AFA Journal staff writer
November 2012 – In 2008, drummer Josh Kirk took a short-term mission trip to Romania. He witnessed a ceremony commemorating the end of communism there. Afterward, a guide led him to a small museum that had a big story to tell.
The museum tells the story of a small group of Christians who met illegally and prayed for the fall of communism. The museum stood as a testament to the believers’ courage and the amazing power of God to change a nation.
Kirk brought that story back to Ben Richter, his music partner in the U. S. When Richter heard it, he knew their new band’s name would draw from the faith and courage of those believers. Thus, The Museum, a modern Christian pop band was born.Later, Chris Brink and Loyd Rieves completed the quartet. The mission, however, was just beginning.
Kirk read Not for Sale, which tells how author David Batstone discovered the tragedy of human trafficking. (See below.) Richter said, “When we heard the statistics that there are over 27 million people in the world living in slavery, I woke up to the reality of human trafficking. Then we found that Atlanta, Georgia, our hometown, is consistently in the top three U. S. cities known for trafficking. Much of that is sex trafficking.”
The Museum, determined to be proactive, partnered with Batstone and designed a shirt to sell at concerts and online, with proceeds going directly to Batstone’s organization. The band’s efforts raised over $10,000 to fight human trafficking.
The partnership also spawned new creative efforts, including a song titled “Not for Sale” on their new album. For more information, visit www.notforsalecampaign.org.
In the Philippines, the band connected with a church that uses its location next to a brothel to keep kids from being dragged into the sex industry.
The Museum released their second album titled My Only Rescue on August 28. The theme of God’s grace and mercy bleeds through every song.
“Through the circumstances of our lives, we always come back to this foundation: the hope of Christ in us,” said Richter. “We’re not immune to chaos and tragedy. But when things are tough and chaos is circling, just coming back to knowing that we have the hope of the rescue of Jesus Christ is enough for us. And if He never does anything else, He has already done enough for us.”
Not for Sale • Not For Sale Campaign • 650-560-9990
In 2007, David Batstone learned that his favorite San Francisco Indian restaurant was using slaves to cook and serve meals. After some research, he learned that more than 27 million live in slavery today. That revelation moved Batstone to establish Not for Sale, a grassroots effort to abolish modern-day slavery in this lifetime.
Not for Sale began as a book by the same name. It has influenced international policy, disrupting supply chains that use slavery or indentured servitude. The organization has also targeted the root causes of modern-day slavery.
Batstone’s vision is not only to rescue slaves, but help to restore the lives.