Monday, November 5, 2007

Bloody Chocolate

a Jesus thought...
"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' 10In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (Luke 15:8-10)

a Godly thought...
If we're going to live by and die for anything, let's make sure that it's God's honest truth. Other ideas might promise us light. but keep us in darkness for life. (p48 Lucas)

a leading thought...
Don't be so far out in front of the troops that they mistake you for the enemy and shoot you in the back. (p86 Finzel)

a Dave thought...

Here is an excerpt from yesterdays Age newspaper...
The Confectionary Manufacturers Association — of which Nestle, Cadbury Schweppes and Mars Confectionery are members — cannot confirm if chocolate sold here has passed through the hands of child slaves. But they can offer no guarantees that the chocolate coating Australia's three biggest-selling bars — Cherry Ripe, Kit Kat and Mars — does not contain slave-tainted cocoa.
Association spokesman David Greenwood said it was notoriously difficult to identify children held as slaves or bonded workers because most plantations were family businesses in which children have traditionally laboured alongside their parents.
Adding to the confusion were large numbers of children moving to the Ivory Coast to escape the desperate poverty in neighbouring Mali, he said.
But the Salvation Army's anti-slavery co-ordinator, social justice director Captain Danielle Strickland, says this approach is not good enough. She believes manufacturers have a responsibility to urgently find out who produces their cocoa.
"Given that Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) produces 43 per cent of the world's cocoa you could say there is a 43 per cent chance your favourite chocolate bar has some beans produced by child slaves," she said."There is no doubt the issue is complex, but if you are producing something you have a responsibility to find out what you are buying."

This issue of chocolate is starting to get a lot of press and thanks to Captain Danielle Strickland (justsalvos.com) we are being educated on how to live a just lifestyle. Last night I conducted the Mildura youth meeting at the conclusion of great day organised by Lt. Heather Stamp. I preached on Micah 6:8 about acting justly and we looked at how we can respond as Christians to issues in our society. We placed a tin of milo we found in the corps kitchen at one of our response stations and asked the youth to eat a teaspoon of milo while they read stories of exploited children farming cocoa on the Ivory Coast. Some of the youth will no longer be able to eat Nestle (one of the biggest culprits) Milo without thinking of the sad stories of injustice that are happening around the world. So we now have choices to make, by what we eat and drink we are making value statements everyday. So start thinking WWJE (Eat) or WWJD (Drink) it messes up your life a bit but then again no where near the amount it is messing up trafficked people all around the world.

Just a thought.

4 comments:

Tim & Dabak Lynn said...

Good thought-provoking article, Dave. However, I believe you could have chosen a much better and appropriate title (eg. Fight The Chocolate War, Choose Slave-free Chocolate, or even, The Chocolate Campaign, etc.)
Just a thought...

Heather Princess said...

Heck no! I like Dave's title much better...why pretty it up?!?! It is a controversial topic...it should not sit well with people. How would they be stirred?!?

Tim & Dabak Lynn said...

Heather, I agree that it's an important and controversial topic and shouldn't sit well with people. But the TITLE doesn't do the topic any justice. Why take on the disgusting vernacular of the world to try to make a social justice point?
"Be in the world, not of the world" ~ now that stirs me to action!!

Anonymous said...

The response to yuor title reminds me of words spoken by evangelist Tony Campolo - "I have three things I'd like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don't give a shit. What's worse is that you're more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night."