Lent is a season of preparation and anticipation. It is a time to seek forgiveness and reflect on the brokenness of our world; seeing it through God’s own eyes.
For me, that prospect is daunting. Because right now, God must see a world that is very broken indeed. One where a billion children experience some sort of violence every year.
Children who are physically, sexually and emotionally abused. Forced into child labour, early marriage or armed recruitment.
Psalms tell us “Children are a gift from the Lord. They are a reward”. Failing to protect them must therefore be the most egregious affront to Him. One that we must all be responsible for rectifying.
It is possible, there are proven solutions.
So this Lent, we’re asking you to do more than just reflect. We’re asking you to support our new campaign ‘It takes a world to end violence against children’ and take meaningful action to ensure every child is safe, loved and able to thrive.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free” (Isaiah 58:6)
That we will see an end to violence against children. Organise prayer vigils for children you know are experiencing violence at home and around the world. For instance, the many millions of children affected by the now six-year war in Syria.
Advocate for law or policy change to better protect children, make sure young people in your community have somewhere to go for help if they’re experiencing violence. Live the gospel and embrace children and their families who seek refuge among you.
It takes a world to end violence against children. It takes faith… it takes you and me. May this Lent provide you with the direction to best serve Him and the most vulnerable people in our society.
By Jayakumar Christian, World Vision’s Head of Faith and Development