Category: Freedom Friday

Posts that are dedicated to the abolition of slavery and human trafficking.

FREEDOM DAY

Join us in Cardiff on Saturday 15th October to be a voice and make a difference!

We’ll be joining in the A21 Walk for Freedom before heading to the iconic Pierhead building in Cardiff Bay for where we will be raising awareness using street drama, followed by the Freedom Event inside the Pierhead building where we will be hearing from various people involved in standing against trafficking, praying for them and spending some time in sung worship.

Join us!

Freedomdayv3-web.jpg

We did it! #CW4HT

Just a quick post guys to let you know that WE DID!! The bike ride that is!

It was a fantastic, though at times gruelling, 4 days of riding, friendship and encouragement – all in the context of breathing in the beauty of God’s creation! (The Lon Las cycle route must be one of the most stunning rides in the UK). We also managed to fit in 3 awareness raising nights in Barmouth, Merthyr Tydfil and Cardiff Bay. On top of all that we have been able to raise some significant money for IJM and AIM. The target we set ourselves before the ride was £5,000 and as things stand we are just short of that amount. Therefore, if you feel you could help us reach our target you can do so here.

Thanks so much for all your prayers, support and generosity. For all of us who were involved it has been a memorable, life-giving journey that will live long in all our memories! It’s also got me feeling fitter than I have done for years!

Check out this little video I made to capture something of the adventure:

Full Grown

Today is #antislaveryday. I am sure that the news channels, as well as your social media feeds, will be full of news about human trafficking and modern slavery today. I thought it would be good to mark the day by profiling a film that was made here in Gwent recently.

As you are probably aware I lead a ministry called Red Community that is all about raising awareness, raising support and raising an army to stand against human trafficking in Wales. One of the projects that we have been involved in this year is RED Alert – the creation of a series of short films aimed at helping people understand the reality and scale of human trafficking in our own nation. The first film, Escape, profiled sex trafficking (you can watch it here).

Today, I’m posting up the second film, Full Grown, that profiles criminal exploitation. This is the crime of forcing or coercing people to engage in criminal activity such as begging, pick-pocketing, credit card fraud and cannabis cultivation.

Vast amounts of the UK’s cannabis is grown by young men, often children, who have been trafficked into the UK, from overseas nations, perhaps most notably China and Vietnam. Full Grown is a gritty and powerful film, based on actual events, that sheds some light on the brutal reality faced by many of these modern-day slaves.

Please don’t just watch it. Let the weight of it’s message impact you. Pray about it. Share it. Help us to raise awareness about human trafficking in Wales.

Blessinz.

ESCAPE : RED COMMUNITY

Some of you may know that I head-up a ministry called Red Community that is all about raising awareness and standing against human trafficking in South Wales. Well a few months ago we were given a generous amount of money from Gwent Police to work with TorFilm to create some short films aimed at raising awareness about human trafficking in Wales.

Well, here is the first film in the series! This film called ‘Escape’ seeks to expose the issue of sex-trafficking – the vile sexual exploitation of vulnerable women, children and men for the purpose of financial gain.

Sex trafficking is happening right here, right now in Wales. That’s a shocking truth that we MUST make people aware of. This powerful short film is based on real events that have occurred in South Wales (read more about that here)

This film has been created to raise awareness, therefore please feel free to share this video as widely as you can on social media, blogs and websites. However, please also visit our RED Community landing page and JOIN THE RESISTANCE by signing up to our online community, and please encourage others to do the same. We are seeking to create a strong, strategic and growing movement of gospel-hearted abolitionists here in Wales who refuse to let human trafficking flourish in the shadows of our land.

RED community website

Hey guys, just a real quick post to share 2 things:

1. The brand new website for RED Community went live today! You can find it here. Just want to say a MASSIVE thank you to my friend, Rich Saunders, who has worked hard over the last few months to build this site for us. We will be adding more and more content over the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for that.

