Today I read yet another disturbing article online about atrocities against women happening at this very moment. This one reported on “Why eastern DR Congo is ‘rape capital of the world’.”
Africa isn’t where I’m going next, but this article underscores why this next trip is so important.
Thursday I depart for Hyderabad, India. The sole purpose of this trip is to participate in a forum with 15-20 people from different countries to discuss a Justice Bible that Biblica (publisher of the NIV) is planning to publish.
I was enthusiastic the first time I heard about this Justice Bible project. It is an incredible honor to be part of this forum, and I’m looking forward to meeting the other people in the group. I’ll have a head-start on that part, since I’ll be traveling with a new friend, Dr. Ana Aspras Steele, President of the Dalit Freedom Network. I’ve already had an amazing phone conversation with her—enough to know she is a kindred spirit. I’m looking forward to making the long(!) trip with her.
At the same time, reading the article about the ongoing brutality and systematic raping of women in the DRC underscores the weighty responsibility of participating in this significant project. I know how easy it is to read the Bible and gloss over atrocities and injustices recorded there. I know because I’ve done it countless times myself. It wasn’t until I started hearing news reports, like the one I just read, or reading books like Half the Sky (have you read it yet?) that I linked the word “trafficking” to Hagar (a slave girl) and Joseph (trafficked by his brothers) and Esther (rounded up without her consent for the king’s pleasure)? Only then did I begin to notice how large a part God’s passion for the poor and oppressed and his strong heart for justice occupies in the Bible’s message.
This Justice Bible could be an eye-opening read for many—spurring them on to live out their calling as God’s image bearers who share God’s passion for the poor and oppressed and his strong heart for justice.
Please pray for this important venture—for the leadership of Biblica, for those who participate in the Forum, for me as I try to do my part, and for the actual project as it gets under way.