CHURCH AS A REFUGE
The Church as a Refuge is all about the church being a safe and protected place for all peoples, from every socioeconomic level of ife and livelihood. People - and especially children, of all walks of life, need to feel that the church is their place of protection, growth, development, and care. This is the place to understand our loving heavenly father, and know that He loves all mankind and He has a plan and purpose for all. It is our prayer, that the global church will be a place where someone can come to know, love, and serve Jesus for their entire lifetime and bring others in their families and community with them. The world is a harsh and hurting place - but the church is the place of salvation and soul care for service in the kingdom. It is from this place, that those who are the most vulnerable can feel safe, those who are trafficked can feel rescued and those with some level of disability can feel loved and accepted in Jesus for service.
Church as Refuge
Churches should be places of refuge and new daughter churches planted should be new places of refuge. A healthy church should include and emphasize the global children who are forgotten, unreached from the gospel, the marginalized, abused, trafficked, and those with disabilities. A critical area that planting a healthy church will impact is the area of human trafficking, and how a healthy church can make a great impact by being aware of this tragic area among global cultures.
Planting Healthy Churches Helps Prevent Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is the ownership, sale, or control of a person for sexual exploitation or forced labor. It is known as “modern slavery.” There are an estimated 25 million people in slavery today – more than at any time in history. One-third of the victims are children under the age of 18, and another one-third are aged 18-25. Traffickers prey on the vulnerable, including children and those living in poverty.
The Bible says that human trafficking is “evil.” In the book of Genesis, Joseph’s brothers threw him into a well and then sold him into slavery. Genesis 50:20 describes this as “evil.” But God can use His people to “defend the oppressed” (Isaiah 1:17).
A healthy church provides a refuge for children. It removes much of the vulnerability children face. It provides children with a moral grounding and a community of adults who care for them. The pastor and others in a healthy church know what is happening in the community ─ who has needs, and what kids are most vulnerable. A healthy church can meet the physical and spiritual needs of trafficking survivors.
ZimZam serves in parts of the world with high levels of human trafficking. We focus on the most vulnerable: children, and train leaders on how to plant churches that are a refuge for children. ZimZam trains leaders about human trafficking and the church’s role in preventing it.