Against All Odds

Unlike most of what I read or heard about 2020, not everything was negative. What should have been devastating and heartbreaking was used by our Lord and Savior to advance His will.

Opportunities for outreach increased during the early months of the shutdown. With the strip clubs closed, women were turned out by their pimps to work the streets. Most shelters and free kitchens were forced to close. Those Children of God that depend on these critical services to survive were left without options.

What did God do? He sent out His soldiers to love and serve the oppressed and abandoned. And, what did you do? You upheld His soldiers with your love, prayers, and financial support. He used all of us to accomplish some amazing things.

Out of Darkness increased their outreach commitment to meet the increased number of women working the streets by adding additional Princess Nights. 

In partnership with Proof of the Pudding, an Atlanta catering company, 500 meals a day were delivered and handed out by Out of Darkness volunteers. This was accomplished by loading up the vans and driving to all the known areas where those in need congregate. Each meal and beverages were delivered directly to the recipient along with smiles and good wishes. 

The very popular “Welcome Bag” program was expanded in 2020. These are handbags that Val makes from donated fabric samples. Then, in partnership with a group of loving and supportive friends, they are filled with a waffle-weave robe, underclothing, slippers, toiletries, snacks and a small bible with the words of Jesus in red letters. In the past these were given directly to the ladies that were assisted by me at the time of the rescue. We are now providing them to the Out of Darkness Safe House so that everyone rescued can be blessed.  

2020 In review from my perspective:

  • More Princess Night outreach in both Atlanta and Middle Georgia.
  • Involved in more rescues. With covid restriction in place fewer male rescuers were available.
  • Transportation to covid testing sites, every princess rescued had to be tested. 
  • Participation in the meal delivery program.
  • Wore out another van, replacement purchased in November.
  • Prayer Team activities.
  • Ambassador Team programs.
  • Coordinating procurement and delivery of Welcome Bags.

With all the contact I have with those I interact with, it seemed inevitable that at I would contract Covid-19 and I did. I made it all the way to December 10th before I tested positive. I have recovered completely and returned to my readily available status on the 29th. I did have to turn down two rescues while I was contagious. It was the first time I’ve said no in seven years. Fortunately, the rescues were covered by others. Val did not contract it and I have received my vaccination. 

I want to share a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

God calls and prepares all of us to serve. Some are prepared and called to serve on the front lines. Some are prepared and called to serve as support to those on the front lines. Both are equally reliant on the other as I believe He intends. 

On a personal note I want to thank all of you for your love, prayers and support. You are on my heart and in my prayers continually.

Love and prayers, Mark

Because You Care

It’s because of your generosity that passionate servants can continue to reach, rescue and restore those oppressed and enslaved in the sad, but all too real world of Human Trafficking.
I continue my commitment to answer God’s call on my life to be one of His passionate servants. 
Through my partnership with Out of Darkness I remain involved in street and motel outreach. This means going to areas and motels where there is active trafficking taking place. Making contact with those involved and then offering them a rose and a card. The rose is a means of introducing ourselves and the card provides words of hope and love as well as information about the rescue and restorative programs available. We then offer prayers and the opportunity for immediate rescue. 
Outreach to the community at large is done through the ambassador team. As member of this team I engage church and community groups providing information and encouraging involvement and support. If you would like to have me speak to a group please reach out and let me know. 
Rescues continue to be the activity I am most identified with. It is something I seemed to have spent my life preparing for and now I am called upon to provide. 
This year I was able to connect a wonderful Dentist in Woodstock and her staff that are willing to provide loving and free dental care twice a year to the residence of our safe houses. This relationship is a blessing to all involved. Thanks Dr. Hope. (Yes that is her real name.)
Through the generosity of dear friends and local businesses with caring hearts we put together tote bags for those being rescued. Some of the things included are basic hygiene items, snacks, a tee shirt, slippers and a robe. The reaction to these bags is overwhelming.
I am currently cooperating with the leadership of the One Collective team in Elgin, Illinois to bring awareness into that community of the destructive effect of trafficking. Pray for God’s guidance in this endeavor. 
I am planning to return to the Pilgrim House in Spain in the spring of 2020. I will update you as that unfolds.
It is because you care and believe in the power of our Lord and Savior that all this happens. Your prayers and financial support are needed and appreciated. If you are a current supporter I am grateful beyond words for your continued support.  If you feel God is leading you to become a supporter please follow His lead and your heart. 
You can give at:
One Collective
2155 Point Boulevard
Suite 200
Elgin, IL 60123
Or online at:
Mark Edens Account #US2677email:
I love each and every one of you and I wish a Blessed and Merry Christmas and peace and joy in the New Year. 
I would like to leave you with the same ending as my last update verse from
O Holy Night,  because it still says it all. 
Truly He taught us to love one another, His law is love and His gospel is peace. 
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother. And in his name all oppression shall cease. 
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, With all our hearts we praise His holy name.

