NARROW RESULTSby Month:
Our Staff Blog
There are no words to describe the beauty of what the Lord has done the past several months here in the community and red light area that we work in. We have always been known as the people who pray. In fact, the first week that we arrived in our locations we had women stop us to ask if we would pray for them and then lined up “their” girls so we could pray over them too. It’s been a common theme…everyone wants prayer. So there was little surprise when the women started asking us to have a prayer meeting at the center. They wanted a set time, instead of the “come and go” policy we have had in the past, where they could come to hear the Word of God and receive prayer. So, this past February, we began our weekly prayer meetings, and Jesus has made his presence known in this place.
One particular prayer meeting stands out in my mind as a day marked by his grace and pure love for the women. Honestly, it wasn’t even a prayer meeting day, but a group of women came up to the center, and we had an impromptu prayer meeting of sorts. It was a gathering of about eight to ten women and our staff at the center when we all started praying. After a while of praying, one of the women stood up and jokingly started singing the English praise song that we had taught at the prayer meeting. As she started to sing, she was laughing because it was the natural thing to do after we pray, but then her laughter turned into this holy moment where God’s heart met her heart in her praise. Nalini* began to wipe away the tears coming from her eyes as she had a God encounter with the maker of her life. It was a beautiful moment, and everyone in the room stared in awe of what the Lord was doing. Nalini quickly wiped away her tears, gave hugs and ran out the door.
I love these simple moments when you know that Jesus is at work in these women’s lives. It’s not about what we do or don’t do, but it’s about being faithful to the moments that he calls us to. We had different plans for the day, but when we made room for the Holy Spirit, he showed up. Since that moment, Nalini has become softer and warmer. She has begun to sing new songs and use the voice the Lord has given her to worship in the midst of a living hell. Jesus is setting this captive free, and he’s starting with her spirit first.
We often have these sweet moments with the Lord and the women we have the honor to walk along with, and we often don’t share, but this moment is special. Please remember to pray for Nalini as the Lord continues to work in her life. Also, please continue to pray for the Monday morning prayer meetings at the center as they are truly a time of worship, and a place where the peace of God comes. Each day that we get to be here is a blessing and an honor, so please continue to pray that we would be faithful to the things that he has called us to, and that we would continually walk both in his Spirit and his truth.
*Name changed for Nalini’s protection.
LM- Mumbai Project
Posted: May 7th, 2013
A young Indian woman sits in the corner of an aftercare center for commercially, sexually exploited women. During the first four visits, she sleeps through the class. There could be many reasons for this, but it is likely because she is exhausted from the terrors of her night. However, during the fifth class she remains awake and sits in the corner, listening from afar. We begin to try to gently engage her and learn she only speaks Telugu. She is unable to communicate because most of the women around her speak Kannada, and the translating is done in Kannada. Thankfully, our translator can speak a little Telugu so we can engage on a basic level. However, she prefers not to speak and to remain unknown. The feeling of invisibility likely feels safe for her. In her present moments, she can trust no one. Not even herself. Her expressions and demeanor make her broken spirit the most evident among the other 33 women here. As she sits in the corner, it is as if she is drowned in hopelessness and despair. So, we will call her Hope, as we know there is always hope for the weary and broken hearted.
During the sixth and seventh classes, Hope sits in the circle with the other women while we share the story of the resurrection and eternal hope for souls. We bring treats for the women in honor of Good Friday and Resurrection Day. Hope participates and eats the treats, but seems to remain devoid of any joy. Maybe it has been a long time since she experienced the feeling of joy, or maybe never in her 19 years of life. The seventh visit was similar to the others as Hope sits in the circle unengaged and unable to understand. However, the eighth visit is a little different.
