By David, DTS Student
The atmosphere is somber as we walk along the old, soft, wooden bridge to the 1905 Restaurant. Trees border both sides of the bridge, and our steps sink gently into the slightly decomposed wood. The gentle yellow house of the restaurant slides into view, its veranda embracing the outside of the home with chairs and tables placed carefully around the porch.
The day of our justice tour is a sunny and lively one, a curious contrast to the nature of our tour. The Justice Tour hosted by Five14 in Kathmandu takes our team to many key locations in the city related to the prostitution of trafficked women. The 1905 Restaurant was originally a building that housed the concubines of the Nepalese Royalty. Even now, prostitution still takes place in the upper floors in an attempt to keep the restaurant afloat.
We are praying for many different places on our justice tour. We are praying for Parliament and the constitution that is to be written to be influenced by God. We are praying for the Supreme Court, that the judges will be godly men and just in convicting traffickers. We are praying for the Police Headquarters; that the police would not accept bribes, and not be content with ignoring injustice. We are praying for more godly men to rise in the ranks with a hunger for justice.
Also, we are praying for the women in the massage parlors, dance bars and alleyways. We are praying for a way out for them and for a realization of their worth as human beings and God’s children. We are praying for increasing awareness in the public of the horrors that are taking place in their midst. We are praying for conviction in the men that visit these places.
Dust rockets in every direction as motorbikes and buses spewing black smoke rumble past, alarmingly close on all sides. The constant smell of petrol and the ceaseless yaps of car horns have quickly become a part of everyday life. Young adults and teenagers in smart uniforms walk in every direction, going about their daily routine.
The end of the tour is nearing and I gaze on, pondering how there can be so much normalcy of life around centers of poverty and sexual bondage. Are people not aware of what is going on? Do they ignore it or just choose not to care? My mind wandered to San Francisco and the sexual slavery I know is happening there in its massage parlors. How many other places like the 1905 Restaurant, which looks seemingly normal and even tranquil, am I unaware of their dark histories?
And I pray again, “God bring awareness. God please open eyes. God please bring your fire for justice in people’s hearts, and please come to break every chain.”