I think any regulars to this blog know I’ve been finding myself doing a lot of soul searching over the past year.  Living abroad makes that endeavor really easy.  Every day, I’m faced with determining if my reactions or the reactions of those around me are right or wrong or just a cultural difference.  I’ve found myself in a place where the things that I’ve taken for granted for a lifetime are no longer a given, but sometimes a luxury – and sometimes not available at all (I miss you, Wheatsfield!).  I haven’t found a church in Busan that I like (the English services are a handful, scattered around the city, and generally focus on things that I find tertiary ); I don’t believe that the traditional church building/church service each week is necessary, but I do believe it is helpful to keep you focused.  I’ve not been as focused as I like, but I can’t force myself to go somewhere in which the message is contrary to my own beliefs.  It makes me cynical.

Anyway, lately some of my closest Christian friends have returned to the States.  They were the type of Christians who see the world a lot like I do, and weren’t judgmental of me or anyone else.  And without them, I worry that my own focus will be very difficult to achieve.  I know many people don’t agree with me, but I like what Jesus said, and I appreciate studying it.  It helps me remember what’s important to me: helping others, putting others before myself, putting the needs of those who have less than I do before my own needs, and fighting for the “dregs” of society when nobody else will.

These aren’t things I see Christians doing very often, which is where my own cynicism lies.

But lately I’ve been communicating online with new friends via tumblr and my tumblr account.  There are a lot of people interested in modern day abolition online, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to realize that almost all of them are Christians.

They aren’t forcing people to see things through a Christian viewpoint, because I believe a pure Christian viewpoint doesn’t need labels or announcements or fanfare.  I love seeing Christians simply saying, “I’m fighting for this issue because it is the right thing to do.”  They aren’t preachy or proselytizing.  They are letting their work speak for who they are, and when you realize they are Christians – it hasn’t just been a breath of fresh air for me, but it’s been exactly what I believe the world needs to see.  Christians doing good for others without expecting some repayment or acknowledgement in return.

I will do good because it is the right thing to do.  I will fight for the weak because I have a voice and they don’t.  I will sacrifice my own personal desires and pursuits of wealth, material things, and status because I can’t bear to build up my own stocks when others have none.  And I won’t force someone to acknowledge my God as their own until they can see for themselves that he is good.  If they can’t, my words will never be as valuable as my actions.

I might be wrong about some of these things – the soul searching continues.  I am encouraged by the new relationships I am making, even if they are online and from far away.

I feel a burden to do something about human trafficking, although I still don’t know what shape that will end up taking.  However, this is the encouragement I’ve been needing – that I’m not alone in this mission, and that I am in good company with people with a similar philosophy and beliefs.  While they weren’t necessary – I will do this with anyone, even those who don’t necessarily believe in God the same way I do – it sure helps.

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