Rescue, restoration and redemption for trafficked women
This was not how it was supposed to be.
The men who came to her village promised education, employment and a better life for her and her family. She left her home and everything she knew behind, full of hope. Days later, the men took her, abused her and sold her to the highest bidder. She does not know where she is and she cannot contact home, nor can she see any means of escape.
Sadly, this is the story of millions of women and children in our world today. An estimated two million children are bought and sold in the sex trafficking industry each year and slavery is far from an evil of the past, with approximately 25 million Asians being modern–day slaves today.
The problem of sex trafficking and slavery is particularly prominent in South–East Asia. Thousands of girls find themselves standing along crowded streets and working in bars attempting to lure men in and make money. For most, violence, poverty and shame are the only alternatives. These women and girls are seen only as the supply required to meet demand from the streams of tourists passing through. In the eyes of those exploiting them, this is simply good business.
In one South–East Asian nation, we have been privileged to provide support over many years to a team who rescue trafficked women. The team covertly build relationships with women in brothels to encourage and facilitate their rescue, and run safe homes which provide food, shelter and community as the women recover from their ordeals. Through community, counselling and regular Bible study, women are finding freedom physically, financially, emotionally and spiritually!
Any woman entering these homes is guaranteed a place until they are ready to leave, with skills training and employment opportunities on offer to prepare survivors of trafficking for life outside the home. From the new skills obtained, women have been able to work in the hospitality industry, in beauty and hair salons, and even as jewellery designers!
Many also come to faith in Jesus Christ as they explore God’s Word and experience His love through the ministry of the team. We rejoice at stories of women leaving brothels, deciding to receive baptism, and even joining the church choir! These stories of transformation thrill us as women reject the worldview of those who attempted to commodify them, and discover who they are in Christ – loved, forgiven and redeemed!
This work of reaching women is an essential ministry, but our partners are also committed to tackling the problem of sex trafficking at the source. Since many do not know about the dangers of sex work and trafficking in this region, the team give regular presentations around the nation to young girls and students about this evil. Thankfully, despite COVID–19 restrictions, our partners have been able to travel with relative freedom to educate thousands of people through seminars in recent months.
Naturally, the ministry of this team is not without risk. Outreach to women in the bars and brothels is inherently dangerous due to the nature of the industry, but this is also a land acutely opposed to the gospel. Consequently, much of the team’s work must be carried out carefully to avoid unwelcome attention from the authorities. Despite this, the Lord is working to rescue, restore and redeem many, many women. Hallelujah!
Pray with us
• Pray for continued safety for the outreach teams as they connect with women trapped in the sex industry.
• Ask the Lord to grant them wisdom as they build relationships and encourage women to come to the safe homes.
• Pray that more women would find rescue and healing from past trauma.
• Ask the Lord to continue to bless this ministry and shield it from unwelcome attention.
• Pray that we will see many more women rescued, restored and redeemed through Jesus Christ!