Sometimes my blog just oozes my process. The emotional journey as I navigate my through war zones and brothels…. : )
The mattress was so badly stained you couldn’t tell it’s original color from green, to yellow to some shade of white or cream.
I sat on the edge of the bed with one of my dear girls from Thursday Club. (Our once a week family group with “vulnerable girls”)
A room at the end of a long hall in a long building with many other rooms just like it.
It hasn’t a door and is used also as a kitchen, discolored black from charcoal.
“Do you still bring men back here?”
She looks down, then begins a story of a man who came looking to satisfy his afternoon craving.
I think the hardest thing about working in a brothel is you don’t have to look far to find a girl, not a woman, but a sweet young child selling herself for sex.
Their lives are complicated and it seems almost more cultural than anything else. Selling yourself is just “what you do”. Either that or go hungry. I find it hurts my heart more and more the closer I get to each child.
Every week we do house visits. The girls LOVE this. Each time we step foot in their neighborhood, they literally drop what they’re doing mid-step and RUN. “Sandra has come! Sandra has come!”
It’s become both the high and low of my week.
I could go on about their stories. Their names. Their barely double digit ages…
But let’s talk instead of their dreams. Their goals. Their ambitions!
One of our girls stepped on a nail last month, and with no one to take her to the hospital, I held her close and told her stories while she got a series of tetanus shots. Asking her questions and talking about traveling and puppies and anything I could think of to distract her mind, and between the squeezes and very deep breaths, we spoke about her nights.
“I haven’t gone out in while”
“Really? Why not??”
“Ever since we all started meeting together, I saw I had hope for my future.”
“One day- I will be a teacher.”
Sometimes it feels so simple to get these girls out of a life of rape.
Education. Sponsorship. Love. A family. Someone who believes in them.
And another: “One day- I will be a doctor”
It’s been a year, almost to the day, that we rescued our first girls from forced prostitution.
I loved what one of those girls said as she dreamt for her future:
“I want to go to the streets and rescue girls with stories like mine. And then have a home to take them to”
It’s so easy, with a flip side of the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do. It takes patience and grace, it takes stopping for the hurting one before you. It takes time and a family. A community, both local and abroad, STANDING together for those trapped in a life of sexual slavery.
It takes love in action.
Right now we’re trying to figure out sponsorship. Yes, we’re opening Bella House to physically rescue some of the girls, but honestly- there are so many.
And for some, by simply sending a girl to school and committing her to our family- that’s all she needs to find the courage to beat the cycle.
So though we’ll have a “sponsorship program” we’re not just “sponsoring girls,” We’re empowering them to escape a life of rape.
Because no girl dreams to just be some man’s release.
Keep watching for your chance to sponsor one of our girls!! We’re super excited to see our girls safe and protected and growing in hope for their hearts.
Half-way through “Rescue Month” and my team is fully moved into Bella House! Everyday we’re closer to rescuing girls and filling our home!! (Though we don’t have a single chair to sit on yet….haha. It’s coming along!) Please be praying as we locate and choose the first girls to move in!