The women sit in lines, and Hope sits in the corner toward the front. There is usually a bible story and then an informal math or English lesson. This time the discussion is about hygiene, and more specifically how to care for the female body. At the end of this class, we share the story of creation and the fall of man from Genesis. Sheets are passed out of images that show henna designs in order to communicate the story in a different way. Then henna cones are handed out to the women so they can practice sharing the story with each other. For whatever reason, many of the women practice telling stories to each other but do not want to do the henna on each other. Maybe they do not feel that they know how to do it very well. So, two women use my hands to practice. As I am sitting among the young women, Hope sits in front facing to the side and works with another woman who is doing the henna on Hope. When the woman finishes, she leaves Hope is sitting there alone in the corner to look at the design on her hand. She stares at it for a moment, then looks up and shares the most beautiful smile. She looks at it again, gazes intently and looks up to smile again. Then she begins to look at the paper with the design and smiles once more. All of a sudden, she laughs. She laughs out loud not knowing anyone is watching. She does this for about three minutes. She looks, studies attentively and smiles and laughs.
When asked why she is so happy and laughing, her simple response is, "I am studying the paper, and while looking over it, I am thinking how fun it will be to make these designs."
We may never know the details of what this young woman has experienced, but in this moment, she experiences laughter. She laughs.
Pray with me that she would find the everlasting hope and joy that exists in the only God of salvation.
Psalm 126:2 (ESV)
JRJ- Bangalore Project
Posted: May 7th, 2013
Recently, I had the chance to sit down and talk with one of our long-term missionary’s parents over Skype. Rachael, one of our Mumbai team members, has been in India for 11 months. Rachael and the Mumbai team work in the brothels every day doing direct intervention. They have a hard job, but we are continually seeing God work through them in amazing ways. Rachael's parents, Dee and Charlie, from Destin, Fl., were able to visit their daughter in February of 2013. Here is my conversation with them about their experience seeing Rachael at work on the mission field.
Dee Ann: We were honestly, not surprised. We always knew she would do something a little out of the ordinary. That is just who she is.
MY: How did you feel about the work she would be doing in India?
D: I knew she would be in better hands with God than she is with us.
Charlie: I knew that if it was truly Gods will, I was on board. I did not even question it though. I was content with the decision, and when it was time for her to go, we were on board.
MY: Tell me about your experience and seeing your daughter in action on the mission field.
D: It was awesome to see her at work, but sad to see what was going on. We wanted to literally come home, sell everything we had and move out there. God had really prepared me before we got there, so I had a peace while I was out there. To watch Rachael and the other women on her team, and see what God is doing through them is indescribable. It was just amazing to see Him work through them; to sit back and see His hand in their work.
C: It was a process for us. We did not fully get it until we got over there. To do what they do on a daily basis, at their age, I was so impressed with how they let the Holy Spirit guide them in everything.
What they did everyday is incredible. Their day is filled. They begin early everyday with prayer and scripture. From there, they get on a train for the brothel and take fruit and food to the children in the area. Then they have prayer and fellowship for the women. Then they go home and debrief, some nights until 1 a.m., and then they are back at it the next day. They pour out so much of themselves everyday. They are the light of Christ to the women in the brothel everyday.
MY: How did it feel to see your daughter working first hand with women in the brothels?
D: I was brought to tears. They are so selfless to do what they do everyday. It was humbling, and I was so proud of all of them. I am so thankful God is using her. It makes me cry to think about it. I was in awe.
C: They are confident in what they do and show no hesitancy in their work. They are all in tune with their emotions and knowing what their goals are.
MY: What do you feel God was teaching you while you were over there?
C: I was shameful of how spoiled we are. Some of them seemed so joyful and content. Over here, we are always consumed with getting the next best thing.
D: God really humbled me. What He showed me was when you totally surrender to Him, you begin to see things differently. You don’t see the negative, icky, smelly, filth; you just see people who need love. They need love, and in that, they need Christ. I would pray every morning to just be taken away. I just wanted Christ to be in me so I could truly love.
MY: What would you say to a parent who may be struggling with their child doing something like this?
