A Message from Executive Director Ida Kaastra Mutoigo

Protesters are seen in front of City Hall as they rally against the death of Minneapolis, Minnesota man George Floyd at the hands of police on May 31, 2020 in New York City. (AP Images)

World Renew stands for God’s justice and stands in solidarity with people who are oppressed by systemic injustice.

Is anyone listening to the voices that really matter today?

There is a lot of noise on streets, in communities, and in homes. There are news reports of people looting and burning property, and lots of voices that rightly condemn such behaviours.

Yet, it is important not to be distracted by these voices at the expense of other voices we must hear. Within all the cacophony and chaos, the voice that I choose to hear, the voice that must guide the actions of World Renew, is God’s voice crying in a quiet and powerful way through the soul of George Floyd and millions of people around the world who are oppressed: “I can’t breathe.”

God’s voice is crying for freedom, crying for change, crying for a chance to live without fear.
God’s voice is pleading for someone, anyone, to see His people for who they are: beautiful image-bearers.

At such a time as this, we call for lament and prayer. We call for leaders in places of influence to investigate, audit, and remit consequences for those who have abused their authority and power. We call for churches to rise up and show God’s love by listening deeply to those who have suffered far too long. We call for these churches to advocate for change in behaviour and policy.

We must listen to people of colour, and we must listen to our Christian brothers and sisters as they tell us how to stand with them and protest. It is their voices that must matter! May God have mercy and change us to be a beloved community and better imitators of His love and justice.

My heart is broken when I hear the voice of God’s children crying because they are bullied for being a certain colour, gender, race or economic status. My own children, who have been blessed with a mixed heritage of African and Dutch-Canadian, have known what it is like to be disregarded and ignored because of what they look like.

I feel deep pain when people look at them with distrust and fear as they do simple tasks of living. How can we assure all children of God that He really loves them when everything in society screams other messages?

It is time for us to reimagine and rebuild our society that is currently going through a social disaster.
It is time for God’s call to be obeyed to do justice and love mercy.
It is time for deep reflection and deep change so all people may know that they matter to us because they matter to God.
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