On Thursday April 23rd I left Târgu Mureş with my new friend Jorine around 12 noon for
a long 6 hour drive to the camp facility called “Camp Eli” which is located in Ojasca village and it is in the Buzau county of Romania (it is in the south east part of the country). We went there to go to the Shine network conference which is organized by YWAM. Shine is a network of YWAMers (and organizations connected to YWAM) who are fighting against human trafficking and prostitution in Europe and beyond. It was the third conference and the first time it was held in Romania (the other years it was in Amsterdam, Ukraine and Moldova).
The conference began on April 23rd in the evening at dinner and it officially ended on Monday April 27th in the morning after breakfast. There were close to 60 people who attended, around 13 different nationalities that were represented including people from: Canada, The United States, Romania, Holland, Germany, Norway, England, Russia, Turkey, Switzerland, Latvia, Brazil and Australia, around 13 different YWAM bases that were represented including bases from these different countries: Romania, Hungary, Holland, Switzerland, Norway, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Latvia, America, China and South Africa and there were also just over 20 ministries that were represented at the conference as well.
It was truly an amazing weekend at the conference and what a blessing from God that it was held in Romania this year because as I understand they change the locations of where it is held every year (next year it will be in Budapest). It was such a blessing to be able to start to meet and connect with people who are passionate about fighting against human trafficking especially to hear their stories and testimonies of what God is doing in their different ministries. The presence of God was so amazing during the worship and the prayer times. Arleen Westerhof was our main speaker (she is living in the Amsterdam but
she grew up in Canada and was born in Jamaica). Arleen’s teachings were really great especially on prayer and the prophetic. There were also some really great workshops as well that was very helpful to get some teachings on prevention, awareness on human trafficking and other training as well.
During the conference I stayed in a small cabin with three girls (Jorine who I came with and two women who are serving at the Prague base in the Czech Republic which was a really nice surprise because that was one of the bases I was supposed to go to on my original DTS outreach when I was a student but then I didn’t go there because I had unexpected knee surgery so I went to Uganda instead with the Cluj base). I met this girl from a base in Norway who is passionate about the Justice focused DTS which was a real blessing to connect with her because this is something that God has been speaking to me about and I was even able to go to a tourist spot near the camp facility to see small mud volcanoes. It was quite tiring to travel there and back for a couple of days but it was totally worth it because it was so very encouraging to connect with people who are passionate about fighting against human trafficking and to also to start getting of awareness in it too.
Now you might be curious to know where exactly did this passion come from and how did I start to develop an interest or a desire to fight against human trafficking. You might also be wondering how exactly did my heart begin to be broken for this injustice issue in the world.
Well these are all such great questions and I think it is time that I finally share it with you especially since this has been stirring in my heart since last year in the fall. I actually do not know how to explain what exactly is in my heart but I’ll try to share it with you the best that I can to express what God has been doing in my heart over the last eight months or so.
This new “journey” of discovering God’s heart for how His heart breaks for the injustice issue of human trafficking all began last year in the fall. Last year when my base leader asked me in June if I would like to be a part of the DTS (Discipleship Training School) staff team I said yes because I saw there was a need to serve in this area however I wasn’t extremely passionate about it at the time even though I was thinking and praying about it from time to time. It was my first time to be a DTS staff for our last school and I really had no idea that God would open up my eyes to something that my eyes had been closed to or something that I had never gave a thought to in the past.
At the beginning of September of last year Florin who is my base leader had asked me to start to pray about the outreach location for the DTS for our last school. I thought maybe the country that God would speak to me would be somewhere in Europe or in Africa but when I received a random thought of Cambodia that came into my mind as I was praying about it one day I was very surprised because Asia was not even on my mind at all and in fact I didn’t even know where Cambodia was located in Asia so I had to look it up.
