www.nashvillerescuemission.org Mission Matters Bluetree: Greater thinGs By Caroline Lusk Brothels, trafficking, ethnic cleansing, martyrdom… For most of us, these are just words… Distant and far-removed from our daily lives… These words apply to other people… over there… anywhere but here. But to the more than 820,000 people around the world who are trafficked every year (of whom about 80% are women and 50% are minors), these aren’t words. They’re the harsh, painful reality that greets them day after day. And for those brave enough to enter into the fight to end such oppression, martyrdom is no archaic phrase from way back when. It is a very constant threat and an extremely viable possibility. Bluetree, the modern worship band from Belfast, Ireland, perhaps best known for their song “God of This City,” knows first-hand what all of these look and feel like. While performing worship songs at a bar that doubled as a brothel in the Red Light district of Pattaya, Thailand, they wrote that song which has become an anthem of hope to people around the world. And during a separate trip to the Karen people who have been displaced from their homes in Burma by the Burmese government, Bluetree came face to face with the possibility of martyrdom. Face to face meaning up close and personal with AK 47s and other such weaponry manned by a hostile, merciless government who did not take well to the spread of the Gospel in any form. Miraculously, just as He does time and time again, God intervened and not only spared the lives of the band members; He also opened the door for them to play worship songs to a crowd that grew to 20,000 strong. Clearly, God is not distant or far-removed from those who live in brothels, experience trafficking and ethnic cleansing or are threatened with martyrdom. He sees into the hearts of men and women that we watch on tv with a sense of detachment. And He see the desperation of those whose rights as human beings… as His creation are stripped away with callous judgment and brutality. It is the mission and heart of Bluetree to share with the rest of the world what they have seen—to bring the plight of these people to our attention through their music and through their own miraculous story of survival. To that end, they have created an organization, written a book and continue to spread their music of God’s mandate to pursue justice… to right the wrongs done to our global neighbors. 32 CCM