By Rachel Cantrell, Contributing Writer
For children, summer is a time for swimming, playing outside, seeing movies, or doing a multitude of other fun activities, but this is not how an estimated 1.2 million children in India will spend their summer. They will spend it oppressed in slavery, something that affects an estimated 27 million people in the world. There are more people enslaved now than at any other point in history. Yet, even with its size, human trafficking is a topic not many know about or are working to eradicate it. Friends Church of Yorba Linda in Orange County California is trying to change that.
Pastor Matthew Cork saw firsthand the poverty and persecution of the Dalits in India in 2007. He then said, “Lord, I’m in,” and ever since, along with his congregation, has been trying to bring freedom to these people.
They created a film company and produced a movie that personalized the story by telling it through the eyes of a “young, callous, privileged Southern Californian who goes to India to party and, in a long encounter with a Dalit girl whose father feels forced to sell her, finally gets beyond himself.” The movie, NOT TODAY opened in theaters this past April, and brought the story to cities around the country. Now the book, WHY NOT TODAY?, which acts as both the prequel and sequel to the movie, tells you how to help.
In addition, Cork and Friends Church allied with the Dalit Freedom Network and committed $20 million over 10 years to build 200 schools for Dalit children. They hope these schools will help stop the cycle of poverty.
“For anyone who has ever wanted to help the poor and overcome injustice,” Cork says, “here’s what God can do when we are willing to respond. Why not start today?”
WHY NOT TODAY? is available in stores and online.