When a women is sexually exploited she is entrapped, held down, by lies that are like iron chains. The lies are strong and hard to break and they wrap themselves around her soul. The chains are engraved with words that whisper in the night.
You are worthless. Sex is the same as love, and it’s the only love you‘ll get. You deserve to be used. You are alone, and no one cares. You are ugly and utterly unlovable.
The work before us is not to offer trauma counseling, or legal advice. But rather, our work is to support the women as they walk through those processes, and to walk with them further as they struggle to integrate into a normal way of life. We work to build relationships and offer opportunities.
Our job is to connect with them.
This past Wednesday, we invited the women in the Free the Girls program to come to a special event at the center. Not all of them came, but four of them did. A group of volunteers working with us this month painted each woman’s nails, and styled each one’s hair. We shared cups of coffee and fresh bread from the bakery, and then we listened together as one of the volunteers shared the heart of God with these women. She spoke the truth.
You are loved. You are worthy. You have been chosen, and you are beautiful.
Because Truth is our great weapon against the chains. The truth looks those lies in the face and calls them what they are: lies. The truth says God is bigger, and God is love, and God wants to connect. We listened to the truth, and then we prayed with each woman specifically for the struggles she is dealing with this week.
The evil in this world is great and big and completely overwhelming. I struggle with guilt and frustration because I can’t do more. But I can connect. I can sit down and connect with these women who so desperately need love. I can tell them they are worthy, they are cared for, and they are loved.
God is there in the connecting, and it is beautiful.