The Kelsey Family
Debbie and Jim assist the Evangelical Christian Baptist Union of Italy in ministry to English-speaking immigrant, particularly African, congregations. This includes local church ministry and theological and ministerial training of leaders. They work to welcome new arrivals to Italy who are seeking a better life for themselves and their families. They also work with the immigrant churches and train immigrant pastors to strengthen their fellowships and broaden their ministries. They help in training Italian congregations in multicultural matters and missions. Debbie also ministers to young women at-risk or victimized by human trafficking and prostitution.
Debbie writes: Joann came to Padua to stay with friends for Easter. They are leaders in a church with whom we work. Realizing that something was not right about Joann’s situation, they asked her about it and she opened up to them. They are giving her a safe place to stay until we can find some options for her.
The fact that Joann is emotionally strong enough to expose as much as she has about her situation is a good sign. She must be a hard egg to crack! Even with her limited understanding of God and God’s image within her, she knows that no human being should have to sell herself. Although she is timid and often looks at her feet while we talk, there are signs of new life in her: Yesterday, she ran down the street to meet me with a big smile on her face when I needed help finding the way to the family’s house again.
We have been in touch with three different programs that might offer some long-term assistance to Joann. But it is virtually impossible for her to get residency documents without her telling her whole story. Hopefully, soon she will have some fresh new eggs—new hope and dreams-- to put in a basket of new life.
In a time when many of us could be tempted to pout over our cracked nest eggs, God opens new doors and challenges us to invest in new life. It is a daily choice to participate in the abundant life God has for us and wants us to share with women like Joann.
- Pray for JoAnn and many women like her in Italy who are being freed from bondage.
- Pray for Debbie and Jim as they work with churches reaching out to the growing and exploited immigrant community in Italy.
- Pray also for the Kelsey’s sons: Luke (14) and Ben (12).