Tag Archives: Human-Trafficking

The Story of Jyoti – Dancer, Prostitute, Now on the Path to Freedom

Jyoti began dancing at traditional Indian weddings at the age of 18.  Her parents died a year earlier, her older brother is under-employed, her younger sister is seriously ill, and because the family is poor – her younger brother can’t even attend high school.  All these young people live with their grandmother, but she was very old and frail.

Dancing was the first step in the proverbial slide down to a labyrinth of darkened corridors.  Propositioned by drunken wedding celebrants, Jyoti considered her options and could not see the lair she was entering into.

“The money looks good and what harm can come from sex?” she thought to herself.  She willingly, almost innocently, gave herself over to prostitution to provide for her family.

However, it wasn’t long until the inviting veil of money was lifted and the evil face of prostitution became reality; chemical and physical abuse, shame and slavery.  Jyoti knew she needed to get out; she could see down the road to where this was leading and she realized she had made a huge mistake.  But how could she get out?  To whom could she turn?

Jyoti remembered an aunt who went to Christian church.  The aunt talked about how the church had helped her, so Jyoti thought maybe she could get some help, too.

She showed up at the church, crying as she relayed her story.  The women counselors put their arms around her and shared that there is hope in Jesus.  They also shared the good news that they had a home where she could live and receive help until she was safe and found a new job.

Last month, Jyoti became Bright Hope’s first resident at our safe house in India.  It is a secure location away from pimps and family members who might force her back into prostitution.  Jyoti will receive Biblical counseling and soon enter into a jobs training course.  Jyoti is finding redemption, forgiveness, love, acceptance and Hope.

Bright Hope was able to open this church-run safe house because of your prayers and generous gifts. During the next few months, more women will choose to leave prostitution.  A raid on a brothel is planned very soon.  This raid will remove any girl under the age of 18 and offer them residency at the safe house.  Investigations by local police say there may be up to 20 girls ages 18 and under in this one brothel alone.

Will you do three things to help us continue this ministry?

  1. Pray for the raid between now and Dec. 31st.  Pray for the police to act responsibly and not tip off the brothel.  Pray for the under-aged girls to be found and rescued, and for the older women to accept our offer of help and a home.  Pray for the funding and government licensing of the safe house.
  2. Become a HOPE BUILDER FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIMS.  You will be the first to receive photos of rescued girls, stories of repaired lives, and prayer requests for those not yet freed.  For only $30/month you will help free girls and restore their lives.  $65/month and $100/month options are available. www.BrightHope.org
  3. Show a film on Human Trafficking.  At Bright Hope we recently showed the film “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls”.  This emotional and impactful documentary touched the hearts of everyone who saw it.  Many tears were shed; people were angry, sad, and heartbroken by the lives destroyed by this evil work.  Bright Hope would like to bring this 90 minute documentary to your group of 50 or more.  We will help debrief the audience and answer questions after the film.  I know it will be an incredible informative event for your group or church.

Contact Bright Hope on the web at www.BrightHope.org or phone 224-520-6100 (ask for Madelynn Reyes).

Stunned by Evil…

One of my most startling memories of seeing hatred manifest itself into violence was while I was traveling to Russia during a very cold winter in the early-nineties.  A colleague and I were visiting a local outdoor market in a large town.  There were all kinds of vendors selling food and clothing.  It was cold, cloudy and bleak.   I was looking for a Russian hat called an ushanka, a warm hat that covers the ears and is turned up in front.   As I was busy trying various hats and haggling over the price, off in the corner of my right eye, I noticed a rough looking man and a young attractive girl arguing.

Before I could even turn I saw this big burly man with a brown winter coat and black Russian hat, reach for the woman’s throat.  It was violent and deeply disturbing; I had never seen anything like it before. Seared in my mind is seeing the anger in this man’s face and his powerful hand reaching out to grab the girls throat.

A couple of people started to shout but most people carried on with their business.  I was momentarily frozen and couldn’t figure out if the man was just fooling around or if this was real.  “Should I get involved or stay back?” I asked myself.

I started to move toward them, when a person who obviously knew the man intervened and broke the man’s grip on the woman.  The young woman fell backward.  Her purple face now turning pale white as blood rushed back into her head.  She was stunned, unable to cry because of the shock and obvious fear of her attacker.

The incident was over as quickly as it began, but the impression on me has lasted for decades and has changed my life.

Afterward as I thought about the incident, I became increasingly disappointed with my slow reaction to the violence I was witnessing.  Yes, I was young and had never been exposed to such violence before.  But I thought my reaction was far too slow and that woman could have gotten seriously hurt if not for others who stepped in to help.

So, I made a commitment to myself that day that in the future I would react as fast as possible to any kind of violence I might witness.   Obviously wisdom has to be employed in all such cases, but I don’t want to be someone standing on the sidelines watching evil overcome good because I was afraid or unsure.

I want to be available…to be an agent for good, both physically and spiritually.

