Do You Have 2 Minutes to Watch an Eye-Opening Video of Gendercide in China? #AllGirlsAllowed

Back in the fall, one of our LIFE Communities (our version of small, mid-size group ministry) organized a presentation from the organization All Girls Allowed. As one who just had a baby girl born a month prior, it was a very eye-opening and heart-breaking experience.

Of course, I’ve always known about China’s dreaded one-child policy and the last several years, I’ve caught snippets from random books and NPR spots on how Chinese men cannot find women to marry. The way I wrote that sentence implies it’s just a few, right? It’s a few like, millions of men. By 2020, it’s feared the gender imbalance will be in the neighborhood of 10 million men.

How did this happen? Between 1949-1976, China’s population soared to 540 million because of the improvements of infant mortality rates and the increasing of the life-expectancy age. Sentences like that mean more grandparents were surviving to see their healthy grandchildren and great-grandchildren being born.

As a result of, China feared an unsustainable population and instituted the One-Child Policy in 1980 to about a third of the population. It’s designated to affect those in urban areas, however, other sources argue that it affects rural areas as well and enforces against a significantly higher percentage. Everyone agrees that there are exceptions made – They would be for the ruling class and the upper class. It should also be noted that in recent years, some families have been permitted to have a second child if there first born was a girl. This carries with its own set of peculiarities but still, thought it was worth the mention.

Consequently, the One Child Policy has resulted in forced abortions, a severe discrimination against female births, trafficking, forced female sterilizations, a massive number of orphaned children (especially girls) and a number of other human rights violations. Further there are incentives for local state and government officials to insure the success of the One Child Policy which creates even more abuses that we would call scandalous.

Again, this is something that I and I suspect many of you have known in the peripheral but listening to this presentation was heart-breaking. In this week’s posts, I tried to make the point that we should all resolve to seek a better world with God’s help. Indeed, we cannot support all the worthy causes and organizations so may our prayerful consciences be our guide but this is among the ones that have caught my attention and I wanted to bring it to your attention.

The mission of All Girls Allowed is to “reveal gendercide and female infanticide in China. Providing hope to China’s mothers and girls through baby shower gifts and child sponsorship.” Founded by former Tiananmen Square student leader, Chai Ling began All Girls Allowed in 2010. Check out to learn more.  You can also check out Chai’s book A Heart For Freedom:  The Remarkable Journey of a Young Dissident, Her Daring Escape, and Her Quest to Free China’s Daughters.  Available at Amazon and at your local Barnes and Noble.

Check out this 2 minute video called “37 Seconds” (you’ll understand why after you watch it).
Thanks for reading and please let me know one way or another if you get involved.

37 Seconds from All Girls Allowed on Vimeo.


Check Out 58: A Film Focused on Ending Global Poverty & You Can Download It For Free

This past week, our church held two screenings for the film 58: as part of our Global Awareness Week. According to their website, it’s “the inspiring true story of the global Church in action. Witness bravery and determined faith in a journey from the slums of Kenya to the streets of New York. Confront the brutality of extreme poverty and meet those who live out the true fast of Isaiah 58 and create stunning new possibilities for the future.” Read more here.

First, let me say that missions films have come a long way. If A Thief In the Night scared the pit of death out of me (which was its intended purpose right?), most missions films bored me to death. Now when I hear there’s a Missions “something”, I’m pretty interested. (Please don’t pull out those slideshows, my trust is fragile).  Based on Isaiah 58, it tells a powerful story.

Here’s what I appreciated:
… that it was rated PG-13. They showed extreme poverty and there are parts that are uncomfortable to watch. No violence, no blood, nothing gratuitous but tough to watch.
(Side Note: There were more children in our screening than I expected, many under 10. I sat in the back and tried to gauge some of the children’s reactions which is hard to do with the back of their heads in the dark. I would say many of the little ones were bored, which was a relief to me in some sense but I imagine parents had some tough and hopefully powerful conversations with their children afterwards. Still, consider the rating.)

… the issues were discussed: In addition to extreme poverty, trafficking and bondage labor were addressed.
I loved the interview with International Justice Missions worker who found his anti-trafficking job so fulfilling. One of my favorite parts of the film.
Enjoyed the storylines of what some people in Western contexts   are doing to help. Fashion designer, coffee-shop owner, youth pastor – these people are showing us how we can be involved.

My heart broke for:
… Workitu (7months pregnant) said that her husband abandoned her and children because he didn’t want to die like this.
… one child born into forced labor said that he had dreams but wished he didn’t … because they can’t come true.
… the Images for the girls rescued from trafficking.