2. Today will probably be the last #FreedomFriday post here at Sanctified Rant as from now on the majority of the articles that I write about human trafficking will be posted on the blog at the new RED Community website, along with articles from many others with a passion for justice and freedom.

Thanks for walking with us.

Have a great weekend!

Blessinz.

Dai

 

Is human trafficking actually happening in Wales? #FREEDOMFRIDAY

Is human trafficking actually happening in Wales?

This is a question that I get asked a lot, especially now that Red Community is starting to gather pace and people are starting to appreciate that this is something I’m passionate about. Anyway, as you might expect it is very difficult to obtain accurate data due to the nature of the crime and the fear that many feel in reporting it. However, I can confirm that trafficking is very much an issue in Wales, as this Welsh Government video makes painfully clear:

 

So, tragically human trafficking is happening in Wales. However, I was encouraged to receive an email from Wales’ anti-slavery coordinator earlier this week informing me that it would also seem that awareness is increasing and there has been a sharp rise in it being reported. Indeed there was a massive 47% increase in slavery cases reported in Wales from 2012 to 2013. This is encouraging and must be celebrated as an answer to prayer. But there is still much to be done.

We are by no means the only gig in town, but if you’re in South Wales and keen to know how you might be able to get involved in a gospel-centred response to human trafficking in Wales, why not hook up with us at Red Community. We’d love to connect with you.

Blessinz.

Introducing RED Community

REDCOM header_red+white

I’ve been needing to post this update on where things are at with the human trafficking work that I’m involved with in Cardiff for quite some time now. To say that things have progressed at a pace in the last few months would be a massive understatement. In this post I’ll give an update about all the different things that are happening, but before I do, perhaps I should quickly explain why we’ve had a bit of a name change.

Regular readers of the Rant will know that the monthly prayer sessions that we ran last year were called Red Sessions. (Red = short for ‘redemption’, alludes to ‘red light districts’ and also ‘red light’ meaning stop. It’s also the colour of Jesus’ blood…so red is a good colour for this ministry!) Anyway, we have changed the name to Red Community because Sessions speak more of an event, while what God has clearly been doing over recent months is mobilising a community of Christians who are up for a lot more than simply rocking up to a meeting once a month. There’s a lot of energy, a lot of activity and a lot of stuff going on week-by-week now, so RED Community it is! So what, I hear you ask, is this community actually getting up to? Well, where do I start…?

(more…)

My journey into the traffick – 2 years on…

Luke 7 lady

As I lay in the bath last night, I realised something  – it’s exactly 2 years (this week) that my journey into the traffick began.

I’m not sure that I have ever actually shared on my blog the story that explains why human trafficking, sex slavery and God’s heart for justice have become such a HUGE part of my life over recent years, so here goes…

Up until 2012 I knew very little about the vile industry of the exploitation and sale of human beings for sex and slavery. It’s not like I had a vague idea or was in denial about it – I literally knew NOTHING! After listening to the teaching that came out of Passion 2012 (Francis Chan, Louis Giglio, Christine Caine et al) that started to change. However, nothing could have prepared me for the moment that God invaded my life several months later.

The journey dates back to the Ignite Hope festival on the May day bank holiday weekend in 2012. Part of my role at Ignite Hope was to teach the youth at the Valley Hub in Blackwood each morning. It was on the Saturday morning (6th May) that the divine invasion occurred. I was in a room with no more than 20 young people. We were having a time of sung worship and I have to say at this point that it definitely wasn’t hyped up (it was 10am and we were all knackered) and I hadn’t been eating a lot of cheese either. Anyway, it was as we were singing that I saw a vision.

Yes, a vision – one of those things that seems to happen quite a lot in the Bible but that seems to seriously wig out most of the reformed bredrinz and sistrinz I tend to roll with. Anyway, back to the vision!

What I saw was a prostitute standing on the corner of a street in part of Cardiff’s red light district. As I saw her standing there, cold and fearful, I audibly – yes audibly – heard the voice of God SHOUT the words:

“GO AND RESCUE HER!!!”

The voice was very strong. It wasn’t angry but it was urgent!

