Do you know about the Vineyard Justice Network (VJN)?
“VJN is a network to connect people pursuing the justice of the Kingdom of God. VJN (which began as Vineyard Anti-Slavery Team) brings together the wisdom of our shared experience in serving and standing in solidarity with the poor and the least-of-these.
We offer holistic wisdom to all our churches, along with many easily-accessed resources for getting started and growing with a missional, Kingdom-centered approach. Our network already spans Vineyard churches across 32 states, in every region.” (VJN website)
The three main focuses of VJN are freeing slaves, ending poverty and tending creation. These three things are interconnected and you and I can make a difference in any or all of these areas through our local Vineyard church or another local non-profit organization.
For example, I am very passionate about human trafficking. I volunteer for a local non-profit called StreetLightUSA. They have a residential program for girls 11 to 17 years old who are either at risk for being trafficked for sex or who have been rescued from child sex trafficking.
One of the founders of VJN told me a story about how a young girl he spoke with in Florida who had been rescued had ended up in such a horrific situation. To make a long story short, her parents made a living as farmers in Haiti. Someone came in and plowed down the forest of trees near her family’s farm. When rains came, they washed right through where the trees had been and ended up interfering with the farming land her family owned.
The impact was so negative that her family’s crops were ruined. They fell into poverty as a result. Then someone came to them and said they could take their daughter and give her a good job. As a result, their young daughter ended up being exploited in child sex trafficking.
That is just one example of how slavery, poverty and environmental conditions are interconnected.
The 3rd annual VJN conference is this weekend in Raleigh, NC. The theme is “Jesus, the Kingdom, and the Poor.” I have the privilege of attending. I’m excited to learn more ways that we can help the poor in our community. I will also share what I learn in my next blog.
For more information on the Vineyard Justice Network, visit the website at http://vineyardjusticenetwork.org/. You can also Like their page on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8.
Blessings to you,