And Another Year Begins

2018 Is in the books and 2019 is full of promise.

If 2018 is any indication of what 2019 has in store than it will be another amazing year serving my Lord and Savior through service to those oppressed by sexual slavery and pilgrims in Europe.

My assignments with One Collective (formally International Teams) continue to be The Pilgrim House team in Spain and in-cooperation with Out of Darkness here in the US.

Many of you had the opportunity to hear me speak this year. I was honored to be the guest speaker at several public service organizations and churches. This is a skill I can only attribute to the Holy Spirit.

I was in Italy and Spain this year for October and November. The number of meaningful spiritual encounters I had left me feeling thankful and amazed at how God is truly The Great Coordinator. WOW.

I returned home from Spain on November 20 with a heavy heart. On the 19th my father Donald Edens Sr. went home. He was a wonderful man that lived 93 good years. He is at peace now in the presence of our Father.

Out of Darkness continues to be an important presence in the battle against human trafficking. I am now serving on the Prayer team, the Outreach team, the Rescue team, and the Ambassador team. The Ambassador team is a new commitment which involves speaking engagements sharing testimony regarding trafficking. I am looking forward to this new area of service.

If you would like to have me address a group or an organization please ask. Or even you individually. I am very passionate about sharing how the Lord has changed my life through love and service to others.

You may have heard that I had some health issues in 2018, but I want you to know all is well and I never missed a rescue due to my health. I have had a go-a-round with Lymes disease, which is under control. And I had some more sick cancer issues. That too is under control. Thanks for your prayers.

We are witnesses of an extraordinary God who works in and through ordinary people who simply trust and obey Him. As always I am humbled and grateful for the love, prayers, and financial support you bless me with. Your prayers and support are essential and effective. Thank you!

During the last five years (yes it has been five years) my financial support has declined. However I have never lost my faith and belief that God would keep me on your hearts. I am making a rare appeal this year. If you have supported my ministry in the past, would you give prayerful consideration to again becoming a financial supporter. If you are a current supporter, your continued support is most appreciated. If you feel God is leading you to become a supporter please join the team.

You can give at:

One Collective

2155 Point Boulevard

Suite 200

Elgin, IL 60123

Or online at:

Mark Edens Account #US2677

I love each and every one of you and I wish peace and joy in the New Year.

I would like to leave you with this verse from O Holy Night, it says it all.

Truly He taught us to love one another, His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother. And in his name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, With all our hearts we praise His holy name.

Merry Christmas 2017


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.

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.

Merry Christmas 

2016 End of Year Update

Saturday Night Cleanup Crew at Il Soggiorno (Photo courtesy of Val Edens)

I would like to share some of my story with you in this update.

Myth: When a person gives their life over to God and becomes involved in full time ministry, they somehow become a gifted writer and orator. 

When I began full time ministry in 2013 I had plans to go to Rome, learn the language and culture and to spread the gospel through street discipleship. My mission agency at the time, wanted me to concentrate on language and culture until I was proficient in both. Reality proven to be much different. Some of you know and some of you my not know, I am dyslexic. I have struggled with my native language, English, all of my life and learning Italian proved to be a slow and difficult task. My inability to quickly learn Italian became a stumbling block in my relationship with my mission agency and their plans for me in Rome.

During this difficult time I sought direction and guidance from my Lord and Savior and through the Holy Spirit I was guided in directions where my gifts of faithfulness, perseverance, love, and compassion for human suffering could be used in service to the Father. 