I literally fell back in my chair in floods of tears and wept for the remainder of the worship set before having to stand up and preach (apparently I looked a total wreck for the duration of that sermon, but no one else knew why!) I went straight home and shared the whole thing with Michelle who could see that I had been deeply affected and prayed with me. The voice had been so urgent that I determined to drive to that very street later that evening literally expecting to find a woman in danger and have to bust some kind of superhero rescue mission. However, before whacking a pair of red pants over my jeans I had to preach at the evening Ignite Hope event in the centre of Cardiff. Following what had happened that morning I preached on the story of the sinful woman who anointed Jesus’ feet (from Luke 7). As I preached the message, my epic artist friend, Lois Seco, was painting on the side of the stage.

Following the event I drove straight to the street that I had seen in the vision with fists clenched and heart-pumping…but was shocked (and a bit gutted) to find absolutely no one there. I drove around for a little while (trying my best to not look like a curb crawler) but soon realised that there was no one that needed rescuing that night.

I drove home confused…but with some crazy faith starting to stir.

Over the following days I talked everything out with Michelle and the more we talked the more we started to wonder whether this was about more than just one woman on one street in Cardiff. Perhaps God was awakening our hearts to something even bigger. We started to consider whether He was calling us to engage with the wider issues of sexual exploitation, human trafficking and global slavery, so we started to research, to pray and to make ourselves available.

The months that followed were probably some of the most traumatic, painful and emotionally demanding months of our lives as we started to get ourselves educated and began to glimpse the horrific realities of what is suffered by millions of slaves around the world today. The rest of the story is pretty well covered in the archives of this blog.

At the time of writing the Red Community vision is on the cusp of exploding into something way beyond what we might have dreamt of just 2 years ago. (I’ll hopefully be posting a Red Community update on Friday). It’s hard to say what my life would look like today had I not heard the heart-cry of God on that special Saturday morning in May 2012. However, by His grace I did hear, I did respond and as we journey on into the traffick my prayer is that the legacy will be women, children, the abused and the enslaved rescued by the gospel for the glory of the Redeemer.

(NB: The picture that Lois painted during my Luke 7 preach is now hanging on the wall of our living room as a permanent reminder of the day God shouted at me. It’s the picture at the top of this post).

Stand for Freedom, Cardiff #FREEDOMFRIDAY

Last week I posted a blog introducing my friend, Jason Bushell, who works for IJM in Cardiff. Well, today I received a letter and some posters from Jason that he has asked me to share with you regarding an event he is organising in Cardiff next week. So here ya go…

S4Jgrav

“As International Justice Mission representative in Wales I am writing to inform you of the Stand4Freedom event next Wednesday 9th April.

It is being organized by IJM Cardiff Student Justice Community, a group of Cardiff University students formed when they heard about the extent of modern day slavery and the plague of everyday violence that is devastating the developing world.

* Nearly 30 million men, women and children are currently held in slavery;

* Nearly 2 million children are exploited in the commercial sex trade;

* 1 in 5 women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.

The poor are so vulnerable because their justice systems – police, courts and laws – don’t protect them from violent people. Indeed “the law is paralyzed” and “the wicked surround the righteous” [Hab.1:4]

Convicted by God’s call on His children to “seek justice, correct oppression”[Is. 1:17] these students have determined to act. When they Stand4Freedom next Wednesday they will be joining thousands around the world http://www.stand-for-freedom.com/ to give a human face to the unnoticed millions. They hope to mobilise Cardiff to do something now to end it.

Specifically their goal is to fund one rescue mission (£3,000).

We ask for your support. Would you please…

· mention the event in your announcements tomorrow;

· encourage your congregation to visit the stands and spread the word (details of event and locations in attached poster/slide); and

· offer them the opportunity to contribute to help fund a rescue mission.

I hope that Cardiff churches will also respond in some way to support the efforts of these students who are stepping out in faith, most of them for the first time.

Many thanks for your support.

Yours faithfully

Jason”

S4F_flyer