Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Tribute to a Slave Hunter

Aaron Cohen is a slave hunter. For years, he has traveled the world retrieving persons sold into slavery, including girls sold into the sex trade.

If you ask Aaron Cohen how many people he has rescued, he probably would say, “Not enough.” This humble slave hunter knows that there still is a lot of work to do.

The other night, some family members, a few friends and I attended an event hosted by an organization honoring Aaron Cohen as its humanitarian of the year—a well-deserved honor. For me, one of the most poignant moments of the evening came during Aaron’s acceptance speech and his accompanying slide show. He showed one slide of a Rapha girl before she was rescued. Then the very next slide showed her receiving her diploma at our graduation event in November, which Aaron also attended. These two slides told a powerful story—one that I’ve had the privilege of witnessing in part firsthand.

Think for a moment. What if we could mobilize a whole army of slave hunters like Aaron Cohen? Tens of thousands of children would be freed. But where would they go for their wounded hearts to heal? Where would they learn how to preserve their freedom and live independently?

The photos that Aaron Cohen showed tell more than a story of one girl’s personal triumph. They are a metaphor of what it takes to win this fight against this heinous evil. In this war, we need heroes like Aaron Cohen to free people from slavery. But we need places like Rapha House where wounded hearts can heal and rescued souls learn how to live independently.

Thank you Aaron Cohen for making a difference. And thanks to each supporter of Rapha House. Because of people like Aaron and people like you, lives are being saved.

"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 and break every yoke?" (Isaiah 58:6)