“Everyday, many young people in our world are sexually exploited. We want to be part of the solution to this problem.”
This comment has been repeated in my FaceBook newsfeed these past few weeks as our community is preparing for our annual involvement in the Ping Pong-a-thon. The Pong is a 24hour table tennis event that mobilises guys and girls of all ages and capacities to “serve up some justice“.
Today, more than 20 million people are victims of human trafficking globally. Participants in the Pong raise awareness and funds for a number of frontline organisations working to rescue and restore exploited and abused young people in Sth East Asia.
This cause and this event have completely captured the heart of our church family and as a Church leadership we throw a whole lot of energy and resource behind it.
Here’s why we do …
- Justice is at the heart of the gospel. Jesus’ mission was to bind, heal, restore, comfort & free (Isaiah 61:1) and every act of justice makes the world look just that little bit more like the kingdom of heaven. The Church should be (and generally is) the most generous givers and most active in seeing justice for all.
- Those who have are responsible for those who have not. We are called to ‘speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves’ (Prov 31:8). Events such as these make us aware of the need and highlight the abundance of our freedom and capacity to advocate for those born, manipulated or sold into the most depraved of circumstances.
- Serving together grows community. Beyond the cash and awareness raised for the cause, events such as these gather people together around a mutual focus who might not otherwise connect – including people not previously part of our faith community. It’s provided a great leadership opportunity for our coordinator as well as involving many others – donating, promoting, Pong-ing, catering, etc.
- People are looking for a way to actively engage. How often do we see the news and hear the statistics and feel like we are powerless to make a difference? This event is a ready made movement to join that is supporting organisations making significant impact (see 2015’s Ping impact here)
We look forward to our event kicking off and anticipate the ongoing personal, kingdom and justice benefits as it unfolds.