Mission Issues

Thinking and re-thinking missionary issues

David Batstone: Not for Sale

While attending the Leadership Summit at Willow Creek in 2008, I had the privilege of listening to Gary Haugan, President and CEO of International Justice Mission. He inspired me to such an extent that, had I been a lawyer, I would probably have resigned from my regular job to join this group in fighting against modern slavery. His book, Just Courage, is a must-read. I wrote a review on this book which you can read here.
Although I love reading, I do find that my time is getting more and more restricted and a book that I would have read in a few days in the past is taking me weeks to finish. When I heard that David Batstone’s book, “Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade – and How We Can Fight It” was available in an audio format, I decided to venture on this new road of “reading”. I spend literally hours on the road every week and I decided that I might as well use this “dead” time to listen to someone else reading a book which I wanted to read. I downloaded the audio book from http://christianaudio.com, copied the MP3s to eight CDs and started listening to the book each time that I had to drive somewhere.
David Batstone’s book is not for the squeamish. On more than one occasion I didn’t know whether I wanted to cry or whether I wanted to vomit, when listening to real-life accounts of how people, mostly poor people, are being exploited in various ways. There’s stories of children being kidnapped and used as soldiers in Uganda. There’s stories of families, including four-year old children being used as slaves in rice mills in Asian countries. There’s stories of children abducted and used in the sex trade in various countries, such as Thailand and Cambodia. But there’s also stories of the very same things happening on our doorsteps, with examples from cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington DC.
But there’s also stories of hope. Organisations such as Gary Haugan’s International Justice Mission are discussed at length as well as many individuals who had made it their life vocation, in spite of death threats, to expose the criminals and syndicates involved in human trafficking and to get organisations such as the UN involved in speaking out against it. I was challenged to sign a petition on World Vision’s website to end child soldier use. The challenge was to get 1 million signatures in order to move Congress in the USA to adopt laws prohibiting the use of children as soldiers. When I entered the website I was pleasantly surprised to read: “Good News! Congress has passed the Child Soldier Prevention Act!” Although my signature won’t make a difference in this regard, I did join the cause on Facebook: Not for Sale.
It is said that at least 27 million people worldwide are living in slavery today. It is encouraging to hear how individual Christians, churches and other Christian organisations are also becoming involved in the fight against this crime against humanity.
Batstone’s book is highly recommended – in either regular book form or in audio format. The reader, Lloyd James, by the way, is excellent. I assume that not all audio books would be of the same quality as this one, but I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it – in spite of the distressing contents.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - Posted by | Book Review, Hope, Mission, Mission Sites, Missionary Organisations, Social issues, Theology


  1. […] Book Review of David Batone’s “Not for Sale”, dealing with the Global Slave Trade. […]

    Pingback by Book Review of David Batone’s “Not for Sale”, dealing with the Global Slave Trade. | Wednesday, March 18, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] a review on Eric Bryant’s book: Peppermint-filled piñatas. You can read it here. And then I recently wrote how I’ve now discovered audio books which gives me the chance to listen to books while I’m […]

    Pingback by Eric Bryant: Peppermint-filled Piñatas (Audio book) « Mission Issues | Thursday, March 26, 2009 | Reply

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