I was reminded by friends at International Justice Mission that today marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. IJM founder Gary Haugen was there as the lead UN investigator. Soon after he founded IJM to focus on stopping predators around the world. They rescue and defend the most vulnerable. Gary saw that victims’ receiving aid in the form of food or microloans was doing no good if they fell prey to corrupt police or other criminals who stole or harmed them.
The folks at IJM (and those who support it) are doing some of the most important work of social justice in our generation.
Interviewing Gary was one of the biggest honors I’ve had in my career–and probably ever will have. He’s an amazing man of creativity, heart, passion and intelligence.
Here’s the feature I wrote for Relevant Magazine (March/April ’07) after my interview with him Aug. 31, 2006 at the IJM offices in Washington, D.C. The thing I remember most about his office is that there are two portraits by the door (where his eye falls when sitting at his desk): Martin Luther King, Jr., and Abraham Lincoln.
“Missions is not just about evangelism and discipleship or relief and development, but it’s about the work of justice.”
This is a concept Gary has helped the American church awaken to over the past 15 years.