The whole month of September seemed to be geared up to the 29th. It was the International Day of Prayer for Trafficking Victims and it was my chance to make it known throughout the Command.
But let me start at the beginning.
I was invited along with a colleague to attend an open Forum meeting with the UN Special Rapporteur for trafficking of persons. This was huge as some agencies we knew didn’t get the invite and others we knew nothing about were there. here we are at the very beginning at one of the most important meetings in the history of the fight against Trafficking here in Italy and I was there representing The Salvation Army. I still can’t quite believe it. At the end of the meeting – i did some speedy networking and thanked UN representative. She asked me questions and requested a visit to a conference I am going to in October. Further proof that this is God’s time for me to be here.
Then I was at a meeting on Friday where the minister for Tourism spoke and we were able to mix and listen to the project that ECPAT Italy & Brazil will be pushing during the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. What an exciting opportunity. I am really excited about what God can do through these opportunities.
At the beginning of the month we had our first referral, it was so useful as we worked out that there is no system in place so that is my aim for the month of October to put together a procedure and a protocol and well do some head work.
And then “Freedom” Sunday as it is called in the UK, well after ramping up the information and the pressure and basically not giving anyone any excuses – it happened! I lead the meeting at Rome; but more than that I heard from Officer (minister) friends in the country about all that they had done. A young woman contacted me to tell me she had told her church community and they wee committed to praying. Another corps had the youth of the corps (church) lead the meeting and the whole corps got involved and the youth loved it and the imagination of what we can do together is running wild. Another Corps spent the whole week focusing on it.
All of this is much more than I could ever have imagined or dreamed about.
And then – well the next chapter is waiting to be written in the history of The Salvation Army in Italy and the campaign against Human Trafficking will reach new heights and I am convinced that we will see people being freed.
so that was September and summer seems to be on it’s way out (it’s a cool 25c today) but the light seems to be shining brighter than ever.
I have to also add that I had the best week exploring Rome with my friend Kathy. It was great to be a tourist in this my new home city and to be able to laugh and chat and sit in silence sometimes with a great and wonderful woman.
below as you can probably make out is a photo from the Corps of Milan. This epitomises the way the corps took up the chance to pray against human trafficking and to remember the victims.