human trafficking

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

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.

Imagine...

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New post by Embrace Coordinator, Lauren:

Imagine with me 2 people….
What would happen if Person 1 experienced true friendship?
If this person who had only felt abandonment, rejection, deceitfulness, and hate
Suddenly encountered a friend.
A friend that could be trusted. A friend that loved without strings attached. A friend who accepted her for who she was. A friend that stood by her side when everyone else had run away.
What would happen to Person 1?
Imagine with me again, Person 2…
What would happen if Person 2 also experienced true friendship?
This Person 2 who had never felt abandoned, rejected, deceived, or hated
Suddenly encountered a friend that had.
How would that person’s worldview change? Would her love for people deepen? Would her
understanding of empathy increase? Would she walk with her Jesus more closely? Would she enter into the joy of friendship with someone completely like and unlike her?
What would happen to Person 2?
Imagine….
If it wasn’t just these two people experiencing true friendship with each other, but hundreds.
Friendships of paired people, with different backgrounds, different cultures, different families,
different experiences, different worldviews. Hundreds of friendships. Imagine how many people
wouldn’t feel loneliness and would know the sweetness of community.
That is what we are imagining for Embrace. Human beings created by God to love and be loved,
being in friendship with one another. ALL OVER WALES. That’s our hope for Embrace.
Do you want to be a part of our dream?

If you would like to support survivors of human trafficking and join Embrace as a befriender, please contact Lauren: lauren@redcommunity.co.uk

Training Medics to Respond to Trafficking

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Several years ago we ran a human trafficking awareness raising event in Cardiff with Beginning of Life Ministries, Moldova. One of the girls, Camilla, who came to that event was a trainee medic from UHW Cardiff. To say that she was impacted that evening would be a huge understatement. Following a trip to Moldova that Summer Camilla came back to the UK determined to make a difference in her particular field - medicine. Aware that many victims of human trafficking often require access to health care for various reasons (accident and emergency, maternity care and sexual health to name a few), and concerned that many of her peers may not be aware of the issue or equipped to spot signs of exploitation, Camilla decided to take action.

To cut a long story short - after a great deal of strategic planning this week we were privileged to serve alongside several other agencies, abolitionists and freedom practitioners in providing training for all final year medics at UHW Cardiff to help them better understand human trafficking / modern slavery and recognise how they can best identify and care for those affected by it. That's right - Camilla has not only succeeded in getting this training on the curriculum at UHW, it is now COMPULSORY for all trainee medics to receive this training as part of their curriculum. As far as we are aware this is the first Medical school in the UK to make such training obligatory. AMAZING! 

We just wanted to post this to honour Camilla and all her hard work and also to encourage those of you out there reading this that YOU can be part of making a difference in your sphere of influence too.

#jointheresistance

Embrace Befriender Testimony #2

Further to the post shared on Wednesday, here is the testimony of another of our Embrace befrienders:

Q. Befriender Interview Questions

A. What made you want to get involved in Embrace?
When I read the flyer about the role I was so excited! I thought this is just the sort of thing I have been looking for. I had been looking at volunteer roles to support women in Cardiff as I really wanted to do something practical to help women but didn’t know how to go about it. Then I spotted the Embrace advert via Twitter and thought yes! What an opportunity! I had no idea if I would be accepted but thought I would pray about it, apply and see if the door opened. The issue of trafficking has been on my mind for some time and the issue is so huge and overwhelming. This project is wonderfully simple in that we can just offer friendship and time to someone, to show them they are loved and cared for. Just doing something small but hopefully making a big difference.

Q. How has the experience been thus far (be honest about the easy and hard bits!)?

A. So far it honestly has been a pleasure to get to know my friend. It has been nice to show her things in Cardiff locally that she didn’t know were there, practise bus routes together, take her for tea and cake and enjoy talking about our shared interest of cooking and shared experience of child birth! It has also been good to help her with things such as attending hospital appointments with her or calling GP or housing when there have been some things she has been worried about. Sometimes conversation can be tricky and some issues we have talked about such as family have brought her to tears and I have felt helpless but honoured that she has shared some things of her past. Currently she is quite low and the last few meetings have been more difficult. It is difficult to offer hope when you do not know what will be able to change about her situation as things rest with the home office and this is causing her a lot of stress. 

Q. How do you see that Jesus is using this Befriending relationship for both you and your new friend?

A. This relationship is making me rely on Jesus more and call on him for help. Every time I am driving to meet her I pray Lord what should we do today and ask for wisdom for the right thing for how she is feeling that day. Its amazing that every time He answers that prayer! Also, as my friend is on my mind a lot I am praying for her throughout the day. This friendship is also opening my eyes to others in need in the city. It is changing my attitude and opening my eyes to asylum seekers who are in the city and local services trying to help. I feel perhaps Jesus is asking me what more could I do in the future. 

Q. Why would you suggest others to get involved in Embrace?

A. I would say the training is great, the support is great and you are really able to make a great difference to someone by just doing something small. It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know someone who really has absolutely no one they can call on. 

Q. What would you like prayer for?

A. I would like prayer for the home office to process my friends application urgently. To call her for second interview and for her to be granted to make Cardiff her home. For a home to be found that is secure for her and located centrally with access to all the services she needs. Prayer for her mental health, for strength, for healing of her mind and body and for her children that they will have peace and a happy life here. That one day she will be able to fulfil her dream of being a nurse.