Thank you so much to everyone who prayed for our Nefarious event at the end of March! April went by so fast that it’s hard to believe it has been a month since the Exodus Cry team was here presenting the film, but I wanted to give some follow up information about screening that we were so privileged to be able to host along with other many other brothers and sisters here in Rome and beyond. It was a true collaboration and we give all the glory to God for how smoothly it went and for how many lives were influenced. The following breakdown of the events of the day and the results of its impact was written my by team leader Sarah Bennetch.
Here’s how the Event unfolded:
1. A Street-Art Troupe acted out (on Piazza San Giovanni) a scenario suggesting sex slavery, to draw the public’s attention early in the day. They also performed in the cinema lobby before each screening.
2. Artwork on the theme of sex trafficking was displayed at the venue.
3. University Students’ screening organized with the help of Cru staff.
4. Special Screening for VIPs and invited guests. Attendees included leaders and authorities from the civic, church, law enforcement, diplomatic, and media fields.
5. Open Screening for the general public — packed house!
6. Each screening was presented by the Travel Team from Exodus Cry.
7. Refreshments were provided to allow for talking and praying after viewing the film.
Over 300 people attended, plus over 25 volunteers, many of whom stayed to discuss their impressions of the film, and the issue, or to be interviewed.
Some reactions to the film:
· (College students, in tears) “We always thought the best solution for prostitution was to legalize it to make it better for the women. This film clearly shows that all those women are being exploited and prostitution is damaging on any terms. What can we do to change things?”
· (The leader of the Evangelical Alliance in Italy): “We don’t need any more seminars about another issue. We need to put all the pastors in a room and show them this film. It’s crucial for pastors and church leaders to bring this ugly reality closer to home for them, to get them to do something to help these victims.”
· (Email from a believer): “Images of those little girls’ faces kept flashing before my eyes. While watching the film, I just kept seeing my daughter. I was …. distressed and still am upset beyond words. No film has ever had this effect on me. Very close to where we live there are many deserted roads with open land, and every day I see many African girls standing by the side of the road selling themselves, it breaks my heart EVERYTIME. My heart just goes out to them and I wonder what situations they come out of and are in. I’ve prayed many times, and I have to say that, now more than ever, I want to pray more fervently for these women and girls trapped in these situations. I’m so, so deeply saddened… and even angry. I would like to become actively involved in a ministry like this one, … but for now, I will continue to pray. Thank you for what you’re doing, I would love to learn more about this ministry. Grazie ancora.”
· (A male student and new Christian): “We need to be talking about these things, especially the (testimonies) from the end of the movie and the power of Jesus in people’s lives.”
We will soon be having an informational meeting for people who have shown interest in joining the movement to end human trafficking and sex slavery and want to get involved here in Rome with Schiavitù Mai Più (Slavery No More).
April was an interesting month for us here. My team leaders Sarah and Brian were out of town twice for conferences. I had friends in town for several days for my birthday, took a weekend trip to Naples, and finished my sixth month of language class. As we change gears going into a new month, I’m really looking forward to starting a more regular ministry to the victims of trafficking in our city. Please continue to pray for this growing movement and spread the word.