D: My friends often ask me, “How do you do what you do? You are always so calm about the situation.” I just say that I trust my Lord and Savior. If that is His will, and she never comes back, she is still doing His will. That is what we are called to do. To trust God and do His will. We just have to give it all over to Him because He will console you. There have been times I have struggled, and I have prayed for peace. Ultimately, though, He has it going on. We would never want to step in the way of the Lord, and what He is doing.
C: There are so many questions you could bring up. We just don’t think about it. Christ died for us. We know her life is in line with Christ’s will for her.
Posted: May 7th, 2013
L.A. - Bangalore Team
Posted: April 11th, 2013
My name is Brandon.
I've been living in Bangalore, India for a while now.
I keep on getting sick.
Finnally, I started to get tired of it and started complaining about it.
Somebody told me, that I need to stop eating street food.
When I see it on the street I need to tell myself "That's poision."
He was right, the battle for my health is largely determined in the crucial area of perspective.
I no longer need to sense only taste and smell, but wether that item is medicine or poison for my internal ecosystem.
Now you might be thinking to yourself, what the glukenhein does this have to do with sex trafficking.
Well since you asked so emphatically.
I believe it is again a battle of perspective. Once our souls start to recognize pornography,
solicitation and other forms of sexual imomrality, as poison they will start to become less appealing.
Once we realize that allowing ourselves and the community around us to consume this poison,
leads to immense pain and suffering, perhaps it will be easier for us to speak up.
When we see and truely believe that God's truth, love and presence, is medicine to our sick souls, maybe we will be more likely to seek Him.
When I walk down the street, and smell a freshly fried masala vada, it smells so good. And, it would taste delicious.
And at the moment of consumption I would be satisfied.
But, I would also likely have belly pain shortly after, leading to loss of energy, leading to sadness.
If however, my perspective is changed and I chose the coconut water, my belly will recieve healing.
We must learn and teach others to enhance our senses to more than just touch, taste, smell, sound, and sight.
We must learn to see the danger and healing that people, items, and experiences can bring to our souls.
We must change our perspective.
On that note, Morality in the Media has a petition suggesting that the new FCC chair (the person in control of what comes on TV) enforce broadcast decency laws.
This might help lessen the poison fed to the masses.
If interested you can sign here: http://bit.ly/XvqOVm
B - Bangalore Staff
Posted: March 26th, 2013
“Moses said to the Lord, ‘O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’
The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord?’”
‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.’”
My eyes read these words, and my mind is filled with the faces of kids that are so dear to my heart-the kids in India, my nephew, and my former campers. Five of my kids here have deformed limbs amongst some other physical issues, but of course the deformities stand out before anything else.
When anyone meets these precious children it’s the first thing that’s noticed and immediately the question is asked, “What happened? Why are their legs like that?”
We want answers. We want to understand situations and “problems.” We all desire to figure things out, to have a grasp on our realities, yet not everything can be understood by our mere human minds.
When we come across abnormalities or a situation that appears to have gone wrong, it’s easy to get caught up in our lack of understanding. It’s easy to question why God would let something like that happen, blame Him for it, or view something as bad instead of how the Creator perfectly created it so He could display His glory.
But these verses remind me that God, the One who lovingly created all things, who is Sovereign and in control above all, has always been in control of the kids whose arms and legs are deformed, the people like my perfect nephew who has a hearing impairment, and all the campers I used to work with who had this or that special need. Those things don’t make them any less of a person or any less beautiful and perfect than a “normal” person who doesn’t have a special need.
Neelamma, one of the kids with limb deformities, proves this each and every day and revealed that truth a few days ago during our Christmas celebration. She’s 13, shorter than everyone, with legs that have grown crooked which prevent her from jumping like other kids, yet she stood up on stage and performed the dances with all the other kids. She stood right alongside them, full of joy, radiating Christ to all the unbelievers who had gathered round to observe. As the only believer in her family, in a culture that doesn’t give a second thought to girls much less ones with physical impairments, her smile and courage to stand on stage and dance for Jesus despite the abnormality is a perfect example of the work of God being displayed in her life.
Posted: March 21st, 2013