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

Embrace Christmas

Later this month we’ll be holding our Embrace Christmas Party for all our wonderful friends and their families. We hope that this time together will be a small encouragement, time of relaxing, fun and treats for some of the most courageous people you could ever meet!  But we need YOUR generosity to help make it happen….

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So, could you make a donation to provide a gift, please do so by giving to the general fund here…. http://www.redcommunity.co.uk/

Or by giving some time next Thursday (the 13th) to help wrap, whilst enjoying some festive treats and meeting others who are passionate about combatting slavery here in Wales.

Diolch yn fawr!

Arise Conference

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Join Red Community in Cardiff on Saturday 13th October for the Arise Conference.

Arise is a unique mini conference that will couple both a strong gospel-centred case for engaging in anti-trafficking justice ministry with practical examples of work by those on the frontline. The goal of Arise is to inspire, encourage and equip ‘ordinary’ Christians to fight injustice and make a difference wherever they are at.

The main address will be given by Dai Hankey and will be followed by a range of TedTalk-style sessions from contributors from Red Community, Embrace and Manumit Coffee. We will be introduced to an amazing ministry that supports survivors of sex trafficking in Albania called Eagle’s Wings and discover ways we can support them. We will also hear from a good friend of ours, Jade, who has spent many years rescuing and rehabilitating women who have ben trafficked in the Mediterranean. Oh, there’s even brunch too!!

It promises to be a fantastic day and we would love for you to join us. All the information is on the flyer above. Please email heather@redcommunity.co.uk to confirm your attendance and we look forward to seeing you there.

Embrace Christmas Party

Christmas post by our Embrace Coordinator, Lauren:

Christmas has finally arrived. Trees are being decorated. Nativity plays are being performed. Parties are being hosted. Carols are being sung. Gifts are being exchanged. Families are enjoying each other’s company. This is a sweet season as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour. A King was born to live among his beloved people so that he could one day save them. What a beautiful birthday we get to celebrate at Christmas.

And whilst it is completely nostalgic and exciting to engage in all of the cultural traditions mentioned above, I was honoured to participate in the most loveliest Christmas Party I have ever experienced last Saturday. Embrace hosted its first Christmas party and invited Befrienders and their new Embrace friends to be a part of celebrating the Christmas season. 10 survivors of human trafficking joined their Befrienders for our gathering on Saturday, along with 15 children!

One befriender and her Embrace friend came an hour early to decorate the venue. Red, green, and gold colours illuminated the room to welcome the guests. Food brought by befrienders and
Embrace friends lined the tables. Candle and card decorating ensued and everyone squeezed in to participate in the cutting and gluing. Another befriender and her Embrace friend painted each face of every child present. We played games. We sang a Christmas carol. We gave out presents.

Women that might have been alone, struggling for finances, longing for normality, and wanting to
give their children a happy Christmas – felt the joy of community, friendship, food, music, and
laughter for two sweet hours. They gratefully received the party, where I would have taken it for
granted as “normal”. Their hearts were beaming as they went back home.

Several times, throughout the party, I stopped what I was doing to just watch. Watch mums laughing with their children as they chased them in a circle saying, “Duck, duck, goose”. Watch new found friends holding hands and singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. Watch ladies from different religions and cultures and backgrounds chat around mince pies and cupcakes. Watch Christmas in action. Jesus’s love for the world being displayed through friendship. What a beautiful display of the same love he showed at Christmas over 2000 years ago. He loved us. And we show others his love by loving them.

He loves survivors of human trafficking. And what a joy to be part of loving them this Christmas
season. Thanks for all who made the day possible – both Befrienders and those that have
contributed financially. It would not have happened without you! If you want to be involved in
Befriending with us, please do get in touch!