Anna*, one of our brothel outreach workers in Eastern Europe, shares about a recent visit to a brothel and how she and her team are reaching out to some of the broken and desperate young women there
“When we entered the brothel, ladies began waving at us and calling out greetings to us; the doorman mistook us for ladies working in the brothel. Their conduct was very warm, friendly and familiar... until we explained to them why we were there. Immediately the doormen became more formal and called the manager; he knows us well and let us right in!
Ava*, a Romanian/Italian woman that I know very well waved us over; we went to sit with her and started chatting. We talked about her family. She is very close to her mother, even though her mother encourages her to have a relationship with a man that she recently broke up with, a man who I believe is her pimp.
Ava told me that she plans to meet her ‘ex-boyfriend’ in two weeks’ time. I asked her (indirectly) if she thought he might try to persuade her to get back together and whether she thought she would be able to resist his charm if they were face-to-face.
Hiding the truth
She told me she knows it is not a good idea to meet him but that she does not want to disappoint her mother. She has not told her mom everything that he has done to her (he has physically and verbally abused her), and she told me that she has kept the truth secret from her mother.
During our conversation she passed pills to another Romanian lady. The security guard spotted this and told her there are no drugs allowed in the brothel. She insisted that they were headache tablets. When they were not looking she passed the pill to the Romanian lady who quickly took it.
Bad customers and drugs
Then Ava told me that she is not feeling very good, that she has had some bad customers; ladies regularly get beaten and customers do things that are very dehumanizing, both physically and verbally. I think the ladies take pills (which are technically prohibited by most of the brothels) to cope with the physical and emotional pain of what they do.
I was not very comfortable that pills were being passed around while I was talking with her. At the same time, I did not want her to feel that I am judging or accusing her. The lady she passed the pill to has only been in prostitution three days and was clearly both uncomfortable and scared.
Knowing the right words
Please pray for us to know what words to say to share the truth of the gospel with the ladies, and for open hearts and the right timing. We really want the Holy Spirit to lead us in all we say and do.
Thank you very much for your prayers. Our God is The GREAT and ALMIGHTY God, and nothing is too hard for Him!”
Your support means that we can help more and more women like Ava to have hope and know that they are loved. Thank you!
*Names have been changed to protect identities