If you are reading this blog right now the chances are that you are in your home, at work, maybe in a book store, library, or classroom. You are in a safe location. As I think about the injustices in our own country, I am constantly reminded of the reality that those who are most vulnerable in our society, are the same people who are oppressed, enslaved, and constantly in fear of death.
Who are the vulnerable? Children. Women are offend vulnerable. People who are poor, who lack opportunity, or those who do not have regular access to basic needs like food, water, shelter, clothing, or quality education. People whose voices have been silenced or those who have less power, are vulnerable. There are people like that in our own country. Those who are forced two steps backward for every one step that they try to advance. For them, there is little hope. They are vulnerable, and their daily environments put them at risk of violence.
Then there are those people who live in extreme global poverty—three billion people who live on less than $2 (U.S.) dollars per day. For those living in extreme poverty in the developing world, there is a growing gap of economic disparity and violence against the poor. When we think about serving the poor in these conditions, we may ask the question, “What can we do to help?” Individually or in our safe communities and churches, we often make good efforts by sending money, offering education or housing, providing clean water, medical aid, food, or clothing. We may support organizations like World Vision and Compassion International who have holistic and strategic plans for transforming these communities so that their citizens can thrive and become local leaders and champions of the hopeful future for their community.
All of these actions are necessary. Yet the Founder and President of International Justice Mission (IJM), Gary A. Haugen, reveals that these efforts are regularly undermined because of violence, that regularly plagues those who are poor in the developing world, but often goes unaddressed.
There are three critical realities about violence in which we should acknowledge:
1. Violence is perpetuated by human beings (who in Gary’s words, “Are not very brave”), and therefore, they try to hide it.
2. Violence is also perpetuated by gaps in the justice system. Gary affirms, “The only alternative to bad law enforcement is better law enforcement.”
3. We the people have the ability to stop violence!
That’s the message that Gary is sharing in his new book, The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence, which released today through Oxford University Press. From the very beginning, Gary rips the heart of the reader by recounting his experience as the director of the United Nations “Special Investigations Unit” in Rwanda genocide of 1994 where “nearly a million people have been slaughtered—mostly by machete—in a span of about 10 weeks (ix).”
Then he shares his heart that “the world overwhelming does not know that endemic to being poor is a vulnerability to violence, or the way violence is, right now, catastrophically crushing the global poor (xi.)” This book is about the 20 years of work and 10 years of IJM research that has gone into fighting this pandemic. We must demand an end to violence!
1. This is a critical launch week. Purchase the book today: http://amzn.to/1j6a2Lh All proceeds go to support the work of the International Justice Mission.
2. Learn more by visiting the official website: http://www.thelocusteffect.com/
3. Its trending. Follow the #LocustEffect
I look forward to reading more and sharing with you from this book. Here’s what others are saying:
The Locust Effect is a compelling reminder that if we are to create a 21st Century of shared prosperity, we cannot turn a blind eye to the violence that threatens our common humanity.” Bill Clinton, Former U.S. President
The Locust Effect is a must read book for everybody who cares about the poorest of the poor.” – CINDY HENSLEY MCCAIN, Humanitarian and Business Owner
“Gary Haugen and IJM are waking up the social consciences of the worldwide Church, even as they have shown the international human rights community why the end of poverty requires the end of violence caused by the widespread failure of justice systems in the developing world. In this important book, Haugen continues to do both.” Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church of New York City
The Locust Effect is a tour de force into suffering and especially the solutions the poor dream of. May we pursue these goals together in order to put an end to the great evils of our day. I highly commend this book.” STEPHAN BAUMAN, President & CEO, World Relief
“Gary Haugen’s The Locust Effect is an exhaustive, devastatingly painful look at the very problem the ‘civilized world’ would rather not face: the systemic, unspeakable violence against the poorest of the world’s poor. This book is hard to read. One wants to turn away. And yet the reader can only wonder what would happen without the profound work of Gary Haugen and International Justice Mission and their tireless efforts to end the madness.” KATHIE LEE GIFFORD, Host on NBC’s The TODAY Show
Exploitation is almost always a root cause of poverty. That’s why the solution to poverty must involve justice. Thankfully, Gary Haugen is on the case.” RICHARD STEARNS, President of World Vision US and author of Unfinished: Believing is Only the Beginning
“Poverty is made far worse by a global epidemic of violence, and the church has been slow to recognize and respond to that reality. Yet the Bible is unflinching in recognizing the role violence plays in injustice, and unceasing in offering hope that God sees and responds to the victims of violence. This book could be of great significance in equipping churches to proclaim our Christian hope for the poor, and to implement responses that restrain the perpetrators of violence and restore dignity to its sufferers.” ANDY CROUCH, Executive editor, Christianity Today