I walked into this building with huge stone walls, gates and more gates having absolutely no idea how the Lord was going to stir my heart. It was a rescue shelter for girls who were in the sex trade industry. Against the wall are the girls standing there ready to greet us. I had to compose myself because my heart was shocked. I was taken aback by those eyes staring back at me because they were the eyes of little girls. Yes, little girls whose innocence had been taken from them. Little girls who should still be playing hide and seek but ,unfortunately, life had taught them a new game.
Some were born into this lifestyle because mom leads that life, others were kidnapped and forced into that life, some "chose" that because of their life circumstances (poverty) and the stories continue as how they all came to this place.
The next 3 hours flew by. Listening to their laughter and giggles echo in that cold social hall almost made me forget that I was in a rescue shelter for girls who used to lead a life of prostitution.
I had a little girl grab me by the arm to partner up with me to decorate heart shaped cookies. She began to share a little of her story with teary eyes she said "I was kidnapped" and that was all that she was willing to share. I wanted to respect her privacy so I didn't ask more. She had been in this shelter for 9 months for her safety and protection.
We gathered again in the cold social hall and played more games. It was so great to see them be little girls. We were getting ready to wrap up our time with a devotional and sharing time. During that sharing time one of the girls that was pregnant probably 13 said she had a song to sing for the group and it was her life story. Tears rolled down her cheek as she attempted to get the words out and finish the song. She couldn't and as I looked around she wasn't alone in her sorrow there were 2 other girls crying as well. I was surprised that another young girl wanted to sing a song to us. Hers was a song of hope it spoke about how God sees us as His precious girls. By the time she was done singing we were all filled with tears. I was suprised at how vulnerable they were with their emotions.
Before we gathered for our sharing time we were informed that we couldn't share any scripture our devo leader did great sharing Him w/o using any scripture passages. But I was bummed because the night before as I prepared myself for this day I had on my heart and mind to give them this butterfly painting with a scripture verse. In my office hangs this painting I made of a butterfly with scripture all over its body. I took a picture of it and made a bookmark out of it. I showed the lady what I had made and she said I couldn't pass those out. I told her I would take off the scripture reference and she still said no. She then shocked me with this, she said "but can I have one?" As I handed her one I told her why I painted this drawing and no matter whether were believers or not He is our hope there is hope and that there is freedom in Him from our situation. I later thought maybe I was supposed to make those just so that I could give her one. I pray that she finds the Lord. I can't imagine having to run a rescue shelter of this sort without having HOPE from our Lord.
The woman who brought us to this shelter shared that 2 girls had escaped from the shelter. It boggles my mind why they would want to go back to that life but unfortunately, it is a sad truth for many of them. He is our DELIVERER and I pray that these young girls find deliverance in everyway.