To Show His Love
Feb 19, 2023 | by The Fellowship
More than a decade ago, a sermon series entitled AWAKE enlightened our church about the forces of evil operating in our communities. The sermons challenged us to ask God what we could do to make a difference. One of these evils is human trafficking and the Lord led me to an organization that ministers to those who by choice or involuntarily are caught up in it. Everything about this outreach is covered in prayer.
I began by attending monthly meetings of the organization to learn about their activities. Before long, I started going to brothels (always with at least one other) to let the women working there know that they are not forgotten, to engage them in conversation to show them others care, and to pray with them. Because we are non-threatening, there is no problem in accessing those who live and work in brothels.
When I first began these visits, many of the women spoke English, so we could easily communicate. But there is a different reality today. The majority are from China and some from Vietnam and do not speak English. Here illegally, many come voluntarily filled with hope that they will be able to seek political asylum and stay in the United States.
My current activities revolve around street ministry and a Safe House. For the street ministry, I go with a group two Saturday nights a month from 7-10 p.m. to an area where prostitution is rampant. We set up a table and offer snacks and something to drink, like hot chocolate on cold nights. The women working the streets know we are there to talk and pray with any who seek it. Other organizations are also out there to minister to these women. It is well known that many of them who start out solo frequently fall into the grips of human traffickers where they become victims working multiple hours per day.
As they ply their trade, these women typically walk up and down the streets while cars, with the front passenger window down, slowly drive around looking them over. The drivers engage those who interest them in conversation, and it escalates from there.
During 2022, there were three women in the area where we center our outreach who were violently murdered. Immediately after one of those incidents, I questioned some of the women as to why they were still out there working. Their response was simply, “We have to pay our bills.” It is so sad that they see this as their only option. Additionally, many are drawn into this life for the excitement and the ease of making money.
For some of them, it is like an addiction. Unbelievably, some bring their children and leave them in their car while they are soliciting. Because of the dangers in the area, it is hard to fathom that they would take that risk. But this is their reality.
We are welcomed by the women and get lots of interaction with them. Some we see more than once and at other times, all the faces are new. During the time frame we are there, most are in their 30’s and 40’s. I am told that as the hour gets later, younger women appear on the scene. Occasionally we even get pimps who come to ask for prayer.
I always pray for the Lord to use me to show His love. On a recent Saturday night, I met two young women who were both pregnant and still pursuing this livelihood. One of them was showing and appeared to be approximately 5-6 months along. She has had no prenatal care. The other is only 19 years old, and her pregnancy is in the early stages. She is currently scheduled for an ultrasound at Planned Parenthood. This young lady believes the baby’s daddy will want her to have an abortion. However, she wants to keep the baby. I prayed with and encouraged her to hang on to that determination since it is a decision that will affect the rest of her life. Only she can stand strong to save her baby’s life. I am so glad for the Pregnancy Help Center and other resources that make it possible for them to get the help they need.
What I find truly heartbreaking is that there will be no family surrounding either of these young women when the babies are born. There will be no baby showers or celebrations. They will be on their own to raise and care for these new lives. But the Lord can answer our prayers and make a way.
Another organization has a Safe House to enable those who want to leave this lifestyle. It can accommodate eight women at a time and provides an 18–24-month program with counseling and preparation to earn a living in a way that is socially accepted. I also volunteer there.
The Lord has blessed me with this opportunity to make a difference in our world. Often considered the dregs of society, these women are loved by our Lord. It is a privilege to love on them as He would and point them to Him,
"Then the King will answer, 'I tell you the truth,
anything you did for even the least of my people here, you also did for me.'”