Hello everyone! It’s Bria.
I can’t believe that it’s only been a little over 6 weeks since Lins and I left Nashville! My life there seems like forever ago, and to my often-confused inner clock it feels like I’ve been back in Lviv for months. I’m not sure what that means exactly, but I’ve definitely learned that the older I get, the less my body has any comprehension of time. Haha!
My goal when I first got back home was rest, rest, REST! And thank God, He allowed me to do just that. I was able to sleep as much as my tired body desired, recover from the craziness of life in moving-mode, spend time with my family, help out around Bethel House with construction and gardening, meet up with friends at my favorite coffee shops and cafes, take my camera on photographic scavenger hunts in this gorgeous city… It was bliss!
But, never was the true reason for my return to Lviv far from my mind. I had committed to giving myself one month to rest, and as soon as that month was over, the wheels of my mind started whirling. I began searching out on the Internet as much information as I could find about human trafficking in Ukraine. The known statistics are even more staggering than I had imagined. For example: It’s estimated that approximately 40% of the world’s child pornography is produced in Ukraine! Estimates also put 30–40% of all of Ukraine’s prostitutes being between the ages of 11 and 18!
But, of course, reading statistics and being sick to my stomach doesn’t do anyone any good if I just stop there. So, I felt like my next step needed to be to find out who else is in Ukraine trying to stop trafficking, what they’re doing exactly, and how we can work together. After all, even if there are thousands of abolitionists at work in Ukraine, if we’re all trying to do our own thing we’re much less effective than if we combine our efforts. I’ve managed to find a few organizations online who are passionate about ending slavery in Ukraine, and have slowly but surely been establishing contact with them. One group has already developed an educational poster with a help hotline number on it for
distribution in schools! They’ve sent me the file so that I can print copies to hang in schools in Lviv, and I can’t wait to get started on that!
The next goal in my mind is to get into schools and begin educating Ukrainian kids about human trafficking – how it happens, and how to protect themselves from becoming victims. I’ve found some educational materials in Russian from an online site that I’m sure will be very helpful. But, I also feel that I need something more than just a smile and some information in order to really reach kids and impact them. I’ve got numerous ideas swimming around in my head – concerts, mini-dramas, etc. – but I just know that I’m going to need something really intriguing in order to capture their attention.
I would appreciate your prayers so much as I begin diving into this ministry! Please pray for…
- Creativity. That the Holy Spirit will inspire me with ideas to best capture the attention of children so that they can be educated and protected.
- Co-workers. That God will create partnerships between all of us who are working toward the same goal in Ukraine. And that God will inspire other people here in Lviv with passion to see slavery ended in their city, and that they will put that passion into action and help me.
- Protection. That I will be protected from both spiritual and physical enemies, and that if needed, strength and courage will arise in me and I will walk in the boldness and confidence of being a daughter of God
- Favor. Pray that the Lord will give me favor and open doors with school and city officials.
I appreciate you and your prayers, and support so very, very much! Feel free to leave any comments, questions, feedback, etc. And we’ll do our best to keep updating as frequently as we can. Much love and many blessings!