Archive for Slavery

10 Resources to Teach about Child Labor and Slavery


  1. Learn about famous Abolitionists – Civil War (Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Beecher Stowe), Missionaries (Amy Carmichael)
  2. Books – Child Slavery in Modern Times, Iqbal,  and The Carpet Boy’s Gift
  3. Learn the Heart of God for Justice ( has great resources) reflection
  4. DVDs  Amazing Grace, Stolen Childhoods, resources (including RedCardKids section on Child Labor)
  5. Take a Stand – Red Hand Day – Child Soldiers and Stand For Freedom – IJM  Write your representatives about slavery issues   
  6. Youth Heroes – Zach Hunter, Africrans by Amerikids 
  7. Try some of the work – Break stone into gravel (rock quarries), Do yarn work for hours (in honor of the carpet industry), etc
  8. Research Organizations that are doing work – what kind of jobs do people have? – Police Officers, Lawyers, Counselors, etc – look at job openings – so they know that good people work to fight this and they could someday too professionally (and now in other ways)
  9. Learn about Youth Like Them in Slavery – Survivor Stories at: and
  10. Learn about Products – Coffee, Chocolate, Carpets, Rice, (even map out where toys and clothing is made) on a map or globe

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Taking some reminders from the boy with the fish….

A few months back when were learning about great Civil War abolitionist heroes, the kids wrote to our president, senators, and representatives about modern day slavery.    It wasn’t out of any sort of urging from anywhere beyond the kids wanting to do something, whatever they could.  Beyond a few other things we were doing as a family in efforts against slavery, I confess I encouraged them in the letter writing just to believe in our government process. Image

After the New Year, there was another push for TVPRA to protect and save victims of trafficking. The kids were very encouraged in an article (both by the chance to have their story motivate others and quite honestly me…to call) Read here:

They did enjoy hearing from the President (vague form letter type, but still … a letter from The White House) and we now have meetings with our Senator’s office and our Representative’s office when we go to DC at the end of the month.

But what is MORE….is that my kids, unknowingly (heck – I had NO CLUE) got to be a part of this:


When this got posted about the TVPRA, I was sitting at the computer crying tears of joy and I told the kids.  They started running around the house cheering and doing the happy dance.  I was overwhelmed for 2 reasons.  First of all and most important – slavery needs to stop and this is an important part of that.  Secondly – my kids were a part of that process.  Now I doubt they swayed anyone’s vote or anything, but they were still a part of that.  I believe that  it will effect how they interact with politics and voting (and mine).  Late yesterday Lukas, on his own (because if it was an assignment, he wouldn’t do it) wrote a “Newspaper”…one of the pages is this:


What is says, in bad handwriting is:  “GREAT NEWS!  The president singed a bill that says I will not let slavery happen in my time.  Lukas and Lane Goodworth rote a note to the president about slavery to let that happen.”  (and then of course just after it are tips for newspaper readers on how to play the Wii and many comics he drew…just to keep the paper balanced I suppose).

My point….

The boy with the fish had NO IDEA that Jesus was going to multiply his lunch into a feast for thousands.  He just wanted to offer what he had.  That is all anyone could have ever asked.  So often we would look at that boy and think “don’t even try…there are too many people”.  But, he offered all the same.  We don’t know when our offering will small as it is or multiplied.  All we are asked to do is, in spite of the crowds, statistics, or needs,….to offer…whatever we have.  Jesus will do the rest.

The boy with the fish teaches me this.

My kids teach me this.

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Living what you preach

I usually just get used clothes. I believe in it, it is a better use of money, it is like a treasure hunt and so on. Learning more about slavery (and stores like Kohls, Walmart, etc) and the source of cotton has only continued this desire to buy used. However, last week, I saw a cute shirt on sale at Target that I just “couldn’t resist” at Target. I don’t know about Target’s clothing source so I pleaded ignorance. However, I know that Lukas has plenty of clothes. Just now – 5 minuted ago, I asked Lukas to put on his new shirt – thinking he’d be excited about its softness and coolness. Nope.

He was angry at me. He didn’t want it. He looked at me and said, “Mama, lots of kids in other countries have only the clothes they wear. I have more clothes then I can even fold and put in my drawers. I don’t want more clothes. I don’t need more clothes. Please don’t get me more clothes. Is this from Target?”

