The Global Forum happened. It actually happened. I still haven’t processed all that went on at the Global Forum… I think I’m processing more as I write this post. I’m starting to realise that I process much slower than I thought I did. I’m not sure how much actual detail I’ll give about it in this post.
We got to Juniper Networks on Thursday, did a walk through, and then met up with our international project directors. That was such an amazing time! It was great to get to talk with all of them, and get to know them a little bit. They are some incredible people, and I am blessed to be able to partner with them in some small way.
I had a conversation with Saskia, our European coordinator, on Thursday evening. We were talking, and I told her how much I appreciate all of the hard work that she does each and every day. She stopped me, and said, “No. You make it possible. I know the sacrifice you are making as a fellow, and all the hard work you are putting into the cause. The numbers you see, the data you see reported from the international projects… those aren’t just numbers. They are real people, with kids, parents, siblings. I can tell you the life story of each person I’ve reported about. You are making a difference. Thank you for everything you do. You make all of that possible.”
I was blown away. Saskia, one of the people who are the hands and feet of the abolitionist movement, who has trained the police in South Africa, has rescued women from all countries out of brothels in South Africa and Amsterdam, SHE was thanking me? The work I do is so menial comparatively. This sense of gratitude, from both ends of the movement towards each other (headquarters staff and international project directors) was palpable. This sense of gratitude and positive energy was a common theme amongst the NFS staff throughout the Global Forum, as well.
Also, I got to see most of the CAN directors whom I have gotten to know through email and phone calls the past few months, which was soooooooo great! I have been looking forward to connecting with them since I started working on the CAN platform! I wish we had more time together! One CAN director I have been so eager to see was Eddie Byun, director of NFS Korea. He is a man I am truly honored to call my friend, pastor, co-laborer, and fellow abolitionist. I seriously had been looking forward to spending a little time with Pastor Eddie, and my friend/his assistant Estella, and another friend, Nanci, for months. We had sushi, did a little shopping, and just talked. Seeing these good friends was so very much needed and encouraging.
I think I’ll end it here. There’s so much more to say, but I think I need to process it a bit more. The connections made at the Global Forum are invaluable, and I want to frame them in the proper manor. If you missed the Global Forum, you missed an amazing time. So amazing, I don’t even have words for it yet…. stay tuned for next week…. maybe I’ll have words then.