Every once in a while I get asked, "How did you start to write about justice issues?"
For me, it was an interesting convergence of faith, art and justice in my own life. Newly aware I wanted to use my inclination for the written word to address justice issues I was shocked to learn about, I was given an opportunity.
That opportunity ended up being my contribution to this book: 30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless, first published by photogenX in 2006 (the art/justice school founded by my friends Paul and Susi Childers who I greatly admire).
It became the "little book that could," going on to a print run of more than 100,000 copies in English and then being translated into multiple languages, including Japanese, Urdu, Korean, Dutch, Russian, German and Spanish to name a few.
A lot of times it’s hard to even know where to begin. We hear some of the unthinkable statistics about gender-based violence and our blood boils, our heart breaks. But we also feel helpless to do anything to change it.
This book starts with prayer. As I’ve shared the books across Canada, one of the things I often repeat is that, “even if you don’t pray, you’ll start once you read this.” That might not be the best way to market a publication, but it’s true.
What I love about this book is that it looks honestly at the issues. I wrote 14 of the 30 stories, and my intention as I wrote them was to imagine real issues, personalize them, imagine one person.
The publisher’s goal was to compel 100,000 people to pray for 5 mins a day for 30 days about these issues, which means that some 30+ years of prayer time was given to the issues, which is incredible to consider because prayer works. I’ve heard stories from around the world about how this publication has compelled them not only to pray but to act.
Although published in the early 2000s, the book remains incredibly relevant today.
In the foreword, Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With A Mission, in response to the question about what the greatest global challenge will be as we enter the 21st Century writes, “the abuse and suppression of women. Why? Because it is the biggest, most far reaching, and most hidden.”
It's an excellent option for your justice-focused organization or small group to learn more about gender-based injustice; the 30 day prayer curriculum will also lead you or your group into effective action.