Is solving global poverty possible in our generation? It is possible to solve it ever?
This is a tough question. Indeed so much energy, time and money has been wasted (or resources ending up in the wrong hands). Indeed handouts are not sustainable or nor life-giving on a long-term basis. However, I did appreciate what Dr. Scott Todd from Compassion International said. Among the stats mentioned were the work has cut in half the number of children who are dying per day (was 40,000/day, now 21,000. Among the reasons is more access for more people to clean drinking water). If we can think through the gravity of that statistic, there is work to be done here.

So much more to say but check it for yourself – watch the trailer and here’s the link. from Wing Clips who have posted the full download, along with a study guide for free.

58: THE FILM Trailer from LIVE58NOW on Vimeo.


Come see the new Invisible Children movie Tony next Wednesday

Our youth group has been involved in Invisible Children for the past few years. In addition to hosting screenings at our church, in their schools, creating School for Schools campaigns, this tragic issue of trafficked and abducted children forced to become child soldiers has been on our hearts.

Next Wednesday (March 16th, 7:30p), we are hosting the new Invisible Children film, Tony at our church (141 W Grand Ave. Montvale, NJ). If you have never seen an IC film, consider coming, they are well-made documentaries that have an incredible soul to them.

The event is free and there will be tshirts and dvds for sale to help support the cause. Hope you can make it and hope you bring a friend.

You can learn more on their website –


Reflecting on "I Was Trafficked" Dance and Documentary at Monmouth University

As you may know, in recent years, I have become very interested in the issues of human trafficking, modern slavery, and human rights. In some ways, I feel like I’m still beginning to understand its complexity and in other ways – it’s pretty clear. Like many other Christians, I see these as huge moral violations and my heart remains broken. I wrestle constantly with numerous questions ranging from “Why aren’t more people discussing this?” to “What can I do to help?”. I’m not sure how to answer the first question graciously. It will just sound egotistical (like many bloggers ;-) To the second, the answer always feels like it’s never enough. We give money, attention, and intercession but like so many others, I wrestle.

That said, yesterday (Friday), I went to an event called, “I Was Trafficked” at Monmouth University. It featured choreographed dance and a clips from the documentaries “Very Young Girls” by Girls Mentoring and Education Services (available on Netflix) and “Demand” by Shared Hope International.

I hope to write more later but once again I was moved by what these girls go through. Some are abducted in the early teen years, brainwashed to fall in love with their pimps and forced to have sex with 10-20 men a day. I can barely wrap my mind around that kind of evil. My anger burns towards the pimps and the many men who create such a market.

Regarding the dance portion, I have to say, I found it to be beautiful. If I am being honest, dance is not a language of mine. I’m not good at it, I don’t watch Dancing with the Stars, but when it does cross my path, I do think, “Wow that is really cool.” Watching the dance routines with the moving music in between the documentary clips was powerful. My friend Migel’s wife, Janelle Milazzo Lao danced and choreographed much of the routine. She and the rest of the 5 member team were fantastic. Afterwards, Human Rights and Anti-Trafficking advocate, Debi Marulanda, took the stage and shared some of her experience of working with US governement agencies and non-profits in providing real help for young women rescued from forced prostitution.

There is no question that this is difficult subject matter. For those interested I encourage you to check out the aforementioned documentaries. In the meantime, I’m making it a goal to post more about this important topic.

Modern Slavery Stats from Good Magazine.

I enjoy going to Border’s and checking out some of the magazines.  One that has caught my interest as of late and now considering purchasing a subscription has been “Good Magazine”  (Subscription – 1 year- 6 issues -$20.)

Anyway, they had a couple pages in their “Transparency” section dedicated to some of the world’s problems (Driving, Lobbyists, Oil.   Among them was modern slavery.  Here are some of the stats from Human Trafficking; U.S. Department and A Crime so Monstrous Face to Face with Modern Day Slavery, Free the Slaves, United Nations Global Initiative to Fight.  They post a considerable amount of content from the magazine on their site.  You can also look at it here.

“Slavery – includes both traditional slaves and bonded workers who are not allowed to work off their debts”

The average cost of a slave is $90. – The same price as a Los Angeles Lakers ticket.

A slave is imported into the U.S. every 30 minutes.  – The same time it takes to watch a rerun of Seinfeld.

50 percent of slaves in the U.S. are engaged in the commercial sex industry.  

50 percent of slaves in the U.S. work in agriculture, manufacturing, or domestic work.  

Right now, the number of enslaved people worldwide is estimated to be 27,000,000

14,500-17,500 slaves are bought into the U.S. annually.

Hundred of thousands of slaves are trafficked to Europe and Eurasia every year.

920,000 people are enslaved in Latin America and the Caribbean.

1,300,000 people are enslaved in Africa and the Middle East.

24,000,000 people are enslaved in Asia.”

Like many I’m burdened as I read these things.  Prayer, general reading, one time-contributions, promoting awareness, and signing petitions keep me engaged in the subject (and many important ones like these) but I am in search of the next step.  As far as the point of this post, you may at least know a little more.