Commercial and bureaucratic hindrances collided with an uncontrollable reality: the faith of many players.
What if, when a police chief or politician spoke about human trafficking, we were ready to respond with our stories and expertise?
There’s so much I want to say to people about human trafficking! Stop judging or blaming the victims. Stop ignoring this crime. Stop cutting the public services which are exactly the ones that could stop exploitation from happening in the first place. And more positively, come on Church, our God wants to transform these lives, and He invites us to help.
But what if the European Freedom Network (EFN) spoke with one voice and invited the wider Church to join us? What if we as EFN partners locally, nationally or even across the continent began to think, pray and plan so that our voice was strategic, and our voice would be heard? What if we encouraged and helped each other to be clear, positive and effective so that our message would be noticed above all the noise?
What if, when a police chief or politician spoke about human trafficking, we were ready to respond with our stories and expertise, thanks or challenge?
What if every newspaper article on exploitation got a letter from EFN partners or friends in response that would end up on the letter’s page? Or the phone-in programme got us calling in with gracious and clear input?
What if every local public meeting – with the police or politicians or concerned residents – had EFN friends or partners prayerfully present and ready and able to speak up?
What if we did even more to speak with one voice on EU Anti-Trafficking Day or World Women’s Day? Vigils, marches, street theatre, social media campaigns, youth events, art exhibitions? Our combined creativity has so much potential.
What if we prayerfully worked out the most important messages and language for all of us to repeat as much as possible until change came?
And what if we prayed with one voice, lifting up all the needs and challenges, the individuals we know and one another? And we invited churches locally to join us?
Bridge 2017, our conference 16-20 October, will be an opportunity to bring our voices together as we pray, plan and learn from one another.
Our prayer is that, afterwards, we will increasingly speak With One Voice.
Julia Doxat-Purser, Socio-political Representative of the European Evangelical Alliance and member of the European Freedom Network team.