Downgrading a Dream 

So I know I only wrote a couple of days ago, but I have this thought going around in my head. It’s something that happens easily to me. Close my eyes and “BAM” I need to write something down. (I started this post at 12.05am last night)

I love the word vulnerability but I think sometimes it can be seen as a negative idea. I used to think that too and the more I go on this journey of social media and life I realise that being vulnerable is okay; but not as a tool searching for sympathy. It’s about being who I am in the good and the bad. It’s about honesty in my dreams for myself and ministry and when that doesn’t happen how I see it then allowing myself to be me in front of people who may not care but need to see that there is strength in vulnerability.

Today my fear of looking vulnerable (and weak!) saw me downgrade a dream I have. A dream for me and the ministry I am involved in.  Just so you know – I don’t have a car provided and that’s strange to some people. I am okay with that but I do wonder if it would make life easier for ministry and it definitely would for me personally.

Now I need to say that this is not a plea for a vehicle but just me explaining myself.

Here is my ultimate dream car – driving around the streets of sunny Italy in this would be amazing.

My dream car
My dream car

Here’s what I think are sensible ideas for ministry in Rome.

sensible option
sensible option
great idea
great idea

This is what I think would be the most useful for getting the message out about The Salvation Army in Italy but impractical for outreach as its only a 3 door vehicle!

The PR Machine
The PR Machine

And here’s what I reckon I might end up with for darting around the city.

the possibility
The Reality

Now the vulnerability bit is trusting God that He has the time & provision sorted and exercising that belief & not posting random statuses asking if someone has money they want to give me for a scooter.

Downgrading the Dream is believing that the ministry is only ever going to need a scooter and not the minivan or Hackney carriage (& I genuinely believe both are needed)

I suppose the point is that in the strength of my vulnerability I need to believe in a God that will supply my needs and not my wants. A God who understands my heart and will help me to see His ministry as something I am involved in  Not downgrading the dream to fit the circumstances of where I am, but rather enhance my belief in a God of the Impossible.

So back to dreaming and I might as well got for it – I am upgrading my dream to this:

Upgrading the dream
Upgrading the dream

 

What dream have you downgraded recently to remain calm & sensible instead of vulnerable and a little wild?

 

Book List

I have an absolute passion for books. It all came from my mum and dad when I was a child. A place to escape and a place to learn.

books

I have been asked recently by a colleague and friend for a list of books that I have as resources for the work I do with those in prostitution and victims of Human Trafficking.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but it’s definitely worth a look if you are wanting to know where to go for information.

Asterisk denotes Christian Books

  1. Biography/Personal Stories

*Scars & Stilettos by Harmony Dust

Daddy’s Little Earner by Maria Landon

Trafficked by Sophie Hayes

*Trophy of Grace by Bronwen Healy

More Than Rice: A journey through the underworld of human trafficking 

2. Christian/Non Christian factual books

*The White Umbrella by Mary Frances Bowley

*The Liberating Truth by Danielle Strickland

*Streetwalking With Jesus by John Green

*Escaping The Devil’s Bedroom by Dawn Herzog Jewell

*I Hear A Seed Growing by Edwina Gateley

The Natashas by Viktor Malarek

The Johns by Viktor Malarek

God in a Brothel by Dan Walker

*Stopping the Traffick: A Christian Response to Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking by Miles and Crawford. (available from http://www.ocms.ac.uk/regnum/detail.php?book_id=129 )

3. Study books and Handbooks for ministry.

Pornland: How Porn Hijacked Our Sexuality by Gail Dines

Girls like Us by Rachel Lloyd

Paying for Pleasure: Men Who Buy Sex by Teela Sanders

Sex Work: A Risky Business by Teela Sanders

Prostitution: Sex Work, Policy and Politics by Teela Sanders, Maggie O’Neill and Jane Pitcher 

*Working the Streets: A handbook for Christians Involved in Outreach to Prostitutes by Ruth Robb & Marion Carson

Prostitution, Trafficking, and Traumatic Stress by Melissa Farley

Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery by Siddharth Kara

Sex Traffic: Prostitution, Crime and Exploitation (Global Issues) by Paola Monzini 

4. Fiction

*Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

*Divine by Karen Kingsbury

1 year.

I left on a Jet Plane.........
I left on a Jet Plane………

Yes I have arrived at 1 year mark. I have been in Italy for 1 year. I have been enjoying the hospitality of Ice cream and pasta and pizza and mozzarella from Naples.

I have seen changes in the way that we discuss trafficking and the issues around that. I have seen changes in the way we pray and people no longer see trafficking as a once a year discussion.
I have laughed a lot, i have also cried a lot. I have had a lot of visitors but more are coming in the next few weeks and months.
I have enough caffeine in my system to worry about the detox when I go on holiday.
I have had the opportunity to walk a path of discovery with new friends whilst confirming old friendships.
I have been able to visit a few of the places of Paul the apostles journey. Greece was and is beautiful and one day I shall return to chill out.

thessaloniki

I have seen young people suddenly realize that they have a potential to speak out about issues.
I have been blessed to visit 3 other countries since arriving and have completed 1000’s of kilometers in this journey of ministry.

Budapest Launch of the European Network AHT group
Budapest Launch of the European Network AHT group

What does the future hold? I have no idea but God does and I know that it means the journey will be amazing. I know that in a few weeks I will travel to the north to participate in a camp for the youth of the command. I will be able to share my passion for Social Action/Justice as I do.

If you have prayed or called or messaged or done all of those – thank you.
God will continue to do more than I can ever dream or imagine.

Ephesians 3:14-21 (The Message)
‘My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

20-21 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!’

and as the Bible also says (& the verse that convinced me to move to Italy says)

Altare della Patria

Hebrews 13:24 (NLT)
Greet all your leaders and all the believers there.[a] The believers from Italy send you their greetings.

as they say here, Un abbraccio forte a Vi Voglio Bene.