As you know, we recently returned from Kiev, Ukraine. We were there to meet with pastors from around the world and establish relationships and offer ways to help them with their legal needs in their local communities or when they are on outreach around the world. We meet with pastors from Nigeria, the US, Ukraine, Canada, England, and South Africa to name a few. I believe we established key relationships that will prove to help further our work for years to come.
Our next trip will take the IHRG team to Kiev, Ukraine. This currently war-torn country has a long storied history. Part of the former Soviet Union, it is now in the sights of Vladimir Putin to become part of the new Russian Empire. At the same time, the country is working hard to be added to the European Union’s free travel zone. This would help to increase the economic relationship between Ukraine and the rest of Europe. It would make it easier for Europeans to travel there and especially for Ukrainians to travel to countries in the European Union.
Our trip to Greece took us to Thessaloniki, Greece. Thessaloniki is an ancient city visited by the Apostle Paul and Timothy during Paul’s Second Missionary Journey. It sits on a beautiful sea shore with a high wall separating the water from the land. Thessaloniki’s markets bustle with life—fresh meat, vegetables, everything imaginable can be bought in this city.
Yet, it was not the markets, or the beauty, or even the ancient churches and ruins that brought me to Thessaloniki. We came here for one reason, this is one of the key areas in the world of the human traffickers that are plaguing our planet. Any plan to stop trafficking in this generation must include Eastern Europe and Thessaloniki, Greece.
We had the chance this week to visit the ancient city of Corinth in Greece. It was exciting to literally walk on the road where the Apostle Paul walked. At the site is a column that is believed to be original from the time when Paul was here. The column is at the Judgment Seat where Paul stood before the leaders of the city and justified his work.
Until you have been here you cannot imagine what it feels like to stand there and realize the history that has taken place right where you are standing. I was struck by the fact that this spot, which plays such a huge role in the history of the church, is today meaningful to all of us.
I am headed to Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece to set everything in motion for the International Human Rights Group to become the supplier of attorneys for victims of sex trafficking who have been rescued through the work of the A21 Campaign.
Under this partnership we will be identifying, and bringing on board, attorneys to represent these victims as they provide eyewitness testimony regarding their time as sex slaves. We will also be working with these young ladies, and sometimes men, to help them with their immigration issues. Remember, these young people have often been taken across borders illegally. Even though they are not willing participants in their travel, they are still illegal immigrants. This means that we must provide them with legal help to get their documents in order so they can return home or stay in the country where they find themselves.