Monday, October 22, 2007


An hour away from Mumbai, we are sitting in a safe house among 23 young girls who are victims of sex slavery and child prostitution. Most of them have been rescued by the IJM team and brought here as part of their After Care Program. These are children from ages 13 to 17. These are children and someone decided that they could profit off their young bodies. It is unthinkable, sitting here with them, hearing their favorite colors: purple, blue, yellow, to imagine anyone would subject them to such horror. They are small and shy-- but they burst out laughing when David introduces himself as "David who likes to dance like a Bollywood dancer." The girls then dance Bollywood style for us as we clap along. David then dances for them, Bollywood style, and it's so horrendous we have to laugh. Soon we are all dancing. Juliette shows them the electric slide. Erin is taught some elaborate moves. Monika is grabbed into a tango. Our host shows the girls how to 1,2,3 HOP! and they all follow her around the room 1,2,3 hopping following her feet and repeating after her-- the picture of simple innocence, the way it should be. I wish we could post pictures of their faces and beaming eyes, but we can't post pictures of them, for their protection.

Look around the room: When Christ speaks of the Harvest, this is it. When he speaks of Treasures in Heaven, this is it. Seeing these faces, these smiling saved girls, one can feel God's presence like never before. Remove your sandals, for you are standing on Holy Ground. A year ago, they were being used for sex, raped, and living in horror, and now they are hopping around the room with us--that is truly God at work. We gather in circles and make puffy arts and crafts things that turn out looking like silly Muppets--we create small joy from popsicle sticks and googly eyes. We break into small circles and answer questions about where we come from, if we are married. Aside from a few, most of the girls tell us that they do not want to be married when they grow up. It is easy to understand why.

Our prayers are translated for them. And they give us hankerchiefs which they have hand sewn flowery designs into. Hugs, tears, and goodbyes are exchanged. Kirsten buys an abudance of necklaces and baby dresses that the girls have made for us to sell at home. Chai is drank and they give us crackers (don't take it with your left hand!) and soon it's time to go. We walk to the bus, waving singing goodbye. It was only three hours, but we vow to make this a lifetime relationship with this house and these girls-- not just a passing hello. In Kirsten's hotel room, we processed our heavy day and responded with tears for witnessing God at work, joy at having been able to spend time with such survivors, expressed emotions of confusion and disdain for their predators, but above all, some hope was there. For their future. For our work. For His Work. Please pray for them. It's not easy for three women to care for a house full of teenage girls, no matter where you are.



Marianne Savell said...

Thank you for your heartfelt stories and for letting us participate in your experiences. Thoughts, prayers and admiration for you all.

~sarah said...

God is so good. And I'm so glad you are where you are right this minute.

Maybe someday we can start a penpal type program with these lovely girls and others who are recovering. We can all learn from and encourage one another I'm sure!

Steph Furr said...

God has laid you on my heart every single day since you began your journey. I am so thankful for reading these blogs, for as this trip is transforming your lives mine is also being changed. Thank you for giving those of us who can't be there a vision of this life changing experience, it is such a blessing to me. Continually in prayer for you. God Bless.