Monday 30 June 2008

Member Care and Human Rights--8

Helping others can be costly--and scary and "inconvenient".
**There are consequences for defending human rights--including our own and those of others.
**There are consequences for providing member care to workers whose human rights have been violated through harrassment, discrimination, forced exile, and imprisonment.
**There are also consequences for not defending human rights and for not helping others whose rights are violated.

Recently a team of four psychologists was providing member care services to workers in an Asian country. These workers were a mixture of locals and internationals. Their perseverence and love for people were remarkable.

We were part of this team of psychologists. In addition to teaching on parenting skills, marriage, stress managemnet, and grief/loss, there was also teaching on surviving hardship and understanding human rights. Most of the workers had limited knowledge of national and international laws that pertained to their rights. For many it seemed that generations of "learned helplessness" had left them with little sense that soomething could be done to change human rights abuses. Many of these rights and laws were said to be interpreted in terms of the "national interests" or at least in terms of the interests of the people with the most power.

We listened a lot. And then we taught some. Here is a summary (part one of three) oriented for those in the faith-based community (Christian).


Difficult experiences are every where, at every time, for every one. No one escapes. These expereinces include both: external stressors like persecution, harassment, and relationship conflict; and internal struggles like depression, fear, and frustration.
Philippians 1:1,2 and Ephesians 3:1
We are prisoners and bond-servants of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the gentiles.
We are not prisoners of governments nor of our circumstances.

Message to church in Smyrna--Revelation 2:8-11
You may go to prison but do not be afraid. Be faithful. Member care helps us to be faithful in all aspects of life--to do what we know is right—serving God and others. He will reward us.
Exercise: Hide a holy book for one week and what will happen to you? You will likely appreciate it more, and memorise it more! What three verses would help sustain you if you were in prison and did not have access to a holy book?

Reflection and Discussion

***What three verses (or principles) sustain you the most in your own life?

***Comment on this assertion: Ultimately followers of Christ are "prisoners" of Jesus Christ, not of anything else.

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