Merry Christmas 2017

YOU WERE THERE

Through your love, prayers, and financial support each and every one of our supporters has been right there with us for the last five years as we serve the oppressed in both Georgia and Europe.

• It has been an another amazing year.

• We continue to serve in both Europe and Georgia.

• Mark was in Rome, Italy in January serving at both Il Soggiorno and Joel Nafuma Refugee Centers.

• ITeams has turned over Il Soggiorno to an Italian Church which is a big score in the mission world.

• Our new official European assignment is the Pilgrim House in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

• To learn more check out the link. https://pilgrimhousesantiago.com/

The Pilgrim House Welcome Center is a place for pilgrims to find respite from their walk and take time to reflect. We offer a safe place to explore and engage the deeper questions concerning the love and mystery of God, life, and our resilient frailty. This time of reflection is sacred and our purpose is to foster space (physical, mental, and spiritual) for this time.

• Mark was there in February and March and again in September.

• The staff were grateful to have someone with Mark’s life experience and strength of faith serving at Pilgrim House.

• Many of the pilgrims Mark discipled to were more seasoned and connected to him in a positive way.

• In 2018, both Val and Mark will be working there for the month of May. Because of visa regulations, one half of the full-time staff has to be out of the EU for a minimum of six consecutive months during 2018. We will support this staffing need.

As we participate with Out of Darkness in street outreach to those involved in human trafficking in middle Georgia and Atlanta, YOU ARE THERE.

• Mark has been instrumental in the growth of Out of Darkness Middle Georgia having been an experienced team leader from day one.

• When Mark participated in the rescue of eight women from captive trafficking in Sandy Springs, GA YOU WERE THERE. A copy of the article is included below.

We can share this one with you because it made the news. Otherwise all the information related to our anti-trafficking is highly confidential.

Through your support, Mark is able to lead rescue teams throughout Georgia.

I can share some of the stories heard in my van during rescues and general information.

• The women rescued range in age from 17 to 56.

• I have heard about women being put out on the street as young as 13, at times by their own family.

• Substance abuse is a result of the trafficking life, not always the cause.

• One 21-year-old woman that was rescued was clutching a stuffed turtle. She had been on the streets for seven years and her turtle had been with her the whole time.

• I hear mothers cry that they haven’t seen their children in years.

When a rescue team goes out it is one male and one female.

• Most rescues are at a motels, apartments, all-night restaurants and jails.

• They are always hungry, sometimes having been denied food for days.

• After we have made a safe pick-up and are sure we are not being followed (to learn the location of the Safehouse), we stop to eat.

• I always pay for the meal thanks to the support all of you have provided. I am amazed at their appetites and the happiness they show.

• Many of those we rescue need to be taken to a hospital for detox and drug withdrawal.

• Words of kindness, encouragement and reminders that they are loved by their Heavenly Father are shared during the rescues.

• I have had women accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior during rescues.

Yet, through all this, the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ reaches out and pulls these broken and lost souls back into His loving arms. His love shines a light in the darkness.

Your love, prayers, and continued financial support have sent us out into God’s mission field to do what we can to help those caught up in this oppressive and devastating lifestyle.

We are witnesses of an extraordinary God who works in and through ordinary people who simply trust and obey Him. Your prayers and support are essential and effective.

Thank you!

 

Man accused of holding 8 women captive in Sandy Springs mansion

A man has been arrested on a human trafficking charge after police said he held eight women against their will in a nearly $1 million Sandy Springs home.

Just before 8 a.m. Tuesday, officers responded to a 911 call from a woman who asked for help leaving a residence in the 100 block of Strauss Lane, Sandy Springs police Sgt. Sam Worsham said Wednesday.

“I’m in a very bad situation, and I need to get help,” the caller said.

When they got to the 6,806-square foot home, officers found eight women and helped them leave the home, Worsham said.

FBI agents and Sandy Springs investigators arrested Kenndric Roberts, 33, on charges of false imprisonment and trafficking of persons for labor, Worsham said.

Roberts is in the Fulton County Jail. It was not immediately clear how long the women had been held in the home.

“What we believe is he was luring these women to this house with promises of either modeling careers or financial assistance. We’re not 100 percent sure on that. The investigation is continuing,” Worsham said.

According to Fulton County property records, the $976,300 residence has five bedrooms, five bathrooms and one half bathroom.

Information from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was used in this report.

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