The conference we attended was a wonderful collection of Jesus followers; leaders of various callings from around the world. The sessions where I spoke on human trafficking and slavery went well, I think, but I learned so much from the folks I met with throughout the week; people who work among the oppressed and hence those most vulnerable to the injustices I spoke about. I am a generalist; these on-the-ground people are the front line specialists I hope to support and serve. Among those I got to know were:
- A family in Uganda actively helping child soldiers and encountering other types of slavery.
- A woman in Honduras wanting to bring sexual abuse into the light, in a culture where such things are simply not spoken of.
- A couple in the USA with the desire to bring healing to Nepalese refugees who have been victims of sex trafficking.
- A family in Russia who see many forms of labor slavery, including a virtual concentration camp for deceived/abducted Turkish men, and who want to develop a multi-faceted plan to help these victims.
- Multiple people in closed countries, courageously reaching out to provide shelter and jobs for survivors of sex slavery.
- A godly Dutch woman with a heart for prostituted women and children, and changing life circumstances that allow her more time to pursue this direction.
- A family with a vision for working in rural villages in Thailand to prevent trafficking among these isolated and vulnerable people.
- A woman who has given ten years of her life, enduring through many challenges and disappointments, to reach out with God's love to those trapped in prostitution in Greece, including trafficked Nigerian women.
- A family in Bulgaria laying a foundation for aiding trafficking victims among the Romani people (Gypsies) they live in community with.
Note: For security reasons I can’t include photos from the conference; we have many workers in closed countries. The woman with me in the photo above is Julie, my awesome, dedicated, hard-working, intelligent team-mate.
To be continued