One of the absolute highlights in 2019 was attending ARAT CONFERENCE (Asia-Region Anti Trafficking) in Bangkok, Thailand. As a family, we have recently been visiting Asia on a yearly basis for our main (extended) family holiday. In fairness, these ‘holidays’ are a cover up for building stronger partnerships within the Anti-trafficking space around Asia! So, when we heard about ARAT Conference, we combined holiday and conference!
ARAT is organised by BE SLAVERY FREE and CHAB DAI, the umbrella organisation bringing together many anti-trafficking organisations across Asia. Below you can see me with Fuzz and Carolyn Kitto, directors of Be Slavery Free. Also, you can see Sioned and Steffan giving a copy of the book, ‘Freedom – No Limits’ which 12 home-educated children authored, to Helen Sworn, founder of Chab Dai.
At the back end of 2019, as we home-educate our children, together with my wife, we ran a ‘Creative Writing and Publish Workshop’. This book was a result of that. The ‘students’ chose the subject and with a focus on freedom/slavery, they decided to raise funds for Chab Dai. You can purchase a copy of FREEDOM – NO LIMITS at www.freedomnolimits.co.uk which will help raise funds for CHAB DAI.
Attending ARAT Conference for Advent Press was about connecting with others, individuals and organisation, who also have an interest in fighting Human Trafficking! We have supported various anti-trafficking organisation over the years but we wanted to do more! Reaching more people was on our agenda! Doing what God would have done! We felt God calling us in this direction and so, we followed.
At times, we felt out of our depth, but when you have 400 organisations in one place, all focused on anti-trafficking – the common goal pulled us together. We networked and learnt about the real issues and current needs and indeed trends in this field. We now feel so much more prepared to start our own organisation in Cambodia or partner with someone.
THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE CONFERENCE
Meeting Janice from Hong Kong…. was a highlight! From the moment we met Janice, our hearts warmed to her. Janice shared with us the desire which God has put no her heart to stop people being trafficked through the Cambodia/Thai border. Supporting Janice and the work she is doing was a blessing and we hope to continue doing this as he establishes her ministry in Cambodia and takes care of all the paperwork required. Praying together was heart-warming and special. This was truly a GOD-encounter and we praise God for that.
ADVENT PRESS DECIDES TO GO SLAVE FREE!
Gershon Nimbalker, from Stop The Traffik, spoke about the injustices that are taking place within the textile industry. He shared things that I knew and some things that I did not. He presented them in a way that literally made me sit up in my chair! Was Gerson speaking to me? Or was it God? Both! Wow, I have never paid closer attention to anything! At that very moment, I knew things had to change because Advent Press was working in the textile industry. heard that voice, the one that occasions speaks profound things into my life. The voice said, ‘Advent Press needed to become a ‘slave-free’ business.’
Of this was the only reason God wanted us to attend ARAT, this was huge! How could we be raising awareness of human trafficking, speaking out about it and yet, never considered our supply chain and whether exploitation was taking place?
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