When I began it look up and research about Cambodia it was at that time when my eyes
started to get open to this whole new world of the sex trafficking and the spiritual darkness over it. For months now my heart has been broken over and over again over this injustice issue of human trafficking especially when I have seen documentaries and movies like The Pink Room, Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, Trade of Innocent, Not Today, The Freedom Project documentary, Every day in Cambodia, etc.
At times it actually has been a bit overwhelming sometimes to the point of where I have just wept and cried when I had prayed about this issue. To be honest I am still struggling at this time of how to process all of this as this is still all quite new to me and I had no idea how much my heart would be broken over this issue.
The nation of Cambodia has also been burning on my heart for months as well and I had
received different confirmations from God too. As you know we did not go to Cambodia for the last DTS outreach but I do feel a stirring on my heart to take outreach teams there in the future and when I found out about the Justice focused DTS I got really excited about this of how it is combined with the Discipleship Training School program.
My friend Becki even asked me to start praying about possibility pioneering a Justice focused DTS School in Romania since there isn’t one currently here. I have been thinking and praying about that a lot and I do sense a stirring on my heart to start leading these schools. I am very thankful that my base leaders are open to this so hopefully we can begin our first Justice focus DTS sometime in 2016 but first I would really like to go to the Shine Seminar next year which is a 6 week training program on human trafficking at the YWAM base in Amsterdam.
It also seems like God has been speaking to me a lot and revealing His heart to me over different times from different events that I have been a part of or when people have prayed for me through different prophetic words that have been spoken to me. In November of last year we had a time of intercession at the YWAM base where we prayed for different nations that were on our heart. At the time I felt to pray for all of God’s hurting daughters in different nations that have been caught in the trap of human trafficking which was the first time I had ever prayed about it publicly since God had started to open up my eyes to this issue. I prayed that God would reveal His Father’s heart to the women and the young girls hearts, their hurting hurts would be healed and for their value to be restored. God put nations on my heart to pray for (Romania, Moldova, Thailand and Cambodia) and at one point I couldn’t even continue to pray because had had cried so much.
In January for the DTS at the YWAM base where I am a staff we did a 24 hour prayer time.
God put it on my heart to organize it. It was a lot of work and it was my first time to organize something like this but I’m so thankful for the experience that I got from doing it. One of our prayer stations was to pray for the different issues of injustice in the world. We had an evening during the 24 hour prayer time of worship and prayer.
During that evening my base leader really challenged us to dream bigger dreams and to ask God to enlarge the vision that is on our hearts. I asked him to pray for me especially for this new area that God has been doing in my heart for human trafficking so he did and he also prophesied over me as well of how God is going to use me. The next day Acacia who used to work with us prayed for me and God gave him a picture of many different coloured hands reaching out to me (mostly white, olive and brown colours) which was a confirmation of how God is going to use me to bring freedom to those who are captive.
In the month of February one of our DTS teachers prayed and prophesied over me that God has two anointing on my life (the first one is to bring healing and restoration to people and the second one is an anointing of authority) and God is going to bring me into a time of preparation for one year before He brings me into the next season in my life. That same week I re-wrote the vision that God has on my life which is now more focused to bringing healing and restoration to the broken hearted especially those who have been trapped in human trafficking. God put on my heart to lead a prayer intercession time during our last DTS on praying for the different areas of injustice so I did that and I also showed a short video on what human trafficking is all about. It was a powerful time of prayer and we really sensed God’s presence during that prayer time.
In March when I was in Albania staffing the DTS outreach God also spoke to me a couple of different times and brought a lot of confirmation to my heart of the next season that He is leading me into. I remember one evening when I was in Durres which was our first location in Albania I had asked one of the teachers if he could pray for me (he was teaching at their DTS when our team was there). When Joseph prayed for me that evening I was blown away of how God had encountered me when I received prayer ministry especially with the two prophetic pictures that I received.
The first vision that Joseph saw was I was walking on top of shrubs, while other people
were walking on cement. When the people saw me they didn’t understand why I was walking down that path but it was the path God had wanted me to walk on even if people didn’t necessary understand why since it had looked different than they were expecting me to walk on but I just kept walking on that path even if I didn’t understand myself and I kept going forward in trusting in God of where He was leading me.
