EBF Anti-trafficking Working Group meeting in The Netherlands

EBF Anti-trafficking Working Group meeting in The Netherlands

EBF Anti-Trafficking Working Group - October 17, 2017

The EBF Anti-Trafficking Working Group met in The Netherlands from October 8th-10th in Lauran Bethell’s home to plan for the coming year. We welcomed Terry Myers (Bulgaria) as a new member. Vicente and Katia Medeiros (Switzerland) participated, and we were blessed to have the Assistant General Secretary of the EBF, Helle Liht (Estonia) with us.

Many interesting and humorous discussions took place around the table, with much fellowship and laughing. We are a diverse group with various ministry contexts and stories to tell and it was exciting to hear of the work that God is doing all over Europe! We were told about a coffee shop employing women coming out of prostitution being opened in Bulgaria; of a challenging yet very successful repatriation programme being conducted from Switzerland; of brothel/night club visits and a training programme for volunteers being run in the Czech Republic; of academic thought and direction into the issue coming from Scotland in the form of Marion Carson’s latest book on human trafficking and what churches can do to get involved.

It is exciting to see how Baptists are getting involved in this very important issue, and it is our hope and prayer to see more Baptist churches throughout Europe become actively involved. The churches can play very significant roles in addressing the injustice of human trafficking in their country! It is so important that they be prayerfully coming before God and interceding for freedom for those who are trapped in this lifestyle. They can also be a welcoming community to those who are in a process of restoration from a life of prostitution. A warm and loving church community makes such a difference to healing and restoration of those who have been exploited. Currently the Working Group is working on a training curriculum for use in local Baptist churches which will better educate their members on how to reach out to the marginalized in the brothels/night clubs of Europe.

Our anti-trafficking working group would like to visit the EBF member Unions and Conventions, to connect with any persons in Baptist circles interested in being further involved in anti-trafficking efforts. We would love to meet with pastors and church leaders who would like to learn more about how to help prostituted women who have been trafficked to other European countries feel welcomed and integrated into church life and society when back in their home countries. And we’d also enjoy making contact with field workers who are working with prostituted women and seminary students who may be interested to make anti-trafficking a part of their future church ministry. Please contact the Working Group if you would like our members to visit your Union or Convention to do trainings, workshops, information sessions.

We are also planning an exciting networking and awareness conference in Sofia, Bulgaria in November 2018. All are most welcome to join, and it is our hope that many pastors would participate in order to learn more and be able to take the message back to their churches.