Human Trafficking in Romania

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This last week, we met with two different people who have been working to end human trafficking in Romania. I didn’t take nearly good enough notes, so I won’t try to make this post a summary of the meetings. But I do hope to give some information about the issue.

Ryan and Andrea, a missionary couple sent out from the US, came here specifically to work towards ending human trafficking and bringing healing to those trafficked. They have been traveling across Europe meeting with individuals and organizations, trying to sort out fact from fiction and learn about the difficulties in this line of work.

From them, we learned the problem is certainly a real issue here in Bucuresti, but it is also a complicated one. Many aid organizations commonly fight over government funds and even over who gets to help which victims. Awareness in Romania is growing, but still many have no idea that the problem even exists. Further, even the definition of a slave is ambiguous. Is a girl a slave if she went with her boyfriend to a new city, got hooked on drugs, and now prostitutes herself? Or is it slavery if a beggar on the street gives a portion of his money to a boss and then gets safety in return? Not to mention the complications of what to do to help…

Although Ryan and Andrea are here to bring about the downfall of the whole system of human trafficking, their current goal is much smaller and more personal:  to get teams of Christians together who will meet, care for, and speak with the beggars and prostitutes on the streets.  For now, though, they’re working a lot with Teen Challenge and simply learning about some of the issues and how to do ministry in Romania.

What I liked best was when Ryan pointed to the obvious but most difficult solution to all this: you reach one person and invest your life in him, then he can do the same to another.

2 Timothy 2:2 – “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

Matthew 28:19-20 – “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Reach one person at a time, and teach them to do the same.  Amen!

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