Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Red Light District

She was not even 8 years old when they came for her. Mom left and dad was always out drowning his cares with drinks. She was helpless. They abused her and left. Then they came again, so she ran away. Out on the street she was held at knife point. They said, "sleep with me or I'll kill you." After one man had used her he told her she should end her life. He gave her a knife and sent her off. She almost killed herself, but someone saw and stopped her. One girl said, "you are already doing this for free, so let me show you how to make some money at it." With no place to stay, she tried to sell herself out on the street. Still, she was so young that many took advantage of her.

.................................................................................................................................................................................................


The stench of urine and waste filled my nostrils and I knew we were getting close. My heart beat with anticipation. With tears and intensity we had prayed for a spirit of freedom for this night. Now all of our prayers had come to fruition and we were in the Red Light District. "Oh God, love through me tonight! Love through me tonight!" was my soul's desperate plea. At last the small white van pulled to the side of the road.

It was time. 


It is well known that this place is dangerous. To many our presence is not a welcome thing. The people know why we are there and that our goal is freedom for the girls. A fight even broke out at one point, but I felt no fear. My focus was on the girls. They were not what I expected...they seemed...normal. They were far from what you would think. We smiled and shook their hands. Some were friendly and smiled back. Others adverted their eyes when we looked at them. Some even followed us around and asked questions. Earlier the girls in the safe homes had passed out fliers for a party a few days later. There they'd have the opportunity to hear about Christ and about freedom. I prayed they would come. I wanted to tell them how much Jesus loved them! The language barrier weighed heavy on me, but I prayed that the love of Christ might know no bounds in us. I pray that our weakness was His strength in that dark place.




I was struck by the vastness of the Red Light District. We walked several streets, but only saw only a small portion. So many girls can stay in business because of the amount of traffic that comes through. It costs next to nothing to get a girl for a while, so lots of men do. I noticed men walking by with a smirks of satisfaction on their faces as they pulled their girl for the night close. The girls wore shame around them like a cloak. It broke my heart. Children roamed the streets, even so late at night. They have no choice. It's either the streets or getting shoved under the bed of the tiny little room they call home. Loud, pounding music blared from the rooms of some. Most of them had posters up of other women, as if the girls are merely the object and the attention is elsewhere. 



Tears filled my eyes as we pulled away. I saw it. I walked through it. I cannot forget it now. These girls will forever have a piece of my heart. I have seen those who are under oppression. I touched them and they touched me. I wish I could take you with me to see it. I wish I could adequately describe their faces, their eyes. You would cry. You would hurt for them. You wouldn't be able to pretend they don't exist anymore. You would have to do something to help.

.................................................................................................................................................................................................

She was 11 years old when they rescued her. Trauma and abuse was all she had know for 4 years...4 years of her childhood. She had been through so much that she didn't speak to anyone for almost 2 years. To cope her mind completely shut off parts of her memory. Finally, she started interacting with the house mother and the other girls at the safe home. Then she started to remember. Coping was hard, but she finally started to develop and bloom. Now she stood telling us her story with tears. Betty, the translator had to take over mid-way through because she couldn't finnish. Still, the message was clear...


There is freedom.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.



30 comments:

Breeann said...

Oh, this breaks my heart. These poor girls...I'm so glad you are fighting for them. xoxo

Charissa Steyn said...

Wow this really touched my heart...thank you for sharing. I can tell God is doing so much in you in this time. Also, LOVE the photos of you and your man from your road trip! So stunning!!

Jennifer Rod said...

oh jen this is so beautiful. it breaks my heart but at the same time it encourages me and it moves me. makes my complaints and sorrows seem so small and reminds me that i have to do something, so many are hurting and broken and i need to stop my selfishness and do something.
thank you for going and for being there and for hurting. you've moved me to do the same.

blessings!

Kirsten said...

Thank you for sharing this post!!! I don't know if you've ever heard of The Girl Effect (you can check it out on my blog http://walk-in-our-shoes.blogspot.com/p/girl-effect.html). Please check it out. It is so encouraging to know that there are people out there like you...bringing a voice and awareness to these girls.

b said...

