Hope For A Just Future

By Joash Thomas

When I worked at an International Justice Mission (IJM) field office in South Asia, I thought justice work was depressing. As our staff gathered to pray every day, the prayer requests felt way too heavy.

“Pray for this survivor we helped law enforcement in rescuing from a brick factory a few weeks ago. She just tried to commit suicide.”

“Pray that we find the survivors of labour trafficking who were transported to a hidden location after the traffickers were alerted that local police and our partners were on their way.”
And on and on they went.

But our staff prayers at IJM Canada feel a lot less depressing. I think this is because of the different vantage point we have as an advancement office that is slightly removed from the thick weeds of justice work in our programs offices.

When it comes to justice work, it’s important to build in intentional moments throughout the day, week, quarter and year where we temporarily shift up our vantage points, lift up our eyes and come up for air. Perhaps you reading this is a “coming up for air” moment today. Great!

When hope seems bleak, we must remind ourselves that all justice work—the work of making all things new—is ultimately God’s weight. That’s right – God cares way more about this work than you and I ever will. He cares way more about people who are marginalized than we ever will. And he invites us into this holy work.

The Spirit is still at work today in making all things new – even our public justice systems. The life-changing work of CPJ over the past 60 years points to this reality!

Over the past 25 years, we at IJM have also gotten to see God restore justice systems that were once considered “too broken” by local authorities – justice systems that were set up centuries ago by colonial powers to protect colonial interests by excluding women and girls—especially women and girls in poverty.

Still, we’ve seen God do the impossible through our government & church partners. We’ve seen child sex trafficking reduce by 72% in Cebu, 75% in Manila, 78% in the Dominican Republic and 86% in Pampanga. In Guatemala, we’ve seen court convictions for perpetrators of gender based violence increase from 3% to 34% in just over a decade. These once “broken” justice systems now protect millions of women & girls from ever being exploited.

Even here in North America, we’ve seen increased awareness and repentance for centuries of systemic racial injustices against our Black & First Nations neighbours. This too is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Because this is the world that God is actively ushering in – a world where every broken public justice system is restored so all marginalized peoples are protected from violence, poverty & climate change.

The words of God spoken through the Prophet Isaiah centuries ago still ring true today:

“Behold, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Isaiah 43:19

May we not miss out on beholding the “new thing” that God is doing in our public justice systems – especially through the work of CPJ.

Posted in



Leave a Comment

Share via
Copy link