A year ago I went to Calcutta, India and met some precious women who had been given a choice: a choice for freedom.
Below is a recent story of a REAL person and family who Freeset is helping. Updates like this are
I am passionate about the eradication of human trafficking.
Sunday, May 15, 2011:
I have a story to tell you and as you read it I pray you will be lead to pray and intercede on behalf of this family…..
They are a family of 3 girls…all having being raised in Sonagachi with their Mom. I am not sure if there is a father, I am not sure what Mom’s background is but I could probably rightly guess that she, from a young age, worked the line (the name given for the sex-workers of Sonagachi as they literally line up awaiting customers).
At 14, the oldest daughter was taken by police during a raid when she was about to be traficked and put in a children’s home…she calls it prison. There she stayed for 3 years. Upon returning to her family, her Mom put her out on the line…to earn some money.
In time, a regular customer, asked her to marry her (often the case). He also grew up in Sonagachi. She gave birth to a son, who is now 4 years old and attends a small day school each day that partners with Freeset.
Her new husband didn’t want his wife to be working the line, he works as an autorickshaw driver but at times there is no money and she has to go and earn. Sadly, the only way she knows to do this is to join the line once again.
She is not in communication with her mother.
Two weeks ago, she came to a place in her heart and mind where enough was enough, no more. She made her way to Freeset (a business which employs women from the trade to make bags from jute material. Thus giving them Freedom) She was interviewed and started her training period immediately. PRAISE GOD
As she sat and shared her story in the informal interview, she talked about her 16 year old sister who was in a brothel house nearby. She was fearful for her sister’s safety & well-being. No one knew where exactly she was. 16 is the legal age for employment and so the police/powers that be will do little to help a girl of this age.
Amazingly, a day later this girl arrived at Freeset, there had been a raid on her brothel house and she was able to leave. She had heard her sister was looking for her. Her story goes that for the past 7 months, she has been in the trade. She was trafficked to Bangalore for 1 month but fled back to Calcutta. She has been earning a lot of money but most goes directly into the hands of her mother.
So as she sat with the team, they offered to train her also and she accepted..she had a choice, God gave her a lifeline and she grabbed hold of it. Hallelujah!
They then began to talk about their youngest sister, Juli*. Juli had been part of the day school until February when all the older children moved onto government schools where they would receive a full education. I have seen Jyoti, intermittently on the lane or when she came to see me and say Hi. A beautiful, fun loving 9 year old.
They shared that Juli, was no longer living with Mom but ‘helping’ in a brothel house…. The team went to search for her. They found her cleaning in a house. They are very sure that this precious 9 year old is being ‘groomed’ for work, being put in a brothel house and made more aware of what happens so that when her time comes she will not be so innocent or terrified.
My heart breaks…precious Julii. NO LORD, PLEASE NO…
They have talked to the brothel ‘Madam’ who appears to be OK for Juli to leave. We are all praying and hoping that Mom will agree for Juli to be moved to a hostel school where she will be safe….
And so as I write this this Sunday morning, 2 young ladies and a little boy are staying at our home, Jesus is with them, they are not alone.
It is not ideal, we are on many levels taking a risk…but I keep thinking “What would Jesus do?”
And I cannot believe Jesus would let this young 16year old sleep on the streets with the HIGH probability of returning back to the brothel.
Please pray for a long term solution to her accommodation need. We were all hopeful that she would be able to live with a beautiful young women/mum who is part of the community but living outside the city, however the landlord would not agree… Please pray that he would have a change of heart.
This story is not over…. and I will not rest until little Juli is safe and away from the area.
Please stand with me and pray this into being. Pray for Juli’s protection, safety and freedom
*name changed for security reasons