourteen he escaped ? illiterate, unworldly and inexperienced ? into the world ? one that he had never seen nor been aware of in any way. This was the complete unknown. His recounting of the next several decades attests to his inner strength, the depth of his faith and his love for others. Never a wealthy man ? he became a tremendous servant of the Lord ? traveling all over the country to serve those in need and share the word of God. This book is his testimony ? his road from bondage to men ? to total abandon for the Lord.
The danger in reading a book such as this is in thinking that it is history. While, Robert Sadler has long since passed away, millions of children ? just like him ? are in bondage all over the world today. They, of course, are not called slaves, nor are they ?owned? ? instead they are laborers in the ?free market.? Unfortunately, in the global race-to-the-bottom, laborers are the most abused and vulnerable group ? they work under the harshest of conditions, totally subject to the whims of ownership, and always facing the threat of being replaced by someone willing to work longer hours for less money. They work as factory workers, prostitutes, domestics an a host of other jobs ? some in countries we never think of ? but many work in our back yards. The poorest among us are competing with each other in this race to the bottom. According to Abolition International:
? 12 years old is the average age for girls trafficked into prostitution in the United Sates.
? An estimated 200,000 American children have been forced into the commercial sex trade in the United States.
? In the U.S., I in 3 runaways is approached by a sex trafficker within the first 48 of being on the streets.
? 1 million people are trafficked across international borders every year.
? 80% of them are woman and children. 50% are children.
? In Europe, an estimated 500,000 woman are sold into prostitution annually.
? There are more slaves today than at any other time in human history. No country is immune. Human trafficking is estimated to be a 32 Billion dollar industry ? the second largest illegal criminal syndicate, right behind drugs.
This is not a pleasant subject. But it is our reality. Internet porn, cheap clothes, cheap food, and globalization drive this epidemic. We are all stuck in the web and all of our hands are bloodied by the truth of human slavery. We all benefit, profit and prosper on the backs of these souls who have been enslaved for our benefit. In the Lord?s Prayer we pray for forgiveness for our sins ? known and unknown. For most of us, we are unaware of this sin. Even if we are, we feel powerless to affect any sort of change. For many of us, we are on very tight budgets and couldn?t survive without cheap food and clothes ? so what are we to do.
I have no answer. The first step is to recognize and admit that this is a problem. Awareness. Then we must begin to pray for these people, for our government leaders, for our business leaders and ourselves. We need to pray for the ability to conceive of a new way to conduct business ? fairly and humanely. Remember, when slavery in England was the bedrock of its economy ? the very idea of abolishing it was ludicrous ? it would have crumbled them economically ? yet, when the moral weight of their sin became too great ? they found a new way to conduct business and end the slave trade.
There are several films that the whack in the head we all need about this issue, they are: Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, Amazing Grace, Taken, and Trade. Take a couple hours out of your day and watch any of these films ? I challenge you to do so and not feel the need to help these people.
All I have today are words. I wish it were more. I pray for more.
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