I returned to Berlin, Germany (where I am serving the next 2 years) this Friday, and I am thankful to be back “home”. I was in Cyprus attending the European Freedom Network's EUIP Conference in Cyprus. This conference lasted 4 days and representative from around the EU, including me and 2 others representing Neustart in Germany, were there to network and seek ways in which to combat the issue of human-trafficking. Above is a picture of those who attended (I took the picture so you can't see me, haha).
A part of me did not want to leave Cyprus. The weather was amazing and the coast breath-taking. I wish I had had more time to be in God’s presence, experiencing Him most while sitting quietly on a rock embankment listening to the waves rhythmically crash in and roll out and resting in the radiance of the sun. But the short time there was still wonderful.
I learned SO much at the conference…from learning how to start and run a safe-house, learning about the affects of pornography and its correlation with prostitution (and as a result, also trafficking), to watching a documentary entitled “The Price of Sex”, and learning about the Swedish law passed in 1999 that stands as the best precedent for the fight against trafficking. The conference was not about information but about using that information to better understand the present and in turn impact the future, all by God’s grace and power. Very true, practical, and encouraging.
I begin my work with Neustart next week, which I am really excited about. I will be working just once a week for now; I will be in their cafe on Tuesdays starting December 3rd. The staff from Neustart do street outreach giving coffee, tea, and pastries/sweets to prostitutes on the street. Some of the staff also prayer walk or stay inside the cafe for the women who come in. We want to share God’s deep, unfathomable love for each woman and show them that love by listening, talking, and spending time with them. We are not there to judge or to push, but are there rather to create a space for love, healing, and redemption. The most incredible thing is to see God at work...and I am so thankful to begin being a part of His work in the lives of these women.