Friday, March 25, 2011

modern day slavery

As we walked the streets of the red light district, I understood all too well our instructions, "Stay close and don't look anyone in the eye."  The craziness and despair that filled the streets was overwhelming...and then we entered the brothel.  The dark and narrow stairwell led us to the top floor where we were greeted by young, beautiful girls who were shy but happy we were there.

in the doorway b&w

It was hard to imagine that these girls led a prostitute life.  However, condoms on the bed, rows of locked money boxes, and girls leaving our little gathering and only returning 15 minutes later, after a customer was satisfied, snapped me into their reality.

money boxes2

A western mind can't fathom their stories.  A young girl sent there to earn money to pay for her sister's wedding.  A Christian woman who was sold something like 14 years ago, so she could repay a debt that keeps growing with interest.  Escape is not even possible as that means death will find her.

praying1 

Most, if not all, of these girls did not choose to be here.  They are trapped in this modern day slavery.  Entertaining 6-7 customers an evening and some that trickle in during the day, only earning $1 - $2 a customer, enslaves them to this life they didn't choose.

henna hand2

We shared the simple but powerful message of Jesus and I believe God used it to speak His love to them.  God's heart breaks over their pain.  As we said goodbye, I hugged one of the girls.  She returned my affection with a kiss on the neck.  Yes, I believe hearts were touched in some supernatural way.

talking & praying
this photo by kelly

Pray for these girls and the many more out there.  Pray that this modern day slavery would be defeated and these girls set free, never returning to this life again.

8 comments :

junglewife said...

I just can't imagine. I don't even know how you can be there, hearing their stories and seeing where they live. My heart would just be overwhelmed for them, I am sure yours is too. Thank you for sharing your stories and your pictures.

blissful_e said...

"...repay a debt that keeps growing with interest." Just like the debt of sin we could never repay. Only God can break these bonds!

Jennifer @ Patchwork Collaborative said...

so heartbreaking, and so beautiful to be able to tell their stories. so glad you could go and be there.

MaryAnne said...

So devastating. Is the group you are traveling with able to help any of them get out?

TAMI said...

Thank you for your ministry. Praying tonight.

Lindsey V said...

Wow! This breaks my heart. Man...I really want to check out and learn more about the ministry that you are working with.

Karen said...

These are my favorite pictures of your trip so far. Jen, you are bringing the reality of sex-trafficing into our reality through your creative lens. Undeniable. Powerful.

Kortney said...

I just can't imagine! They are so beautiful and still smiling as if this is what life is supposed to be like! My heart aches for them!

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