RUN FOR RED

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Dear friends, I hope this blog post finds you well. This is a short message to ask a big favour.

It is so exciting to see how the ministry of Red Community has grown in both breadth and impact over recent years as we have sought to faithfully fight for the trafficked, exploited and enslaved in Wales. Incredibly, through our Embrace project we have been able to care for 166 survivors of modern slavery in South East Wales through the provision of friendship and financial support. Furthermore, we have ambitions to see Embrace projects set up in West and North Wales too. However, as you can imagine there is a cost attached to being able to deliver projects like this. It costs around £15,000 per region per year to run Embrace, which is where you come in:

Would you be willing to RUN FOR RED?

People are increasingly asking if they can run / ride in various sporting events in order to raise financial support for Red Community. We are DELIGHTED by this and gladly embrace ANY such gesture of solidarity and support. 

We are blessed with a whole host of wonderful sporting events across this great land of ours, but here are few stand out ones:

If you would be willing to run one of these races (or any other event) for Red, either as an individual or as a team, please let us know so that can get behind you! If you are willing to RUN FOR RED we will gladly provide you with a RED competitor T-shirt (as well as a shed-load of prayer and encouragement!) You can set up a fund-raising event boy using our Just Giving here. If you need any help / advice in how to set up please drop us an email to dai@redcommunity.co.uk.

Big love and God bless!

Dai

Embrace Summer Update

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Post by our Embrace Coordinator, Lauren:

Summer holidays are in full swing for the UK. Many of us are enjoying slower mornings, time at the sea, and evenings in the garden. Embrace continues to tick along this summer as well. There are currently 12 friendships blossoming in Cardiff and Newport. But as many of you know, these friendships are slightly unique and precious. They stretch beyond cultural and societal barriers. They smell of Jesus' love for the vulnerable. Each of these friendships are comprised of a Christian from the local area and a survivour of human trafficking. And each is a practical picture of God's heart.

Simultaneously, our sponsorship project continues to support survivors to buy appropriate clothing, course fees, household necessities, and transportation costs. Thousands of pounds have gone out and I can attest to the fact that each recipient is eternally thankful for a bit of extra help as they seek to rebuild their lives after trauma.

  • To those that have prayed for this project. Thank you.

  • To those that have befriended for this project. Thank you.

  • To those that have financially supported this project. Thank you.

But can I be so cheeky to ask for MORE support? We are desperate for quality befrienders to be matched to survivors. If you are interested, please do get in touch to see if this would be a good project for you to partner with. And we could use more money to continue to give generously. So if you have money you would be willing to donate, we would be really grateful.

We want to keep this project running, but we need befrienders and finances to do so!

THANNNNNKKKKKK YOUUUUU!

Thank you Glamorgan!

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Last night we were warmly welcomed to Sophia Gardens by Glamorgan County Cricket Club, where we hosted our first ever T20 #FreedomFundraiser.

We were delighted to welcome a great mix of guests who were blessed with a fantastic meal, great conversation and even the opportunity to win a cricket bat that had been signed by the home team. We were grateful to be able to explain something of the work that Red Community does as well as sharing plans for the future.

On top of all that there was obviously an exciting game of cricket to enjoy too (which, sadly, Glamorgan lost!)

The weather was perfect, the evening a success and the quality and care of the Glamorgan staff was top notch.

We hope to be able to partner together in the future and will certainly be leading our support to the team from here on.

#GoGlam!

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Royal Reception

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On Tuesday 25th June 2019 I was honoured and privileged to be invited to join Her Majesty, The Queen, at Buckingham Palace for a special reception “to celebrate the work of local faith and belief groups to promote community cohesion”. I have absolutely no idea how I got to be invited or who had drawn her majesty’s attention to Red Community. To be invited was very humbling, but to be one of only a handful of guests to be granted a special audience with The Queen and to be able to share with her about the work of Red Community (and also bless her with a bag of Manumit Coffee) was mind-blowing! She listened. She asked questions. She sincerely cared.

It was a special and very surreal day for this lad from the Valleys of South Wales, and one that will live long in the memory.

However, while public interest in Red Community has certainly increased since Tuesday, I want to be very clear that this event was not about me. Far from it. Red Community is a team, a community of activists, intercessors, trustees, befrienders, volunteers and part time staff who all play a HUGE part in what Red Community does. Indeed I want to make special mention of the trustees I work with (all of whom are voluntary), our Impact Worker, Heather, and our Embrace worker, Lauren, who work tirelessly on behalf of the trafficked, exploited and enslaved in Wales. I might have been the one that got blessed with the opportunity to dress up smart and eat food with names that I can’t pronounce, but they are the lifeblood of Red and so it is was their special moment every bit as much as it was mine!

When I look back over the last 6 years it is impossible to fully comprehend all that God has done through this little movement. It’s been both beautiful and remarkable and God alone deserves the glory and honour because, ultimately, we do this for the King of kings, not the Queen (as wonderful as she is!)

There is much more still to be done, so we crack on…

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Freedom Through Friendship

Please do take some time to read this message from our wonderful Embrace Coordinator, Lauren:

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If you are reading this little post, I want you to pretend I am sitting across from you right now and introducing myself and Embrace to you for the first time. Could you do that for me? Because I would love to sit with each person reading this and explain to you how excited I am about this project. Unfortunately, I can't.  But please, sense my excitement as I tell you about Embrace. 

Hi! My name is Lauren. I am a newly 30 year old and have 3 young boys. I live in Merthyr Tydfil with my Welsh husband, but I was born in the USA. That's me!  I have had the joy of being involved in running Embrace for the past 2 years. We are a project that was born out of a desire to love survivors of human trafficking in our local area. Our project consists of two parts: financial support and befriending. We receive all of our referrals from organisations currently supporting survivors. 

Today, I want to tell you a bit more about befriending. Many survivors of human trafficking are lonely. Many are not working, live alone, may not speak English, and are working through the aftermath of massive amounts of trauma. Embrace wants to show survivors the love of Jesus by simply spending time with them as a friend.

All of our befrienders are Christians involved in their local churches. They can commit to a couple hours a week to meet with a survivor to do nice things - coffees, museums, parks, etc. They love people. I wish I could introduce you to some of the amazing people that have volunteered their time to befriend. You would meet a group of dedicated, passionate people that want to love people the way that they have been loved. 

Each week, befrienders meet with their Embrace friend to do "nice" things. Friendships look totally different depending on personalities and preferences, but one consistent factor - each Embrace friendship is a sweet picture of Jesus' love for people. Where survivors of human trafficking would have experienced the worst of human nature, we want to offer a taste of what Jesus' love looks like. 

WE NEED MORE BEFRIENDERS! If you are involved in your local church, can commit to a training day and meeting a friend once a week, and are passionate about simply showing Jesus' love to people, this project could be a fit for you. Please get in touch if this would be something you are interested in. We would love to partner with you in loving people!

Nice to meet you and hope to hear from you soon!

If you would like to find our more about serving as an Embrace befriender please email lauren@redcommunity.co.uk