I learned the most important lesson of life. Trust and follow Jesus.

By the end of 2013 I had transitioned to International Teams and I was fully involved in ministry services to refugees and victims of human trafficking. I have evolved to where I am today by remaining faithful to God’s plan.

Where am I at today and where am I going tomorrow. 

Since January of 2014 I have been serving with International Teams. ITeams worldwide commitment and the declaration…”Therefore, we choose to stand against the status quo. We choose to see the invisible, give a voice to the voiceless, create beauty from ashes, rediscover dignity, restore hope…” has opened up opportunities for me to serve both in Europe and in the US.

In Rome I serve at the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center and at Il Soggiorno. Both offer food, clothing, personal hygiene, rest, and daytime shelter to refugees. Opportunities to pray and study the Bible are also provided. Classes are offered to learn both Italian and English. And yes I have taken the Italian classes. I have formed many lasting and meaningful relationships at both of these centers. 

I have also served with Schiavitù Mai Piu (Slavery No More) a cooperative group of missional organizations in Rome involved in street level outreach to those sexually exploited through human trafficking. 

In the US I am primarily involved in anti human trafficking ministry. I have been actively serving through ITeams with two Atlanta based organizations Out of Darkness and The City of Refuge. Both organizations are dedicated to serving sexually exploited and trafficked women, children and men. Since June of 2014 I have been involved in street outreach, prayer teams, clothing drives, serving meals and rescues. The street outreach and rescues have been my primary focus.

It is difficult to relate to you impact this ministry has had on the lives of those I have encountered. The range of emotions is as broad as I have ever experienced. I am constantly reminding myself and those I serve with, that God does not measure our success, He measures our faithfulness. Sometimes everything goes smooth and you know what you’re doing is having an effect on those you are reaching out to. Other times nothing goes right and you are left to wonder why. The only constant is trusting that God is in control and praying that His will prevails. 

The sensitivity to privacy of this ministry precludes providing details of any actual activities. There is one case in which I have been involved that has made the news in Atlanta, so I can share a link to the story without violating any privacy protocol. I rescued this young woman twice, on the first occasion she fled after we made a requested restroom stopped at a QT. On the second she was safely transported to a safe house. She was rescued a third time by Out of Darkness, before her final demise. You can read about her at

I don’t want to beat my own drum with statistics and numbers, but I will say this, I say yes whenever asked to go on a rescue. I have done rescues all over Georgia, and in Tennessee and Alabama. I have been on rush hour recuses, all night rescues and days with multiple rescues. Whenever asked I remember Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

Going forward I am scheduled to return to Europe for another three month term on January 17, 2017. When not in Europe I will continue my Atlanta and Middle Georgia ministry. 

As I have said in the past, I am not in this alone, nor could I continue to do this alone. All of you that have supported me with prayers, love, and financial support are deeply embedded in the DNA of this ministry. I humbly request your continued partnership. If you are currently providing financial support please continue to allow me to serve on your behalf. If you have given in the past please consider giving again. If you have never given, please consider this ministry as part of your Christian giving.  

I am not a gifted wordsmith, but I do hope that on some level I have related to you my passion for the oppressed and exploited. 

With love and a grateful heart I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and best wishes in the New Year.

Looking Back and Looking Forward 

Not a having and a resting, but a growing and a becoming.  M Arnold

Looking Back:

2015 Was a year like no other. In December I lost my brother Don. The effect this event has had and will have on me has yet to be fully realized. Thank you to all of my faithful brothers and sisters in prayer, our prayers were answered. 

My son Paul was married to Brittany in October. A lovely and welcome addition to our family, the wedding made it official, however she has been in our hearts for a long time. 

My time in Rome during 2015 was blessed with many signs and that clearly indicated God’s hand was shaping the events and using me as His willingly available servant. 

The first seven months were spent serving those being trafficked in Middle Georgia and Atlanta. I serve with and through Out of Darkness and the City of Refuge. The plight of those being trafficked is finally becoming part of the social conversation in America. I know you are hearing and reading about the extent of this sin and understand the need to continue with prayer, out-reach and rescue to the oppressed. 

Looking Forward:
What does 2016 look like? That’s a good question. I’ll try to answer the best I can. 