I had my head down ashamed and said, “Yes”.

He said, “I don’t want it – take it back”

Even though i assured him that we give our used clothes away, that 98% of his clothing comes from used sources (hand me downs, thrift stores, etc), I still feel sick that I convinced my kid to put on the shirt.

I taught him what he told me. I taught it to him because I know it is true…not just sources of slavery, but the use of our finances and the materialism of our culture. I feel like throwing up or bawling my eyes out. My child humbles me tonight because I don’t always live what I believe.

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TOMORROW is NATIONAL FREEDOM DAY – What are we doing to ensure freedom?

Hitting the Steps of Capital Hill:

At the end of last year(due to our learning about Civil War Abolitionists, Missionaries like Amy Carmichael, and Modern Day Slavery) my kids wanted to do something about slavery.  Though of course I didn’t reveal to them the horrors of sex trafficking, which is one of the sickest forms of slavery, other slavery is enough to sadden and anger my kids.

Was that bad?  We don’t normally, as parents, think it is great to intentionally throw our kids into situations that make them sad and mad.  However, sadness and anger about things that we should indeed be sad and mad about is holy…we should hate slavery, poverty, cancer, sin.  I welcome this kind of sadness and anger in my home (unlike sadness over not having candy or anger if a child doesn’t get to play video games as long as they want – which also happens, much to my frustration).

Are they scared knowing these things…things like slavery?  If I am honest – the answer is yes – a little.  However:

  • Unfortunately children need to know to not trust strangers, so I am glad they are a little scared.  My daughter in the past could have too easily trusted strangers, putting herself in danger.  My son doesn’t pay attention to if he is close to me in public places.  A little healthy fear is okay with me.
  • Kids usually only remain in fear when 1 – they don’t understand that God is bigger and stronger than it all this evil…that in the end God wins….and 2 – when they are left with no power to change it.  Relying on God’s protection and empowering my kids to be the change of the evil in this world are 2 things that I want to do now – while they are young.

So – what did we do in light of this knowledge of slavery.  Lukas wanted to “Do a Boston Tea Party”  What the heck was that?  Well, he wanted to take all the chocolate, coffee, tomatoes and so on that were made by slaves in our house and throw them in the river – to let our leaders know that we didn’t like that they let slavery happen.  However, due not wanting a huge fine for pollution, we decided to write letters instead (perhaps not as exciting…but it goes along with my government homeschool project too).

So, they did.  They wrote letters to President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and their Senators and Representative.  Adelaine’s letter was sweet – dictated to me by her and then she copied the words I wrote down, due to her 5 year old writing skill progression.  Lukas just wrote what he thought – which meant bluntness and a Sonic the Hedgehog drawing on each letter.

The Response:

I did call and write to my own representatives as well.  Since the TVPRA didn’t pass at the end of 2012 like it should have, I was completely convicted on the lack of my own voice.  This bill protects victims of trafficking.  It is absolutely ridiculous that it didn’t pass as 25 million around the world are in slavery.  So, if my kids could use their voice, so could I.

Well – We did hear from Obama – granted it was just a form type letter and 2 large pictures (1 of him and 1 of his dog…neither of which do I think will find themselves on our walls), but my kids feel like they got a letter from the White House – which they did.

We have gotten postcards from IJM (that some of you may receive from us to send to your representatives) to urge senators to put the TVPRA at the top of the list of things to do

Tomorrow on Freedom Day, we will be reflecting on the different forms of slavery, putting our fingers on those places on the globe and praying.  (We may even throw a piece of chocolate in a stream if we are crazy enough to do a mini-Boston tea party).

We are also going to DC at the end March.  We’ll have short meetings with our senators as the kids are slowly gathering packets of info to give to them about modern day slavery, their thoughts about it, inspiring quotes, etc.   I’m not expecting anything incredible, but I’m expecting to feel like I’m not (and my kids aren’t) bystanders.  We will visit the Holocaust Museum where in the front of it is the quote “Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.”   Yehuda Bauer

Call yourself:


Have your kids write to your senators!

