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At the end of September we were privileged to welcome this group to the “Treasures and Trauma” biannual @alleanzatesoriraggianti conference we hosted in Bologna. We were 50+ individuals gathered together from 14 different cities across Italy representing 15 different ministries!

We now have 16 dedicated members of ATR and which exists to equip, empower and unite them and other anti-trafficking advocates serving treasures in Italy to the glory of God.

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When you arrived as an attendee on the day conference you were greeted by my assistant at the registration table (and others not pictured). Karise has only recently joined the ATR team but has already been an incredible blessing and invaluable help to us especially with all the event planning and tasking for this big conference!

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After registration, Erika officially opened the day with a welcome after which we presented about ATR and then had a special speaker, Dr. Katherine Welch, share about “Trauma and the Brain” and “How to Care for the Broken While Staying Whole”. Katherine was also a huge blessing and encouragement to Erika and has become a respected mentor.

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Jon brought some creative elements to the conference that took it to the next level. He designed professional quality booklets for each participant (full of program and ATR info) which matched the theme he used with all the promo materials such as this video he created depicting the conference theme; how trauma affects the treasures (victims of trafficking) and how we can be part of the restoration process God wants for them.

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Then towards the end of the day he led a creative workshop to give attendees a chance to actively process all they had learned. By the end of his session each person had a symbolic heart pendant and we did a group exercise utilizing them as a way to physically connect us all to each other in a display of unity before we ended our time together and each went out their separate ways.

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The event was so much work on our part and required sacrifice from our family, but we are thankful for how we can pair Jon’s creative talents with Erika’s organizational skills to put on excellent events like these that leave a lasting impact. We are also so thankful for some other key individuals who helped so much with things like translation and logistics!

And finally we are so thankful for the way God continues to grow ATR and for the privilege Erika has to lead it with Jon’s invaluable support! Praise God for what He has done and pray for us as we continue to forge ahead!

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