There were three women in the room. Two older women with another younger one sitting on the middle cot. One of the older women was the mother of the younger, a daughter who appeared to be in her late 20’s. Not such an inspiring scene till you realize that the two older women were owners of the brothel and the daughter was actively involved in prostitution.
This scene is all too familiar in India. New girls and boys are held captive, kept in a room for up to five years where they are broken down physically, emotionally, mentally, sexually while being used to service the men that come around. After they have been “successfully” transformed, they “graduate” and can parade themselves on the street corner for the pleasure of passersby. Most of them will never recover from this level of trauma.
By now, perhaps alarm bells and questions are swarming your mind like they did for me. Yet I stood in that doorway with a deep sense of peace and an absence of fear. I did have plenty of questions, however.
• “What kind of mother would willingly put her daughter in the sex industry?”
• “Why do women become brothel owners?”
• “What hope do any of these women have, on this side of heaven?”
• “Did they choose this lifestyle? Did it choose them?”
On and on, went my questions, my concern, my wonderings and then eventually the LORD gave me some things that I didn’t see coming. Comfort. He gave me comfort. He also gave me a deeper understanding of my own personal journey.
Are you wondering what we were doing there? Because of the danger that might come to those who serve “those” communities, I am choosing to withhold some important information. However, I can say, we were walking, praying, and encouraging the relationships that are being built in a place where most wouldn’t even dare venture into.
(Note: if you are so inclined, please pray for those who minister in these areas. It isn’t safe and only the power of God can shield them as they choose to obey His call!!)
For years I wondered why I haven’t been more interested in getting involved with organizations and ministries that rescue these poor souls and this recent trip to India helped me begin to unpack this and other questions.
For days after this interaction, I processed my visit to the brothels by playing a comparison game in my mind.
• She – A brothel owner, a woman, a mother, Nepali, from India, sold into the sex industry at the age of 8, trapped in a life of sin and bondage.
• Me – a woman, a mother, Indian, born in the same city where she lives, rescued from my life of sin at the age of 14, living free – spiritually and physically.
Because of all the similarities, I realized that many of the stories we hear about women being rescued from sex trafficking have a face and skin colour that looks like mine. It was troubling, really. These were “my people.” This was “my race”.
What else was God trying to teach me? He was teaching me that my spiritual rescue was the key to my freedom and that’s what makes me different.
I believe He wants me to remind you of the same, and that it is time to stop living in bondage to sin.
This wasn’t a new concept for me because God has been growing in me this joy of living a life of freedom for years now. What it did reveal, however, is that I have many people in my life that continue to live in spiritual/mental/emotional bondage even after admitting that “Christ is their rescue” and they don’t have to. I am not being judgmental. Just pointing out what I see. My heart is breaking for them. For you.
I also discovered why fighting for the freedom of girls and women in my life runs so deep. From parenting a daughter who carried severe trauma deep in her heart, to mentoring and, discipling countless women over the years, God has used Isaiah 61:1-3, as a foundational passage for the work He has called me to – to “…bind up the brokenhearted and set the captives free…” Check it out and see what He might reveal to you.
The life of the mother I visited is forever trapped, as is her daughter’s. Darkness breeds darkness. If they were ever physically rescued from that lifestyle, there would still be a lot of work to help restore them mentally and emotionally to a new way of living. They would need a transformation from the inside out, not just a change in their environment.
I was rescued from my life of sin by Jesus. By putting His life on the cross for mine, I have the privilege of a life of freedom and not imprisonment. It doesn’t mean I don’t sin now, it means I have been forgiven once for all, and can live a life of freedom in Him!! I choose to serve God fully, living for Him and not for myself. It also means that my eternity is secure and will be spent in Heaven with Him when my earthly life ends. If you are a follower of Christ, the same is true for you.
My life is in His hands. My life is not my own, it has been bought with a price. Jesus gave up His life, so I could have mine. My value is in His blood.
The women and girls in the “Red Light District” have been bought with a price too. Theirs happens to be one of monetary value. They continue to wait for a rescue.
You might not be called to physically rescue those caught up in a life of sin but perhaps God is asking you to use the testimony of faith He has given you, how and when He spiritually rescued you, to bring light and life to those around you who might be spiritually trapped. Light breeds light!
Maybe after reading this blog you are realizing that you aren’t living a life that displays Christ as the hope and rescue in your story. John 10:10 says, “The Enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come to give life and give it abundantly”. Are you living the abundant life or are you holding on to old patterns / behaviours that are allowing the Enemy to keep stealing from you?
I encourage you to confess to God and then confide in a trusted friend (or email me) in order to learn how you might be freed from any bondage to sin that will change the trajectory of your story.
“Revelation brings responsibility!” Wise words I heard at a leadership breakfast I recently attended.
Note: If you appreciated reading this, please share it with people in your life. It could be a way we partner together to bring the Light of Christ to others. #TeamWorkMakesTheDreamWork
Thank you for joining me on this journey,
Has Jesus rescued you?
How has your life been transformed because of that rescue?
Where in your story are you realizing that you need spiritual freedom?
What are you willing to do to live your life for God, the Author of your life?
Are you living rescued or trapped?