Friday, February 21, 2014
My Friend, A Story of One Who Made It Out
It was a little over a year ago that I met her through a mutual friend. She invited us into her room with a mixture of excitement and perhaps a little apprehension. As we talked and laughed all reluctance melted away. She shared pictures of happy times and we told her about our families sharing our own pictures. She enthusiastically showed her favorite stuffed animals and small trinkets. It was so much like sitting in my daughters room, OK I am not telling the truth, her room was spotless and you can barely see the floor in Darling Daughter's room.
We told our salvation stories and how Jesus provided hope. She listened intently with the look of a small lost child. We let her know that there were people waiting to help her if she decided to leave the house she lived in, people that wanted to give her a new home and a new start. She said that she wanted the chance at a new life but she had been sick for a few days and would be going to a doctor soon. Praying with her before we left that not only would she be healed, but she would have courage and strength in the days ahead. We hugged her goodbye and promised to continue to pray for her and return in a year to see her again.
Soon after we returned to our homes we got word that she did indeed leave the house where we visited her and moved in with people who cared for her and tried to teach her a different way of living. It was not an easy transition, she had never known anything other than the life she chose to leave. The people that cared for her shared Christ and His saving grace. She accepted the salvation that God offered through a personal relationship with Jesus.
The days that followed were not easy, her health continued to deteriorate , but she knew peace and hope for the first time in her young life and spoke of returning to the house she left to share her new found faith, although she never got the opportunity. Her new friends had grown to love her and cared for her in their home for as long as they could before she was finally moved to a government run hospital.
When our team returned to India this time, they didn't get to keep their promise of visiting her in a new home. You see she died in the hospital of AIDS. But she did get to share her new found faith when two people she used to live with came to see her, her madam and her "husband" (a reference to a pimp). You see she was a sex worker, she had been trafficked most of her life, but she died a new person, knowing not only the true love of others but the pure love of a Savior.
Her story has been on my heart for a while, but I was hesitant to share because I didn't want to exploit the sweet girl who had been exploited most if not all of her life. But then I realized that she deserved to have her story told. It would not be exploiting her, but sharing how her life ended in victory.
I am thankful for the chance to have met her, knowing how hard it must have been to leave the known, no matter how horrible, for the unknown. Yet she did it! I am not sure how old she was, certainly no more than seventeen or eighteen, but my heart tells me much younger. And although I did not get to see her again on this earth, I will certainly spend eternity with my new sister in Christ.
Sex traffiking is an ugly reality that has only recently started to gain public attention. Men, women and children are sold into sexual bondage and have very little hope of escaping. We may think this is a third world problem but it is right here in the United States. Pray for these people, get involved through your local church and make a difference. (A related article Red Light, Green Light; although many similarities, we work with our local church, HAFBC through IMB missionaries in an area of India that we have adopted, I am unable to identify either for the safety of this ministry.)
Linking with: Amaze Me Monday; Modest Mom Blog