Tuesday night, I had the opportunity to attend the first meeting of a new campus chapter of International Justice Mission. When I arrived, I was excited to see that Rebbecca, a friend of ours, was responsible for starting this chapter on our campus.
According to their website, “IJM exists to protect people from violent forms of injustice by securing rescue and restoration for victims and accountability for perpetrators, ensuring that public justice systems work for the poor.” Apparently, IJM works within the laws of each country to restore those who are in bondage and to hold their captors responsible. Again, they do not force American law on foreign countries, but instead work within already existing laws of those countries.
I’m excited to see this type of group started on our campus. We know from Scripture that God cares about the oppressed, the fatherless, the widow, the alien, the poor, etc. We know from Scripture that one of the reasons that Jesus came was to give hope to those who were hurting, and much of his physical ministry included healing and caring for the oppressed and the hurting. As we have been given the ministry of reconciliation, we should also recognize that part of that ministry is found in helping those who are hurting and in need. There is certainly a spiritual dimension to our ministry of reconciliation – and arguably the spiritual dimension is more important than the physical – this does not negate our responsibilities to meet the physical needs of those around us who are hurting and oppressed.
This IJM campus chapter, and other similar organizations, are good ways of helping people get involved in the lives of those who need physical help and the spiritual healing that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ.