Friday, March 15, 2013

Europe Update

Amsterdam,  Netherlands:
We had three screenings of Nefarious in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Wageningen.  One of my   colleagues Laila, had some significant meetings with some parliament in Amsterdam.  We have been seeing some political mindsets be broken down, and through showing Nefarious have been able to break idea of prostitution, and human trafficking being separate injustices.  Our message at Exodus Cry is that human trafficking is fueled by prostitution.  As I was able to walk through the Red Light District,  I notice that there has been a great decrease of windows opened.  About 40% of the brothels have been shut down due to various reasons.  I was able to connect with a man who is on the front lines of reaching out to these girls who are exploited this district.  He is like a father to these girls, and I saw as we walked the streets the girls would open their windows to give Frits a high five.  It will be a whole other blog to talk about Frits ( which I will get to later ).  I was able to do an interview and sit and talk with Frits several times during our stay in Amsterdam.  

Rotterdam, Netherlands 
Rotterdam was a packed house!  The Screening was held in an auditorium of a music school, and there were people standing in on the stairways to the balcony. It was standing room only. One of the great things about this screening is we had  Denise Gorzeman-Maaskant ( Formerly Prostituted Women from Nefarious )  After the film Denise came and shared her testimony and answered questions from the audience.  We often ( especially in Europe) get the various counter opinions on criminalizing Human trafficking.  Again, the film catalyzed shifts in opinion toward the criminalization of prostitution and that it actually is what fuel by human trafficking.  It is always fun for us to know and talk to people who think that the legalization of prostitution is the best option the girls, because after the film that opinion is swayed and often contemplated with the reality that these girls are prostituted and don't want to be there.  People begin to see them as humans and not whores.  

Wageningen, Netherlands
The next day we travled to Wageningen to screen the film for Wageningen University.  “We are so excited to have chosen to screen Nefarious in our city!” Exclaimed one of the students.  We got to the class room an hour before to set up and there was already a line of about 30 students waiting to take their seats.  Within an a half hour the theatre was completely full and we had to open up two more overflow rooms.  Students were buzzing with anticipation and at the conclusion of the film we had Denise with us again.  Students were deeply moved by the film and had more questions than we had time for. It was incredibly to see how the students were mobilized and encouraged.  Several students told me that their the film had caused them to change their opinion on the legalization and nature of prostitution. 

Denise was very encouraged by the night.  “They asked very deep questions.”  “I get so much joy sharing my testimony.”  It was definitely a delight to watch her speak into the lives of somany students and deliver a message of hope and life! 

Karlsruhe, Germany:
Karlsruhe, is the city where Germany’s two hightest courts are located.  We were hosted by Justin and Rowon Shrum, the founders of Justice Project a non-profit anti-trafficking organization that is committed to ending trafficking in the city of Karlsruhe.  All I can say about our time there is, “wow!”  The night we arrived, Project Rescue had helped rescue a trafficking victim who escaped from a vicious international trafficking ring. During our stay we began to learn more about her story and watch as the Lord began to open incredible doors.

Sold by a man in her small village in Romania, she was brought to Spain where she was bought for 1000 Euro.  She was then brought to Karlsruhe where she continued to be abused and sold. She escaped and was hiding in the woods for two days before attempting to find someone to help.  Initially the police were simply going to send her back to the Romanian border, but as Project Rescue continued to get more of her story they were able to convince the investigator to listen to her story.  He did and it has actually provided key information in the hunt for the capture of a trafficking ring and the rescue of may other women.
Justin and Rowan shift seamlessly and easily between life with a four and two yearold, and one more on the way, cooking dinner for us and fielding phone calls from doctors, investigators and social workers.  The effervescent life that fills their home is a testimony of the power of linking prayer with the fight for justice. There are few who are on the cusp of the battle who maintain such a sense of joy and delight in the day to day.

Sunday night we did a screening at the International Christian Fellowship in Karlsruhe.  There was an amazing response as we were able to pray for a couple of women who had traumatic experiences with abuse and trafficking.  Their journey of healing was invigorated as they began to experience the work of the Father in their hearts.

We later found out that the day we left that authorities arrested the trafficker and his accomplices!!! There were four total people arrested. The Romanian girl said before we got the news that the two days that she was living on the streets, she cried out to God to deliver her and when she heard that they were arrested she started shouting for joy and said that God has truly done it!! Amazing stuff!

Augsburg Germany:

During the middle ages Augsburg was the locus of wealth and power in Europe.  The cathedral and architecture of the city testify to the fact. A single family was simultaneously financing both the Hapsburg empire and the papacy.  The Augsburg Confessional was written establishing the Lutheran church.

It was here in this wonderful body of believers that we had an incredible night.  The audience audibly engaged with the film and when the it concluded they were deeply moved. During a time of ministry held after the screening I had the opportunity to minister to people.  There was an urgency to step forward from the audience in begin to step into their callings.   I was able to minister to several people who felt led to hit the streets and engage themselves with these one who are exploited on the streets.  There was also a lot of deliverance taking place as well.  I had spoken with several girls who had been trafficked and abused in their life, and the Lord showed up and healed hearts right before my eyes.  It was a powerful night.  There was a line of people to receive ministry, and it was powerful how the Lord was giving me words as they walked up for ministry.  There were so many that truly encountered the love of the Father for the first time, and experienced real deliverance in their hearts and minds.  I am always amazed at the Nefarious breaks mindsets, calls people forward, and delivers hearts from abuse through the testimony of Jesus in the film.

Ok, I got as much as I could with the time I have to write.   I will try to get more updates out as we continue on with this trip!  Thanks for your support everyone! I truly feel partnership with the Lord and partnership with you.  

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