WP Films Blog

You Have to BE a Voice for the Voiceless

I’ve never been angrier in my life. I’ve also never felt so helpless.

I was standing in a vast rock quarry in Northern India, and I knew this was a moment that could potentially change me forever. Growing up in the United States in a comfortable home, attending a comfortable church, and living a fairly comfortable life, the fact that the world was a big, scary place was more of a vague concept than a stark reality. But being there in that place that reality was crushing in on me like an emotional weight.

My friend, Shampa Rice, had brought my film crew and I here to witness a great injustice.

Modern day slavery, sanctioned by the Indian government, was unfolding in front of me. Day in and day out, for their entire lives, whole families were being forced to gather rocks and beat them into gravel, then haul that gravel into trucks to be hauled away. The rocks never depleted, and the trucks loomed ever present. They had a quota to fill. Otherwise they weren’t getting paid. And since a quote needed to be met, that meant that all hands needed to be on deck to complete the task. I saw children as young as 3 or 4 hammering away at rocks, doing their best to help the family survive.

Shampa was trying her best to help these people, setting up a school nearby where the children could get an education, but it was a hard sell because letting a child go to school would mean two less hands to work the quarry.

And then there was the incessant “tink, tink, tink” sound that you could hear everywhere you went.

It was the sound of hammers hitting rocks, and since these people had to do this same thing over and over again for decades, many of them would become deaf by early middle age.

The enormity of the quarry was what really blinded me with anger, because it literally reached as far as the eye could see in both directions, with thousands of people hammering away, hauling, and basically looking miserable. And there was nothing I could do about it.

Technically it’s not slavery because the people are getting paid, but the amount they are paid is minuscule, of course. These people are barely surviving, and in these conditions, they won’t survive for long. I remember picking up two rocks and holding them in my hands, making an inner vow to never forget this, and also to be a voice to these voiceless people. I still have the rocks.

I think more than anything else in my nearly decade long foray into making documentaries, the thing that has changed within me the most is a full realization of the horrors, pain, and sorrow that so much of the world must endure everyday.

Whether they are working the rock quarries of India, begging on the streets of Tanzania, or selling their bodies in Thailand or Brazil, the life being lived by millions around the world isn’t just horrible, but also fairly hopeless. None of these people will be able to work their way out of this predicament. A prostitute can’t simply leave her profession because she has no skills to get a decent job. It’s a vicious cycle that will not end until Jesus returns.

It’s often easy to start to feel guilty for your own charmed life, but that won’t help anyone. My job is to be a voice for the voiceless, to introduce people to the kind and loving God of the Bible, and to inspire people that so much more is available to you through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said that the poor would be with us always, but that doesn’t make it any easier to stomach. How God can deal with all the pain He sees is one of the great mysteries to me. Thank God there will be an end to the pain at some point.

In the meantime, those of us who claim Jesus as our Lord and Savior can do our part, however big or small, one person at a time.

This Story is From:

Father of Lights. You can watch this story as it unfolded because we captured it on film. See this and more stories in the full movie available now.

3 Comments

  • Jimmy Farrell

    I read this story & my heart was so convicted. At first you think, "GOD, please bring them out of these horrible conditions." Then it hit me really hard. Even though all things are possible with God, that'a probably not going to happen. But what can happen is HOLY SPIRIT can bring HIS conditions into them! Love, Joy, Peace, Meekness, Happiness, Forbearance, Longsuffering, etc.., the fruits of the Spirit! I guess maybe that's why Scripture tells us things like, free or slave, do all we do as if we're doing it unto the Lord. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit & Jesus Christ is Lord, He fills us with His fruit & we're joyful in the worst of conditions. It's Him that they'd feel & love 24/7 & not the rocks that they are crushing into pebbles. GOD is the key to their happiness & Jesus is the way! YAY GOD! Cause that's possible. Include them in our prayer :)

  • Dave Barry

    Jocelyn, my wife, and I have travelled the world and see first hand how much of the world lives. I agree that most live in pain, hurt, injustice and try their best to live from hand to mouth each day. I agree that we can make a difference in other people's lives one person at a time. Fortunately our Heavenly Father is with them in the rock quarry, in the brothel or where ever they are. Each person needs to acknowledge their Heavenly Father's presence and follow Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. Circumstances may not change, but people's lives can be made whole and complete through faith in the true Creator God. Thank you, Darren, and your team for giving a voice to the voiceless one person at a time. May your tribe and influence increase.

  • Touching India

    We have found the answer for the kids we take in is first-class education, not another orphanage or another low quality school - follow what happens to the kids after age 18. The Kingdom breaking all barriers of caste and color, Private tutors until they pass entrance exams and a lot of care by 1st world standards,-- good food, clothes, sleeping quarters - we now have kids in engineering, nursing school, college for commerce and even Math and Physics. It is time the church stop feeding the poor in the dust and obey 1Sam 2:18. Raise them out. A first class life and education. Yes with persecution because of the few even Christians who are willing to rise above caste. It is only a few hundred dollars a year for excellent schools. Encourage those who support orphanages to spend a very few dollars more and transform them. Mainstream those thought irredeemable. Give them a new life. The Kingdom changes everything!

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