by Christie Weehunt, 23
India Office Liaison for Sower of Seeds International
In the summer of 2009, a group from SOS dressed in Indian attire and entered Asia’s largest red light district to pray for the prostitutes working inside. Guiding us were several Indian women who minister daily to these forgotten daughters. What we saw on the streets and in the brothels was dark and horrible, but deeper still were the seeds of Christ, shining like lamps of hope.
His eyes are on His precious ones, and He is hungry for their redemption.
A few facts…
- Human trafficking: The act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring, or receipt of persons by use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving of payments to a person in control of the victim. Victims are purposed for sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, or removal of organs.
- In India, there are over 3 million sex trafficking victims, 1.2 million of them are children. Girls between 10 and 12 fetch the highest price. They are thrown in cages for up to 3 years while they are repeatedly raped, beaten, and tortured until they lose all of their will. Then they are sent out on the streets as prostitutes, making money for their captors.
As we walked down the crowded, narrow lanes, we had to step carefully over the heaping piles of trash and sewage at our feet. Rats scurried everywhere. It was late morning and the district was slowly waking up after a night’s work. Women were playing with their children and doing each other’s hair. Street vendors were making breakfast and selling tea. Tables full of pimps were out playing cards and relaxing.
Walking into that first brothel was like walking into a slum house. There were probably twelve women my age crowded around our team as we entered. We squeezed into the front room–as many women as could fit. A curtain blocked the entrance to their “rooms.” Small children mingled all around. An occasional customer came by, but the madam turned them away at the door. Her girls had special visitors.
I was mesmerized by the place, the faces. I looked at each of the women present, captured by what I saw in their eyes. Some blankly stared outside, others cried. I wanted to know each woman’s story, where she was from, how she ended up here.
But for a little geography, it could have been me.