Romans Chapter 12 says “Overcome evil by doing good”.  In order to fulfill this scripture we have to be willing to take action.  I don’t believe God is requiring us to become super heroes and physically save everyone in need.  But I think each of us, using our own gifts and talents can play a part in helping people who are victims of violence, hatred and evil.

How about you?  Have you had a brush with evil?  What part do you play in keeping evil restrained?

Your Child is Missing!

One of the heart stopping moments in life is when you think your child is missing.  You may be in a mall or grocery store and when you turn around your child is missing.  An overwhelming panic grabs you; the worst comes to mind, and your heart races.  It is an awful few seconds that seem like minutes or hours.  But most often, for 99.9% of parents, the child is only an aisle away or around the corner, safe and sound.   When you gain sight-line of your child your panic turns into a beautiful sigh of relief.

However, that isn’t the case for Supna, a young girl I met earlier in the year.  She was only 17 and was sold into sex slavery to pay off a family debt.  After she met with our team she was taken underground because her captors feared we were going to rescue her. They sold her for 30 days at time and made money from her.

Since then we can’t find her!  She is lost!  Rumors of her whereabouts circulate between family and friends, but nobody really knows where or how she is.

There has been recent chatter that she was badly beaten and taken to a local hospital.  No one can say for sure, except that she isn’t safe and she is lost.

I sometimes wonder if she remembers our meeting.  I briefly shared the Lord with her and she prayed with a woman on our team.  I wonder if she is holding onto Jesus as only a child would in the face of such evil.

All I can do now is pray. Father God, your child is missing.  I pray for a day when I will see her again.  I pray she will be alive and able to recover from the human trafficking demons that keep her imprisoned right now.

Will you pray with me for Supna, right now?

Bright Hope is showing a documentary about the plight of human trafficking on Friday, September 14th, 7PM at the Bright Hope Center in Hoffman Estates, IL.  “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls.” This hard-hitting documentary exposes the disturbing trends in modern sex slavery. From initial recruitment to victim liberation—and everything in between—the previously veiled underworld of sex slavery is uncovered in this groundbreaking, tell-all documentary.   Let me know if you can join us, CHDyer@BrightHope.org

From Sex Slave to Bond-Servant

Paul in the opening verses of Romans calls himself a bond-servant of Christ.  In early Biblical time, under Mosaic Law, a man that became indebted by borrowing money became the property of the creditor and had to work for his master until the loan was fully paid.

This financial arrangement gave the creditor great power over the debtor.  Some masters were cruel and evil, mistreating their slaves and taking advantage of people under their control. Others were kind and merciful, asking only for a fair days work in exchange for a portion of the debt to be written off.

In the Jewish tradition, at the end of seven years, a slave was set free.  Freed from his debt he could leave and be free from any bondage.

However, some slaves that were indebted to loving masters did not want to leave.  Their slave owners were caring for their needs and providing safety for the slave’s family.  There was security in knowing their household would not go hungry, and they could stay in a warm house, and their children be clothed.  It was these slaves who at the end of the seven years would choose not to leave their master but to become a permanent slave to their master, by choice, a bondservant.

A new bond-slave would go to the tabernacle and a priest would mark the ear of a servant with a hole to signify the willing servant has become a bond-slave to his master forever.  It was a mark that revealed the character of the owner.

As I think about my own life, I rarely think of myself as a bond-slave and I think this is unfortunate because I have made a choice too.

I have found a Master who is all loving, who accepts me, is patient with my flaws and shortcomings, and who blesses me beyond what I deserve.  He has paid my sin debt and set me free.  I in turn have chosen to return to my Master and become His bond-slave.  There is no marking on my body to identify me as His, but my heart has been branded by His crown of thorns and His cross.

As I consider the work Bright Hope is doing to help young women out of sex slavery, the reality of there being modern day, evil slave owners is undeniable.  They force their female slaves into prostitution, get them high on drugs, and destroy their lives.  It sickens me because I know there is another Master who loves, who blesses, who washes away wounds and brings healing, abundant life and eternal salvation.

I often think we are setting these young women free with Biblical counseling and economic independence.  But in reality I am hoping they come to know my Master well enough to experience freedom from sin and make the choice not to leave Him but to join me in becoming a willing bond-slave.

RESULTS ARE IN!

GOAL SURPASSED! 

The goal was $5,000 and you surpassed it by raising $20,360!  Can you believe it!?   Wow!  PRAISE GOD and THANK YOU!  You have raised all the seed money needed to launch the first stage of Bright Hope’s human trafficking initiative!

UPDATE FROM INDIA:  This morning our partner in India emailed us to say that four girls have been rescued thanks to your support – praise God!  A safe house has been set up for rehabilitation, and training and counseling can now start for these girls – as well as many others to come.  We believe as many as 10 girls might be rescued and rehabilitated from your efforts.

Keep praying for Supna, there have been some steps forward and some complications and she needs your prayers now more than ever.

We will continue to update you on Supna and the other girls as more information becomes available.  Thank you again for blessing us with the capability to begin healing and Hope for these young girls.

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