by Katie Gruchow
“Will you come to my neighborhood and pray?” Jasmine asked.
Jasmine is a young woman who works at the children’s home where we have been staying. She also wanted us to share a testimony, sing some songs and give a message to a group of prostitutes.
“Sure,” we said, thinking about the open spaces in our schedule over the next couple of days. “When?”
“Right now. Let’s go.”
So at 3:30 in the afternoon, the five girls on our team climbed into a van with Priyanka, Pramod, Jasmine and Jasmine’s small son, Pritam. All our preparations would have to be done on the hour-long drive there.
As we drove, Jen prayed, “God, would you show us who should give the message today.”
The lucky one – yours truly!
With only a short time left, I struggled to prepare a message in the noisy van. As I prayed, I felt that God gave me a message for the ladies – that God loves them and rejoices over them (Zeph. 3:17). I also planned to share the story of Jesus speaking with the Samaritan lady at the well.
We pulled onto a gravel side-road behind some high-rise apartments and saw a row of very small, poor homes. The van lurched to a halt in front of Jasmine’s dad’s house (where we would hold the meeting). Pritam jumped out and ran to his grandpa.
The home was one room, about fifteen feet square. Steel pots, plates and cups lined a shelf along the wall. I couldn’t believe that three people lived in so small a space. But then I remembered the people living under tarps by the railway station. I realized Jasmine’s family were the fortunate ones.
“Please sit.” Jasmine’s sister ushered us to the bed. “I will bring you some coffee.”
After coffee, we slipped out a side door and sat on mats on the ground for the meeting. Several prostitutes listened as we sang our songs and as Hattie and I spoke.
As I shared, I kept noticing one lady in particular. She sat there on the mat with her legs curled beneath her, holding her tiny baby girl. She soaked in every word that I spoke.
Afterwards she introduced herself and shared some of her story.
“So many of us women don’t want to be here,” Asha said. “We were forced to work here and now we have nowhere else to go. We must keep on working, or our children will starve. I wish I could leave and work at the children’s home like Jasmine.”
My heart broke. How could so many women be enslaved?
God needs many more workers to come here and set these women free – physically, mentally and spiritually.