Last week, our campus was filled with free pancakes on Tuesday, delectable desserts on Wednesday, and people fighting for justice throughout the entire week. This was due to the International Justice Mission’s annual Justice Week. The goal was to raise awareness and money to help the International Justice Mission, whose mission is “seeking justice for the oppressed and speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves both individually and corporately.”
Evelyn Bohl, President of Regent University’s IJM chapter, said, “The event was created to have a dual purpose. We pair education and awareness with our fundraising events.” Furthermore, Evelyn noted, “It’s more for a shock factor too. We made a chain and for 2,700 slips of paper, we wrote 10,000 slaves on it to represent the 27 million people who are captured in slavery.”
IJM has been passionately serving and educating the campus about the horrendous injustices that go on all around the world. Bohl noted,
“It has been an amazing blessing for me just to see from when I started here on campus, how many people didn’t even know what trafficking was… And then now, we had 100 students show up to our bonfire, just to hear and pray about human trafficking.”
On Thursday, chains wrapped around the pillars of the chapel as volunteers stood silently, dressed all in black, holding signs about modern day slavery. Over 50 people came for the prayer walk, and some carried the chain as they walked around the fountain. The group stayed silent in recognition of those who are forced to be silent, for those who are not able to stand up for themselves.
Overall, the week was a huge success. While IJM is still adding up the final numbers, it looks like they may have surpassed their fundraising goal by nearly $100. Justice Week was also a success in regards to spreading awareness and motivation to help fight human trafficking. Evelyn noted one instance that really moved her. She explained,
“I was sitting on the patio deck by the Student Center and a girl came up and said, ‘I don’t have enough cash to give you,’ I told her it’s more of just a “donate-what-you-will,” but she literally stood there for about five minutes or so and was just digging through her pockets, digging through her purse, and just digging through everything. She dug out every last dollar bill and every last coin and was like, ‘I wish I had more to give you.’ It really moved me how she didn’t have so much to give, but was willing to give everything she had.”
The weather didn’t affect the events until Friday, when the Burpee Challenge was supposed to take place. The new date should be determined by the end of Thursday, April 2nd. They also plan on trying to throw one last event, aside from the Burpee challenge, to conclude the school year.
Thank you to all of the volunteers, and the International Justice Mission for putting on such a wonderful event! If you would like to get involved with Regent’s International Justice Mission chapter, or want to learn more, check out their Facebook page.