ESCAPING THE CORRUPTION
"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." (2 Peter 1:3-4)
When Anita finished telling the emotional details of her captivity, we asked if she wanted us to change her name to protect her from human traffickers. She knew the dangers, but didn't hesitate to expose the system and people who capture and corrupt innocent young lives.
"Use my name," she insisted. "There are so many women and children in human trafficking who will die of disease without ever hearing about Jesus."
Anita grew up in a poor farming village in Nepal. When she was 19, a woman befriended her and convinced her parents that their daughter could earn money in India, cooking and cleaning for foreigners in the city. A long train ride carried them to Mumbai, where Anita was immediately taken to a dingy brothel, sold to its owner and locked inside a tiny, windowless room.
Three days later, they ordered her to accompany a man to a private room. Anita was terrified. As an innocent, Nepali girl, she had never been alone with a man. When she resisted, six women beat her and tied her hands and feet. Then a group of men mercilessly raped her. When the abuse ended, they returned her to the small, dark room that became her torture chamber for three years. During that time, she never even saw daylight.
When she realized there was no escape, she became violent. Her captors calmed her with alcohol and she learned to welcome its numbing effect in order to survive. Most of the men frequenting the brothels preferred Nepali girls, so Anita was forced to service an average of 25 men every day. By age 29, Anita had given birth to two children and needed more money to provide for them. The owner helped Anita open her own brothel and she became a madam.
Anita's girls trusted her. Though she occasionally hit them in anger, she never locked them up. She even told them they could leave if they wanted, but none left. "The girls knew that they were ruined," she said. "They had to pay money to their owners, so they stayed."
During the morning hours, a preacher visited the brothels in the red light district. He was the first to tell Anita that Jesus loved her, but she struggled with the idea, asking, "How can someone I do not see love me, when men, that I do see, do not love me?"
Eventually, the girls came to trust the preacher, calling him "Uncle," and God used this man's ministry to change their lives. Anita closed her brothel for a few hours every Saturday so her girls could attend Uncle's church in the red light district. During this time, one of the girls became pregnant and asked Anita for an abortion. "This child belongs to God," Anita told her. The young girl gave birth, but a few months later discovered that the baby boy was blind. Anita wept, fasted and prayed for God to heal him. She asked Uncle to pray, so he did. As he closed his prayer, the infant reached out and grabbed his finger. Uncle moved his hand. Again, the child grabbed at his finger. His sight was miraculously restored!
Uncle had often urged Anita to leave. As her faith in the Lord grew stronger, she finally gained the courage to walk away with nothing. She made Jesus her Lord and started a new life in the mission's rescue center. As Anita adjusted to life outside of the sex industry, her greatest challenge was forgiving the woman who deceived her family and sold her into a life of captivity and abuse. During a Bible study, she heard how Jesus forgave and prayed for the men who beat Him and nailed Him to the cross.
"That night," Anita told me, "I asked Jesus to teach me to forgive as He had done. Luke 6:27-28 told me to love my enemies, do good to people who hate me, bless those who curse me, and pray for those who hurt me. Finally, I was able to pray for the lady who sold me. I blessed her and suddenly the forgiveness came."
Later, God called her to rescue the women of the red light district. "I knew there were people like me, broken and captive," she explained. "If God could do so much for me, then I knew it could happen for them."
The morning after we interviewed Anita, we met 10 other former madams. Now they teach the Bible to the women they once managed. Anita's team has greatly expanded the ministry Uncle began. It is dangerous, but they are passionate and fearless. God has given them supernatural favor and protection to share their stories of captivity and deliverance.
They led us through filthy streets to a small brothel. Young women who had been forced to work most of the night packed into a tiny room to hear God's word. Like Anita, they were captured and brought to Mumbai a foreign place to them where the difference in language and culture added to their isolation. They quickly learned to depend only on each other. At first, the girls seemed uneasy in our presence, but as Anita knelt on the dirt floor and prayed, the atmosphere changed. They wept, and we wept with them as the Holy Spirit filled the room.
Anita's story is a glimpse into the overall outreach of Rescue LIFE. God continues to work in great power through the sacrificial ministry of these former madams. They could have returned to their villages or started over in new place, but they have chosen to live among the desperation and pain, pointing the way to Jesus Christ. As we support them, we are partnering in this amazing ministry. If ever there was a place of evil desires, as described in 2 Peter, this is it. Yet the divine nature of Christ is being revealed as those whose lives have been transformed by his love reach out to those still trapped, helping them to escape the corruption.
A brave woman for Christ ... 2jesus