Looking at my life since I accepted the call to missions, I can say it has been challenging, educational, and fulfilling.

I began the journey thinking how I could serve God, what could I do. I have grown to, I am yours Father, guide me, use me. 

When Jesus Christ says “Follow Me,” He never says to where, the consequences must be left entirely to Him. We come in with our “buts,” and “supposings,” and “what will happen if I do?” (cf. Luke 9:57– 62). We have nothing to do with what will happen if we obey, we have to abandon to God’s call in unconditional surrender and smilingly wash our hands of the consequences. Oswald Chambers, from Not Knowing Whither

I believe that God’s work in me continues and that I have learned to be a servant. 

I will say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you that have supported me financially. Your support is an integral part of this story. Your support has affected the lives of many. Without support I could not afford the travel expenses incurred nor could I provide relief for those in need. 

Val and I often have this conversation when we discuss the hardships of being separated by my service and using our money in support of myself and other missionaries. “Which one would you choose to go without shoes?” And it’s not just shoes, it’s time and presence, meals, clothes, medicine, and more. 

As you know I am serving in both Atlanta and Rome. My financial needs here in Atlanta are not as great as in Rome which allows me to save so I can return to Rome. I began this update in the US and thanks to my faithful supporters I am sending it to you from Rome. 

Your prayers, love, and support have changed my life and the lives of others. For that I will be eternally grateful. 

I was a Stanger, and I was Welcome.

I want to share this story with you, I could never tell it as well as Rakin. As you know the JNRC is one of the two refugee centers I serve in Rome. 

My name is Rakin and I am a refugee.It is difficult for me to share my story, but I feel it’s important because I want others to understand the reality of my country and people.  We are not secure and there is no peace for millions of people like me.

Before I left Afghanistan, I was appreciated by my family, friends, and community. I had a comfortable life with a beautiful house. I had hopes of becoming a psychologist, I had published books condemning the acts of the Taliban, and I was interviewed on the radio and television about my writings. Then my life changed drastically.

I was kidnapped for money. The kidnappers called my family and threatened to kill me if my family didn’t pay them. More than ten times, the kidnappers sent pictures and videos of them beating and torturing me, to my family.  After four months, I escaped.  I was badly hurt and went to the police station. They knew I had been kidnapped because my father had reported it. The police asked me to take them to the place where I was kept. They arrested and killed many of the kidnappers. 

When my kidnappers heard that I reported this to the police, they threatened me by phone. My mother was so panicked she had a heart attack, and while I was visiting her in the hospital, my kidnappers sought revenge. They found my home and killed my father, brothers, and sisters. My mother and I tried to move to a friend’s house outside of Kabul where we would be safe. We stayed there for a long time, and then my mother asked me to leave Afghanistan. We couldn’t continue to hide in the house out of fear of being attacked.  The plan was that once I was settled in Europe, I would invite her so she could also be safe.

I never imagined that I would face such problems in Europe. I always thought of Europe as supporting human rights and equality. When I first arrived to Rome, I had to sleep in a tent outside in the park for three months during the winter. There was not good food to eat and it was cold. Now I share a room with eight other people at a reception center with other refugees. I don’t sleep well. There is no hot water. I can only wash myself every couple of days. Because of the cold water I am always sick. It is inhumane.

It is well known that money allocated for providing services to asylum seekers is being siphoned off for other purposes. Recently, a transcript released from wiretapping the Mafia Capitale revealed one member saying, “Do you have any idea how much I can make on these immigrants?  It’s a lot more profitable than drug trafficking.”  I am one of these immigrants.  So, I take cold showers as others profit from my misfortune.



Like many, before I arrived here I perceived Rome as a holy city. When I arrived as an asylum seeker, I discovered a reality that was inconsistent with my perception of being a holy or sacred place. Keep in mind that I arrived as a foreigner who was not here to vacation, but rather to save my life.  As a stranger to this city, I am misunderstood and mistreated.  Now I wonder if this a holy city.

Instead of asking about my education, about my skills, or questions to get to know me, people only ask, “Where are you from?” This is what defines me. This is what creates a barrier in my ability to form friendships and feel welcome in the community.