Sweet, Jen. You described it so well. It's so hard to put words to an experience like this. I' m so glad I had the opportunity to be there with you.

b
www.aneverydayaroma.blogspot.com

Leslie said...

You're writing gave me goosebumps. Thank you for advocating for these girls!

Ashlee said...

This is heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Sarah Kate said...

It hurts to read stories like these. It makes me want to drive up to my daughter's school and hug her as hard as I can while thanking God this was not the situation she was born into.

But the reality is, there are more girls born into this than we even realize. What you did, going out there to show your support to them and tell them about Christ is such a good thing. If you're able to help even one, then it's all completely worth it.

Emily w/Amazing Grapes said...

I truly can't imagine that life as an 8 year old or even younger. With no choice but to be thrown into it.

It would break my heart too if I saw this, just reading it is hard.
Emily at Amazing Grapes

EMily said...

My heart breaks for them! May God do a mighty, might work there!

Stephanie said...

This is truly unbelievable and heartbreaking. What a great message of hope you brought.

Kaleigh Michelle said...

This is amazing. You have done a wonderful thing! Good for you!

Natalie @ NS Pottery said...

Ugh, I don't even think I have words after this. It's unbelievable that this kind of thing happens.

annie said...

Oh, Jennifer, this is just absolutely heart-breaking. Ever since seeing "Born into Brothels," I've been more aware that situations like this exist -- it is hard to remember when we feel so removed from it, but the truth is: this ugliness exists even close to home. Thank you for bringing awareness. May we find ways to be His hands and feet to these precious ones.

Rolled Up Pretty said...

This is crazy, I didn't picture the Red Light District looking like this! This is so sad... Who did you go there with? Where is the Red Light District? Thanks for linking this up to my blog. Very sad but so important to know about!

Mckenzie Jean Lund said...

Wow, what a story. Thank you so much for sharing. It can be so easy to forget what else goes on in this world.

Janelle said...

Oh MY gosh I feels sick to my stomach... i what to fix it NOW! I can't believe that! You are incredible for going and so brave. How horrible....thank you for sharing I will keep these women/girls in my prayers....wish I could do so much more! I want to get them and take them all home with me.

Courtney B said...

Wow. Jennifer.... what an experience you had! You are so BRAVE!
These poor girls :( My heart is breaking! Thank you for educating me a little bit by posting this!

Annie said...

Oh, Jen. I can't imagine how hard this post must have been to write. I can't imagine what the experience must have been like to live. Thank for having the courage to relive this experience so that we could know, that we could have the opportunity to step forward and do something about it.

a girl with a smile said...

I had tears in my eyes with this post...

Jessica said...

This is heartbreaking. Praise God for freedom through the blood of Jesus Christ! There is no hope without Christ but with Christ there is hope for the future!

monster cakes said...

This rocked me to my core. Thank you for sharing. And thank you for stepping out of your comfort zone to spread Christ's love. I think God wanted me to see this today, and I don't know if I will ever forget the feeling I have right now. I must do more. I must.

Gail @ Sophisticated Steps said...

I am sickened. My daughter is 8. It is unthinkable what these GIRLS, little girls go through. Sin is a very ugly thing.

The Holy Spirit was your translator that night. The Lord is universal. :) I prayed for you endlessly while you were there. You may not get to see the effect you had, but the seeds were planted and the Lord can make them grow.

Thanks for sharing.

Amylou said...

my heart cried through this entire post.
I am changed.

el.vi. said...

Amen!
Gosh I wish I could give them all a hug..

Laura said...

keep it up. what your doing is awesome. love it. I don't know what else to say. I'm still young, only 13, I can't imagine. They, along with you are in my prayers!

Angi said...

The heartbreak is hard to put into words and hard to explain unless you've seen it. I walked very similar streets in Cambodia and held the hands of girls sold by their own parents.

Your writing beautifully and emotionally describes the terror and yet still shows the hope of Jesus.

So glad you shared this.

Rebecca at Cotton+Wood said...

Wow. Absolutely heart-breaking.

AnaLisa said...

Where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. Thank you that you went. Thank you that you said, "YES" to God. Praying for those ladies. xx, AnaLisa

Jamie - Snow In December said...

I still can't even imagine... Thank you for sharing your stories so we are aware.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails