The beautiful Chisinau train station
ESCAPE 2010“He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds…
God puts the fallen on their feet again and pushes the wicked into the ditch.”
Psalm 147: 3,6
In early October, I had the privilege of attending Escape 2010: European Conference on Prostitution, Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation. The conference was held in Chisinau, the capitol city of the small country of Moldova. Similar to Bulgaria in many respects, Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe and has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the top countries for human trafficking. Like Bulgaria, thousands of women and girls, uneducated, living in poverty, and seeing no other way out, are trafficked from the country each year to work in the sex trade.
The four-day conference focused on the plight of these women and how Christian practitioners can help restore dignity and purpose to the lives of victims of human trafficking. More than 160 people from 30 different countries gathered for informative general sessions and workshops on specific topics. The conferees came from various backgrounds— professionals in this ministry, those with outreach ministries in major European cities, people providing shelter and counseling to those rescued, ministries working on keeping girls out of prostitution to begin with by providing education and job training, and many like those of us from Bulgaria who are looking to start something. Networking with each other was the highlight of the conference. Coming together to support and empower each other for work in this area was invaluable.
There were six of us representing Bulgaria at the conference—a large delegation of women committed to making a difference for the daughters of Bulgaria who have been trafficked and those who are at high risk of going into this “business”. We have planned several times of gathering for prayer over the next couple months to seek God’s leading as to what He would have us do in this area. Please pray with us for direction, and that some of our Bulgarian sisters and the Bulgarian churches will join with us on this effort!
October began the new fiscal year for International Ministries, and with this new year come additional changes in our support structure.
Already, for the past several years, we have been required to raise a portion of our support. We are extremely grateful that so many of you have sacrificially committed to assist us in meeting these goals. But with the start of the new year, our support goal has increased significantly. Over the next three years, we will be required to raise nearly 100% of the costs of keeping us on the field. These costs have previously been covered from other sources, but with the current financial climate and the need for International Ministries to balance their budget, this is no longer possible.
With this increase, we have now dropped below our support goal for the first time in several years.
If you feel God calling you to walk along with us in our ministry in Bulgaria we would love to have you join with us. It is not necessary to commit to large amounts to make a difference. Gifts of $10, $20 or $50 a month are vital to our ministry. We absolutely understand if you are unable to commit at this time, but do ask that you keep us and our ministry partners in your prayers.