Fortunately, when I arrived to the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center (JNRC), I met some wonderful people. Their kindness lessened my suffering. They tried to feel what I am feeling…not having any family.  I know that this center is my home and these people are my family. I no longer feel alone. People listen to me. They helped me solve my problems with documents. They invited me into their homes and cooked delicious food for me.  They even celebrated my birthday for the first time in 8 years – and since the death of my family – that I had a birthday celebration.  They were with me during my formal interview for protection (or commission as it is called here in Italy) and when my mother died alone, and in a faraway land. The JNRC is supporting me in every possible way.

Before coming to the JNRC, I was like a dead person. I used to sit in the park alone. Psychologically I was dead. Working with the JNRC psychologists and listening to their advice brought me brought me back to life.  All refugees that experience this kind of trauma need to be welcomed, especially when they don’t have any family to support or protect them. No one can go through life without family and supporters to lead us out of the darkness and toward our goals and dreams.  The circumstances of my own trauma have changed my life plans in ways that I never imagined possible.  Still, I am hopeful that one day I will start my writings again, continue with a psychology career and feel like a respected human being.

This is why I am very thankful for this center; for what they are doing for me and for others. In this center, Muslims and Christians eat, play and work together. Everyone welcomes newcomers as human beings, not according to religion, race, or ethnicity. The situation in this center feels very different from the situation out on the streets of Rome.

Outside, I feel looked upon as an unwelcome stranger. When I’m on the bus the people next to me secure their wallets and close their purses. I don’t know how to behave to prove that I am not a thief. The refugees that I know are good people from good families.  Even if they don’t have money or beg on the street, they would never steal. This is what we face as refugees everyday in Rome.

Now, I am part of the JNRC’s Artisans Together project.  We produce handicrafts, for a suggested donation, in order to heal from our trauma and rebuild our lives in Rome. We advocate and educate about the reality of refugees. As artisans, we share profits amongst us and donate 10 percent back to the JNRC in order to help the guests who depend on the center for daily assistance, sanctuary, and support.

My work with this group has restored my sense of belonging.  We practice respect for humanity and equality amongst brothers even though we are from different countries and continents.  In this group, I am learning new skills.  I am surrounded by a community of support that gives back by welcoming other strangers who make their way to this center.

As Muslims we believe that Jesus gave life to the dead by God’s permission.  The Christians that I found at the JNRC helped make me alive when I was dead person.  Still a practicing Muslim, I underwent nothing short of a miracle, to find myself again.  I was dead, but when I found this church and center that welcomed me as a stranger, I was given life again. Alhamdulillah! Or, as you might say in English, All praise is due to God alone!


I don’t want to be identified as a refugee forever.  I hope that someday I will be treated in Italy as I was treated before the living nightmare of losing my family, my country, and my life.  I never wanted to be a refugee.  The human spirit is strong and I am learning to dream again – and this is the gift that I have been given, because I was a stranger, and I was welcomed.


Rakin, who prefers not to share his last name, is originally from Kabul, Afghanistan. He fled his country in 2010. After being denied political asylum in Norway after four years, he came to Italy where he has been granted full refugee status according to the Geneva Convention (1951).  It is rumored in the JNRC and beyond that he is an unbeatable chess player.

This story first appeared in the JNRC blog. You can read this and other stories at

Heading Back to Rome

Your Prayers, Love, and Support Make it all Possible.
Back in January of 2014 the North American team leader at ITeams asked if I would commit to spending the first quarter of 2015 serving in Atlanta. The goal was to make relationships for future team building in Atlanta. Out of Darkness, part of the Atlanta Dream Center and City of Refuge, seemed like good places to start. The first quarter turned into seven months and the results have been amazing.

At the City of Refuge we have been involved in a weekly Bible study, collected donations of clothing, furniture, and bedding for the residents. And served in the “180° Kitchen”, doing everything from preparing vegetables to scrubbing pots and pans, and serving meals to hundreds of women and children.

At Out of Darkness I am involved with the Prayer Team, Princess Night out-reach and Rescue Teams in Atlanta and Middle Georgia (Macon/Warner Robins), and the Cherokee County Jail Ministry. I have participated in rescues of both women and men, in Georgia and Alabama.

