In Europe, we support a team that regularly vists brothels to build relationships with the women, and sometimes the men, who work there. This is a story that one of our workers shared with us recently:
'The bouncer did not want to let us in, but one of the girls who knew us begged him to open the gate. “They are good people. They bring us gifts and condoms,” she said.
'They appreciate your gifts'
The lady in charge wanted us to stay longer. She served us drinks and ushered us to a corner table. “The girls are different when you are here. They smile and appreciate your gifts, the respect, the attention and love you show.”
Several young ladies came one by one to sit with us. They told us their stories of selling their bodies on the streets of European cities.
Two other ones shared about the horrible situation in one country, where there is little government control of the sex industry, and how they are still suffering trauma from the effects of working there for a while.
Then we met Ricky* whose story surpassed them all. She grew up with a very violent father. She had to leave school after six years to help with her younger siblings at home. They spent time in shelters. Now her dad is in jail. She has no education and selling her body is the only way she knows how to care for her three-year-old son. Our hearts went out to this 23-year-old lady who had such a difficult start in life and has suffered so much from a very young age. May God open a door to freedom for her!
In another town we met 93 women and five bouncers/bar men in nine brothels. They know us by now and the doors are wide open. In one of the night clubs the bar man was very happy to see us. I went to the bar to talk to him while my colleagues talked to the ladies.
“This is my last night here”, he said. “I am being so exploited and have been working nonstop in this unhealthy environment for hours and hours. I’ve had it. I will leave this place and become a waiter in a restaurant. It will be a simpler life-style but much better." Then he held up a calendar called 'Life' which we had given him. “This fits exactly, that is what I need, Life, a new beginning, thank you.”
We had come at just at the right time to bring this man hope in the form of this postcard calendar with 12 Bible verses, one for each month. It is such a privilege that we could give him a blessing for his new start in life.'
Your support will help us reach more women in need of a new beginning in life. It costs just $150 to set one woman or child on the path to freedom but any gift you give will make a difference. Thank you!