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Why He Came…a slave’s view (Emmanuel – God with Us)

Jesus baby jesus protects

So, I’ve been overwhelmed with sorrow the last couple of weeks.  A week ago it was a renewed anger, disgust and just anguish over sex trafficking and slavery in general.  After last Friday, when the Sandy Hook disaster happened an hour from me (though the whole world feels close and noone can truly comprehend the sorrow of the families involved), I’ve lowered into my sadness.

I think sadness can be good.  Anger too.  They serve a purpose.  They remind us that the world isn’t what God intended and they honor God with our anger and our tears.  Gifts of mercy come out of it – prayer and action too, but I felt stuck this time.

Each year at Christmas time, I feel like Christmas came too soon and that I didn’t get my act together to reflect and do the waiting/hoping/cleaning of my heart that I desire to do for the arrival of Christ.  However, each Christmas, I am reminded that it is all of that…and so much more, that Christ came for.  He came for the dirty, the dark, the sadness, the years of waiting, the confused, the broken.  His arrival was announced first to the dirty, lonely shepherds.  I knew that.  I expected I’d find myself there again this Christmas, but admit I wanted a different story a little – a different twist on my pathetic-ness perhaps.

Yesterday, I watched Amistad.  My kids are learning about the Civil War and Abolition.  Though at least I recalled enough about the movie to not have them watch it (thank goodness I saw the ratings too), but I decided to watch it.  Again, I was broken by it.  Like Amazing Grace – it is a movie about the court system, about abolition and the horrors of the trans-atlantic slave trade.  However, the explanation of what happens to the slaves on the ships is more graphic – which is horrible, but real.  It was more horrible, knowing such treatment of humans has not ended.  However, one scene in the movie blessed me more than I could have ever imagined.  One of the slaves was trying to understand the pictures in a Bible he was given by an abolitionist.  A couple of the photos (from that Bible) are above.  The scene is written below: 

Yamba: [looking at a Bible]
Joseph Cinque: You don’t have to pretend to be interested in that. Nobody’s watching but me.
Yamba: I’m not pretending. I’m beginning to understand it.
[outside, a priest blesses himself]
Yamba: Their people have suffered more than ours. Their lives were full of suffering.
[turns to a picture of the newborn Jesus Christ]
Yamba: Then he was born, and everything changed.
Joseph Cinque: Who is he?
Yamba: I don’t know, but everywhere he goes he is followed by the sun.
[turns to a picture of Jesus healing a man]
Yamba: Here he is healing people with his hands…
[shows Jesus defending Mary Magdalene]
Yamba: protecting them…
[shows Jesus and the children]
Yamba: being given children…
Joseph Cinque: [sees Jesus walking on water] What’s this?
Yamba: He could also walk across the sea. But then something happened. He was captured, accused of some sort of crime.
[shows Jesus with Pontius Pilate]
Yamba: Here he is with his hands tied.
Joseph Cinque: He must have done something.
Yamba: Why? What did we do? Whatever it was, it was serious enough to kill him for it. Do you want to see how they killed him?
[shows the crucifixion of Jesus]
Joseph Cinque: This is just a story, Yamba.
Yamba: But look, that’s not the end of it.
[shows the disciples taking Jesus’ body down]
Yamba: His people took his body down from this… thing… this…
[signs the cross in the air]
Yamba: They took him into a cave. They wrapped him in a cloth, like we do.
[shows the Resurrection of Jesus]
Yamba: They thought he was dead, but he appeared before his people again and spoke to them. Then, finally, he rose into the sky.
[shows the Ascension of Jesus]
Yamba: [the priest prays in the background]
Yamba: This is where the soul goes when you die.
[shows a picture of Heaven in the clouds]
Yamba: This is where we’re going when they kill us. It doesn’t look so bad…


Again…my hope for this life, for death, is in Him.  Again…I am reminded that EVERYTHING CHANGES at Christmas for there, He came for us.

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Sex Trafficking

Having been mildly exposed to the topic of sex trafficking in Oregon through  Northwest Coalition Against Trafficking International Justice Mission World Vision  Transitions Global



and now I am learning about the girls in my own city who are trapped…they are reachable, right there….I pass the buildings and streets that they are trapped in: and hearing from

I hope sometime soon to make it back to Portland for: and also pray God will show me what to do with this information.  God, help us know how to help these girls….don’t let us forget them.

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