Good Night, Red Light

Jeanne Rogers holds the five-year-old
recently placed in the LIFE Center.

Words of LIFE - Weekly Devotional

Good Night, Red Light
by Jeanne Rogers

"Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning."
(Psalm 30:5)

During my first mission trip to India, I heard about the Kamathipura section of Mumbai, where approximately 100,000 women and children live in sexual slavery. The number of trafficked persons is difficult to determine due to the clandestine nature of the crime, but the Indian government claims that there are about 3 million prostitutes in the country and 40% are children.
The RescueLIFE program in Thailand and Cambodia ignited my passion to liberate victims of sexual slavery, so I was excited when our mission team partnered with K.K. Devaraj, an Indian minister doing an amazing work in the red light district of Mumbai.

“We will take you and Lisa Bevere inside the brothels to minister and pray with women and children who live there,” Devaraj said during our preparation. His explanation altered our western concept of a brothel, which has been somewhat sanitized by an indifferent society.

“The young women working the brothels in Kamathipura,” the Indian minister told us, “are forced into prostitution by human traffickers.”

The idea of prostitution as a profession certainly strikes Christians as shameful, but the thought of forced prostitution, especially for children, brings an element of criminality and debauchery that confounds the senses. It’s the equivalent of daily rape and pedophilia -- all for sale in the slums of Kamathipura.

The first day in our mission headquarters, I listened to the stories of young women who escaped the sex trade and now live in the care of the missionaries. One lovely girl, the daughter of a prostitute, told how she had been raped every day by her mother’s owner. The abuse, which her mother witnessed, began when she was only nine years old and continued daily until the man sold her at the age of seventeen.

Others were kidnapped from their families and imprisoned for months or years. Children are literally kept in cages, like animals at a market. One girl described her torment: “I was raped and beaten daily--then put back into my cage.”

I couldn’t control my emotions as these girls described the terror they had experienced at the hands of such cruelty. As my heart broke for the victims, an intense rage rose toward their offenders. God spoke a warning to me: “Guard your heart against hatred. These men are captives too—captives of Satan.”

With the Holy Sprit’s help, I prayed for God’s love and deliverance to reach the men who control the women and children. The missionaries encouraged me to also pray for the madams who manage the brothels, demanding quotas from the girls.

We gathered the next day at the AIDS clinic in Kamathipura and met a dozen former madams who now love Jesus and have been trained to rescue women and children with the same love that rescued them. God has miraculously given these women access to minister in the brothels six days a week.

Anita, the leader of the group, led us through the filthy, narrow streets. My eyes caught the movement of a large rat over a doorframe as we entered a brothel. Inside, each girl eagerly embraced Anita and God’s presence instantly filled their place of torment. I was overwhelmed as Anita prayed a soul-wrenching petition for the women, spoken in their native language. Their weary eyes filled with tears as love flooded their prison.

With the help of an interpreter, Lisa Bevere gave her testimony and prayed for every woman and child. As she spoke, she placed her hands on their shoulders and stared intently into their eyes. Again and again the interpreter boldly repeated Lisa’s words, “God has a plan for your life!” Though many wore their shame heavily, each felt the impact of her message. We all ministered and prayed for the hope of spiritual and physical freedom to consume them.

In the second brothel, a certain woman captured my attention. I felt God urge me to move closer, so I crawled through the others seated on the floor and pulled her into my arms. Suddenly a wailing cry immerged from deep within me, and I cradled and rocked her like a child. She welcomed the embrace and when the travail lifted, God’s peace covered us both.

I learned afterward that she had recently placed her five-year-old daughter in the safety of the LIFE Center. Her precious child was the only pure love the woman had in her life, so she placed her with godly people to protect her. I felt blessed to mourn the loss with that young mother and offer hope for her own life to be rescued.

On our last day, a young woman brought her eight-year-old daughter to Lisa. The day before, she had invited Lisa to her tiny space inside the brothel. Lisa was shocked to learn that while mothers are with a client, they must hide their child under the bed, put them into a small compartment or drug them to sleep. Lisa knew the mother didn’t believe she could be free, but she wanted her child rescued.

Our team witnessed the difference the LIFE Center makes in the lives of children, but we also discovered they have a long waiting list. One missionary explained, “We want to rescue all of the children! We have the land, but no resources to build.”

That scene plays in my memory--an imprisoned young mother and her child who remains vulnerable to sexual predators until she can be rescued. It continues to motivate me to pray and do all I can with the resources God provides to rescue children from brothels. I asked Devaraj to answer the question everyone asks when they hear about human trafficking, “How do enslaved people get free from captivity?”

He smiled confidently and said, “This is not too hard for my God!”

James, Betty and all of us at LIFE believe that God is their only hope, so we are increasing our efforts to rescue innocent ones. Our goal and our prayer is that God’s love and grace will shine upon the darkest corners of the earth. So as we say “good night” to the red light district of Kamathipura, we look forward to the dawn of a new day in the light of God’s love.

This Week
Pray for the women and children of Kamathipura and every other area where sexual slavery reigns. Ask the Lord to protect and empower the missionaries and move mightily in the lives of those living in darkness.

“Jesus, send Your good news to those trapped in bondage. Use Your people to touch those bound by hopelessness, wickedness and shame. Amen.”

Jeanne Rogers: God Of The Ages
On LIFE Today

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