The work of the Holy Spirit through Christian music has yet again graduated to new heights. Through partnership and collaboration, Steven Curtis Chapman and Chris Tomlin joined in one voice with International Justice Mission (IJM), a Washington DC-based human rights group who rescues victims from oppression worldwide, to speak for those without a voice at IJM’s first annual benefit held in Nashville.
Chapman and Tomlin brought a musical force to the event as the two debuted a song they co-wrote especially for IJM’s cause, entitled, “Let’s Justice Roll,” to a concerned audience of 300. It didn’t matter whether people attended on behalf the recording industry or the law community, they were there to learn how to help.
In his keynote address, IJM President Gary Haugen said, "Tonight has just confirmed what we believed all along -- that people in this community care about the hurting and want to do something to help."
Other performances included Ruth McGinnis Ruth McGinnis and members of the band Diamond Rio. However, the main focus of the night was the IJM’s efforts to free victims of oppression such as those found in child slavery, forced prostitution, and illegal imprisonment. These professionals not only document the reports of abuse and oppression that have not found relief among local authorities, but they also spread the word to churches and the public. Action then takes place to help the victims who wouldn’t be able to be set free from their oppression themselves.
Take Narakalapa, for example. A 70-year-old man bound to a lifetime of slavery before IJM intervened. After the several recent months of IJM’s pursuit on this case, Narakalapa was finally able to be set free along with his children, his grandchildren, and dozens of other slaves. It is the mutual joy experienced by both parties from success stories like these that keep IJM afoot.
"Our staff people were there to share the first moments of freedom Narakalapa ever experienced," Haugen said. "It's moments like this that keep us seeking justice for the oppressed and defenseless around the world."
The host committee for the Nashville benefit included Michelle and Joe Ed Conn, International Justice Mission; Wally Dietz, Bass, Berry & Sims, PLC; Tim DuBois, Universal South; Gary Glover, The Glover Group; Terry Hemmings, Provident Music Group; John Huie, Creative Artists Agency; Doug Johnston, Barrett, Johnston & Parsley; Lynn Morrow, Stokes Bartholomew Evans & Petree, P.A.; Dan Raines, Creative Trust, Inc.; and honorary chairs, Tim and Mary Wipperman.
To learn more visit www.ijm.org.