The second vision that Joseph received from God I ended up crying as he had explain to me what he saw in the spirit. I was sitting at a table with girls who have been trafficked. We all had a bowl of soup in front of us. The girls were very hesitated to eat the soup but I encouraged them to eat it. I encouraged each girl one by one and I told them how good the soup was. When the girls finally ate the soup and they got to the bottom of the bowl there was a mirror at the bottom of the bowl so I encouraged the girls to look at it but they were afraid to see themselves however eventually they did because of the love and the compassion that I had showed them. When they saw themselves in the mirror they realized their beauty and their worth that God had given them.
Joseph also told me when the girls ate their soup it gave them not only nourishment to
their physical bodies but it also brought healing and restoration to their hearts and to their emotions as well. When Joseph told me these visions I was also picturing it in my mind too which was so very powerful and it brought tears to my eyes too. Wow, what can I say but wow! I am so very excited to see what God has in store for my future and the doors that He is going to open up for ministry as well!
When I prayed together with the staff team for the last DTS outreach I did received Cambodia but no one else did so then I thought it wasn’t the right timing yet but instead for a later time. I have to admit when I was in Albania for the last DTS outreach I struggled at times because it wasn’t the country that God had spoken to me about. I had especially struggled with disappointment and I felt restless at times but I also knew in my heart that I needed to submit to the leadership, lay it down at Jesus’ feet and place my trust in Him for His perfect timing. I also believe that God wants to prepare me more as a leader, to get awareness and training in the area to fight against human trafficking.
Now that my eyes have been opened to this injustice issue of human trafficking that is happening in the world I cannot close them but I want to do something about it like raise awareness, pray, go on an outreach mission trip or lead one, to pioneer the Justice focused DTS in Romania, etc. I definitely know in my heart that the Lord has still called me to continue to serve with YWAM so that has not changed one bit.
There are a lot of YWAM bases that do ministry in this area to fight against human trafficking not only in Cambodia but also in many nations including Europe. I think one thing that tears my heart so much is especially in Cambodia children as young as five years old are being sold into trafficking and are being exploited which is just horrible.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to listen to my heart especially as I am still processing this all through and I currently do not even know what exactly are the next steps in my future of how God is going to bring me into this new season to reach out to the hurting and vulnerable women and young girls who have been trafficked. I do know however that God is much bigger than all of my questions, doubts, fears and struggles and I can completely trust in Him with all of this because He alone is faithful. I do believe that it was God who had opened up my eyes to this injustice issue in the world, He was the one who had opened up my heart to it and allowed me to feel His broken heart for His beautiful daughters who are in so much pain.
I would like to ask you if you could please lift me up in your prayers and intercede for me about these things that I have shared in this blog entry because I really need prayer for God’s guidance and more clarity and discernment in hearing His voice regarding these things. I really need prayer for God’s perfect peace to flood my mind and my heart because I have been feeling this restlessness of where I am currently at and also distracted at times too.
I think at this time I really need to come back into that place of rest so I can come into God’s throne room and just rest in Him as I wait on Him in anticipation for what He has for me in this next season. I really want to thank-you so much for your prayers because it means so much to me and I’m really excited to share with you what God has in store for me in the next coming months and years to come!
Here are a few scripture verses on justice and freedom:
“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” (Isaiah 1:17)
“He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 8:6)
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,” (Isaiah 61:1)
Here are a few websites that are really great resources for you to check out if you are interested in learning more about human trafficking:
• Human trafficking video on you tube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cR8mlV44ZzU
• Abolish Sex Slavery – http://www.abolishsexslavery.org/home
• Nefarious: Merchant of Souls – http://nefariousdocumentary.com/
• Agape International Missions Resources – http://agapewebsite.org/about/resources/
• A21 Campaign – http://www.a21.org