"The practice of stability invites us to give up spiritual journeys for the sake of growing in a life with God. As it turns out, people have been doing this for thousands of years." ~ Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (Giving Up You Spiritual Journey and Putting Down Roots, 2010)
Children and youth who have been bought and sold into slavery face heinous challenges in their young lives. Perhaps struggling with similar issues of anger and esteem stemming from abusive backgrounds, early addictions or bad experiences in the school system, enslaved youth also face quite unique challenges that are not typically found in domestic violence or street life.
A child sold in Canada may not even call Canada his/her home country. A child sold into slavery must wrestle with the reality that he/she's been sold… repeatedly (the spiritual, psychological ramifications of this are astounding). A child sold in Canada may have lived with all freedom stripped away, thus tearing apart decision-making capability and creating an increased vulnerability towards predators.
A "group home" as we typically think of one is not enough.
An "outreach" as the church typically thinks of it is not enough.
These children are family.
They need family.
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and Shane Claiborne both live in what is called "intentional community" — a deliberate way of life where individuals and families come together in a variety of ways and pool resources, build neighbourhood, commune together, worship together and take that event of the Early Church (Acts 1 and 2) to the multitude of next levels.
Enter: young slavery survivors.
Some may have family elsewhere they are desperately needing to return to. Others may have no family at all.
No matter the case, these kids — just like us — need people to stay.
This wouldn't be a recovery home… not a de-tox centre. This would be a family.
Here's where I need your help. I need suggestions as to how this can be accomplished. Victims of slavery require confidentiality, safety and other valued needs. How do we live these things so that family is full of life and love, vibrant in the community as well as protecting those who dwell within?