December was a very special month for the OM Italy team. They organized an art exhibition in nearby Pisa on the topic of Freedom and anti-trafficking. They hoped that, through the exhibition, they might challenge people to think about the issue of personal freedom using art and thereby raise awareness about their work in helping victims of human trafficking.
As 12 different artists contributed with paintings and art to combine a powerful display, volunteers, regular team members and visiting artists and speakers worked together in unity to enable ten unique days of views to the public, accompanied by a specially designed program that took place on nine of the ten exhibition days and nights. And, all the while, the volunteers from the anti-trafficking team also carried on with their regular jobs!
Tonina* explained: “We could really see God at work. Many conversations took place about what is true freedom, and we were able to share our own testimonies and what believing in Christ means for us and for our work within anti-trafficking, with people from different backgrounds and churches. We made new connections with people willing to help us out in the ministry; others even asked us if we would go and talk about what is happening with human trafficking in the Pisa area! As an anti-trafficking team, we grew closer together as we organized our first-time event of this kind. I’m excited to think about where this will lead; no doubt, God will continue to open doors and guide our work.”
The team was touched by the many opportunities they had through the exhibition to share and meet more people who have a heart for working with victims of sexual exploitation. It served as a reminder of the importance of networking to undergird them spiritually, financially and emotionally. They have a vision for working in Pisa as well: in continuing to build a network able to help and support the victims of trafficking as they are ready to step out of prostitution.
Their network includes The European Freedom Network, which draws together Christian associations working in the field of anti-human trafficking.
Please pray for the people whom visited the gallery and were confronted with the topic of freedom and were impacted by the reality many people are trapped in as they are forced to prostitute themselves. Pray also for the Bibles and Books of Love (Gospel of John written in a story form for victims of sexual exploitation) the team gave as Christmas presents, to touch the hearts and lives.
Pray for the many Nigerian women who are trying to find work to enable them to step out of prostitution; pray for those who can help (employers and supportive individuals) to be willing to do so. Pray for the anti-trafficking team members to have wisdom, zeal and resilience and a healthy work life balance as they seek to bring Christ’s freedom into the lives of all those who work in this part of the dominion of darkness.
*Name changed to protect identity