This week has been the toughest so far in the fellowship. I find myself physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally exhausted at the end of it. This week was week 2 of the NFS Academy, the focus this time on aftercare. I was really internally resistant to attending, knowing the material covered would be incredibly tough to hear and process. I was right, it was incredibly tough, but when I least expected it -came moments of significant joy.
The Academy was led by Nola Brantley, the Founder and Executive Director of MISSSEY, and organisation here in the Bay Area who work with victims of CSEC – the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. Nola shared throughout the week from her own experiences as well as the experiences of her girls and brought a whole new level of understanding of what domestic trafficking can look like here in the USA. I think everyone who attended gain a huge amount from the experience and took home tangible action steps for their own context.
I also began the debriefing process with the staff after global forum this week. It’s been really interesting and informative to get different perspectives from the staff and fellows. It’s highlighted to me once more, the importance of follow up with a shared experience like this. Each person can contribute their unique perspective and help to make next year’s global forum an even greater success.
I also got to appreciate the importance of good friends this week. Knowing I was having a really emotional week, my friend David planned a great day in the city on Saturday to cheer me up. One of the highlights for me was getting to see the post-impressionist exhibition at the de Young Museum, and standing in front of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night. There’s something about that painting that gives me goosebumps.
It’s also been a big week for the SF Giants as they attempt to take the World Series title. It’s been great to be in a city so energized by their sport and team. Go giants!
Thank you all once again for your emails, prayers, thoughts and support. I love hearing from each of you and hearing about what is going on in your world. If you would like to contribute financially to my time here, you can do that through this website ttps:/nfs.webconnex.com/giving/rebeccalowe