I just wanted to post a quick update on some really exciting recent developments.
As many of you will hopefully know, I am very passionate about seeing an end to human trafficking of any kind, and I have spoken about this in many blog posts including ‘Fighting for Something‘ and my ‘Stop the Traffik’ posts! After a trip Sabine took to Bulgaria with the A21 Campaign, and God placing this passion on our hearts in a number of ways; my amazing friend Sabine and I decided to start an abolition group to raise funds and awareness for the A21 Campaign.
You can read all about how this developed in our blog posts on our website http://www.restoredfor.org.uk/
So far it has been a really exciting time of developing the website with help from amazing friends, doing all the photos and content, getting informed, sharing what we know, and preparing for fundraising events we would love to do.
Here is a taster from the latest blog post about how we got started…
“I have always been an empathetic person, and a compassionate one. Some things break my heart- Poverty, Injustice, Violence, the Vulnerable or Oppressed. But I don’t think anything has ever broken my heart quite like the issue of Human Trafficking. I don’t know if it’s just because it is so horrific, the way people can hurt other people like that just for profit, or if it is the way it views people as commodities, and uses them until they can be used no more; but from the moment my eyes were opened to this injustice, my heart was in pieces, my mind couldn’t comprehend it, and it made me sick to my stomach.
I had often heard about issues of prostitution, people being kidnapped, even sex trafficking rings but I never really understood what any of this meant. When people talked of children being stolen for prostitution rings, I genuinely, naively thought that someone would just hold onto them until they were an adult. I don’t think my mind could comprehend the horrors. That was until one day last year when Christine Caine the founder of The A21 Campaign spoke at our Church about Human Trafficking, and told us 1st hand accounts of the reality of modern day slavery. She showed the ‘Natalia’s Story’ video and I just could not believe it! I couldn’t believe that things like that really happen. Nor could I believe that there are 80,000 more stories just like hers in Europe alone.
At first I was really overwhelmed. My heart hurt and I didn’t know what to do. But then I was reminded in the same talk by Christine that there are 1 BILLION Christians on the planet, who if mobilised properly would be a powerful force to fight against these injustices. I was reminded that crying isn’t compassion, but that compassion is being moved to do something. In Luke 30v34 the Samaritan has compassion so he goes to the man and puts him on his own donkey. He may have been busy, but he was willing to be inconvenienced and interrupted to do something to help another. In the feeding of the 5,000 Jesus has compassion on the crowd so he fed them! From hurt and compassion I believe should come passion and action. And this is where my heart for ‘Restored’ came from, and thankfully Sabine’s heart was in the same place after her trip.
God isn’t looking for super heroes or for us to necessarily be on the ‘front line’ of the battle. But he is looking for prayer warriors, fundraisers, awareness spreaders and for people to do what they can with what they have.
Almost immediately I set out on a mission to get informed, and I try to do so every day. Every time I open my heart and my mind to something it is easy to get numb or complacent, so I look further and try to do more.
Sabine and I read the A21 Campaign website information repeatedly and looked for ways to get involved. As she said the ’21 ways to help’ was extremely informative. http://www.thea21campaign.org/21-ways-to-help.php
We decided that on top of praying, and sharing everything we had found or learnt through social media (Facebook, Twitter, our blogs) that another thing we could do was share face to face with people who we knew could make a change also. Our hearts overflowing, we shared with our Church Connect Group about all that we knew and felt about trafficking. We used resources including videos and prayer points from the A21 Campaign website, and Sabine shared all about her trip to Bulgaria. Our hearts, and our pain came across and our passion was shared. We then did the same at our workplace where there are lots of amazing Christians, as again we wanted to empower and equip even more people to get involved.
One thing we were really keen on, with both of these groups of people, as well as raising awareness and praying, was to do something practical so people could take action right away. Again A21 had the perfect suggestion, so we decided to write cards of encouragement and send gifts to the beautiful survivors at the shelters. All the details of how you can do this are on the website.
It felt so good to do something active to help in what can sometimes feel like a hopeless and dark situation. But as you can see from the pictures and the responses it made a difference!
A few weeks later Sabine and I were then privileged to share the same presentation and our heart with a group of ladies from our Church who along with neighbours and friends had committed at a women’s conference to raising £500 for the A21 Campaign. It was an amazing afternoon, and with the clothes swap that they did, they raised £160! Since then they have raised even more from other events. Again this showed us what a group of passionate people can do, and added to the spark that was growing for our abolition group.
We have aimed every day to get more involved with this fight. We have volunteered, been on training, had many discussions, watched films such as ‘Nefarious’, ‘Human Trafficking’ and ‘Trade’ (which I will share more about soon), followed closely news and events, and of course prayed to God for wisdom, to show us what action to take, and to see an end to this injustice.
We have met many amazing people fanatical about seeing an end to human trafficking. We could see there is a massive problem, yet that we can be part of the solution. From all of this; ‘Restored: for such a time as this’ was born.
We would love you to join us in this venture. Please keep an eye on the blog, on Twitter, Facebook and the website, so that we can equip and encourage each other, and of course so that we can share with you more ways you can get involved, and help raise funds and awareness for the A21 Campaign.”