And does God approve? “It is His idea and He is fully on board!” said Major Margaret Stafford, national coordinator of the Salvation Army’s Anti Human Trafficking Desk.
Through divine inspiration and extraordinary favour the Salvation Army will have a free, high profile opportunity to share its anti-trafficking message throughout the event at the Nasrec Expo Centre, Johannesburg from September 25 to 29.
“We believe emphatically that God birthed the idea of going to Sexpo in our hearts, so we didn’t expect any opposition but we were blown away by the absolute wide open arms of welcome from the organisers. We didn’t expect that but we knew that God would go ahead of us and that if it was His will He would open the doors. Well, He flew them open! It was amazing!” said Stafford.
Positive about message
She said after hearing that exhibition stands at Sexpo cost
R60 000, the Salvation Army decided they would somehow raise the money. But when their media house approached the Sexpo organisers with their proposal they were so positive about their message that they said they would give them a prime position at the entrance to the exhibition and they would only charge them R12 000.
“Then another donor stepped up and said I’ll give you R12 000. So it is costing us absolutely nothing,” she said
The favour continues. Durex condoms have a lounge at Sexpo and have given the Salvation Army an hour slot at lunchtime each day to present their message. Stafford says they will make full use of the offer with an industrial theatre presentation and talks by speakers including Marcel van der Watt, a university lecturer, former police detective, and Gateway News columnist; and Melanie Dukakis, a photojournalist and human rights documentary photographer. Some porn stars at the event who are strongly opposed to human trafficking want to support the Salvation Army’s message. Other donors are sponsoring tables and exhibition material. And others may help with providing ‘Jesus Loves Porn Star’ New Testaments, bracelets with the Human Trafficking Helpline number, and other giveaway items.
God’s timing in the battle against the evil of human trafficking is also evident in this week’s great news that President Zuma has signed the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill into law, and that the weekend of Sexpo will take place at a time when the Salvation Army International has called its members throughout the world to pray and fast for victims of sex trafficking, she said.
“We only do what we do because we love Jesus and we do these strange things like going to Sexpo because we believe that Jesus is part of everybody’s life. You can try and shut Him out but ultimately you cannot,” said Stafford.
“We are not going in [to Sexpo] and saying ‘Well done, this is brilliant. We are saying ‘Here is an alternative lifestyle for you which may work better. Sex is God’s idea, not man’s idea. The devil perverted it. We are going to be a good voice there.”
Stafford says that the Salvation Army’s exhibition will take visitors through an intense experience that will confront all of their senses with anti-human trafficking information.
“As you come out there will be a table with people willing to talk to you about what you just experienced – a kind of a debriefing. There will be some things to take away from the stand, and we want to set up a prayer booth so that if you need prayer there will be people to come alongside you.”