I have had opportunities to share my experiences at ITeam and both the City of Refuge and Out of Darkness with many others that have expressed an interest in participating in these wonderful ministries. Some of these are from my First United Methodist Dublin Family. Planting seeds…

I am returning to Rome on 4 August for another 90 day mission (90 Days means no Visa or Permesso di Soggiorno requirements which equals savings). I will be serving refugees a the JNRC at St. Paul’s Within the Walls and Il Soggiorno. I will also be serving with Schiavitù Mai Più (Slavery Never Again).

Your continued prayers, love, and financial support not only bless me, they bless you and all those you allow me to serve. Believe me it is working.

I am making a special request in this posting. While I will be in Rome the weather will be changing and winter will be arriving. The refugees will be in desperate need of shoes, socks, and coats. Please consider a donation to help me in procuring these items for them.
To donate go to or email

Project name Mark Edens, account # US2677

Or call (800) 323-0428


Helping in the “180° Kitchen” at the City of Refuge.


On Tuesday at 7:00 PM I was at the Atlanta Dream Center for the monthly prayer meeting. Just as we were getting ready to begin I received a phone call from the Out of Darkness hotline asking if I could go on a rescue. Our prayers were answered before we even began. WOW! And how amazing is our Lord and Savior? The young lady that I went on the rescue with has been feeling the call to missions but has been struggling with some of the aspects of raising support. We had a good conversation regarding support and the overwhelming joy and inspiration that comes from having the support of your friends. Planting seeds again…

Philippians 4:15-17 Common English Bible (CEB) 

15 You Philippians know from the time of my first mission work in Macedonia how no church shared in supporting my ministry except you. 

16 You sent contributions repeatedly to take care of my needs even while I was in Thessalonica. 

17 I’m not hoping for a gift, but I am hoping for a profit that accumulates in your account.

Moving Forward in 2015

As 2015 begins I recall the words of Francis of Assisi and I would like to make them my own.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

During 2014 I was able to serve with ITeams in Rome and Atlanta. Both cities present opportunities in anti human trafficking and refugee ministries. Last year I committed to spending the first quarter of 2015 in Atlanta. As I have previously mentioned, Atlanta is one of ITeams targeted cities for team and network building. So I will be working in tandem with Out of Darkness, City of Refuge, and Disire Street Ministers. Out Darkness has expanded its ministry into the Macon/Warner Robbins area and I will serving with them as well.

I am already involved in street outreach, jail-visiting, bible study, prayer meetings, and meal service. I will be involved in the rescue of trafficked women and children once I complete the required training. I am willing to be lead to whatever form of ministry God leads me to. The future is bright and I am excited!

There are individual and team opportunities for service with each of these. I will be looking for participants soon. If any of you are interested and willing please let me know.

I would like to update you on a dear friend I have written about in the past. David is the young man from Spain that we were able to develop a friendship with at Il Sorrgonio. Danielle has informed me, that through conversations with David, she and Valeria were able to learn more about his background. Valeria was able to obtain his mothers telephone number and made contact with her in Spain. She told them that David is 37, he has earned three university degrees and due mental health issues has a difficult time coping with life. If he is cared for and maintains his required medications he does much better. She was very happy to know he had friends in Rome looking out for him. She advised that he had run out of medication and needed to get back home. Arrangements were made through the Spanish Embassy to purchase an airline ticket for him, but the day of the flight was not a good for him and in his confused state he did not make the flight.

The week before Christmas David showed up at Il Sorrgonio and through a family friend living in Rome his mother arranged for a flight and her friend escorted him to the airport. On December 21st he flew home and was reunited with his family for Christmas. His mother was most grateful for the friendship and care he received at Il Sorrgonio.

I want all of you to know that YOU made this happen. Without your prayers, love, and support this story would still be waiting to happen. God is the Great Coordinator. He put it on your heart to support me, and He put it on my heart to go to Rome and serve. To God be the glory!

With your continued prayers, love, and support we can see more of God’s amazing love delivered to His children. I am all in to the end, I pray that you are as well.

A heartfelt thank you to each and everyone of you and my God bless and your loved ones throughout 2015.

James 2:14-17
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed, but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.