#4 – An Unlikely Friendship (Mid-January, 2013)

An Unlikely Friendship

Mid-January, 2013

Our partners slowly built a relationship with the madam who runs Sweetie’s brothel and introduced her to Becky when she visited. When Becky arrived, Sweetie was covered in bruises, only coming close when lured with candy. Although it’s not normal in Asian culture to beat a child, strange men were hanging around Sweetie and the other little ones, pretending to hit the small children as their way of “playing.” Becky spoke with the madam for several hours, but the woman still refused to give Sweetie up.

Finally, after exhausting all other options, Becky decided to help the madam, a woman no one seems to care for. When Becky discovered that the madam was sick, she read the medical exams, x-rays, and lab reports to her own father, a doctor. Then Becky was able to explain the madam’s pills, what they would do for her, and what she should eat if she continued to take them. This formed a bond of trust with the madam. Becky said that she was sent to care for her as a big sister and to pray for her. Soon after, the madam found out she needed surgery. Becky didn’t know how much she could do, but if the madam wanted the surgery, she would help.

Indian worman looking down, wrapped in a golden shawlBecky went to see her every day. On the last day of her trip, she told the madam there was something she needed to ask of her. Before asking, she wanted the madam to know that they would still be friends, whether the answer was “yes” or “no.” Then, Becky wiped the dust from her feet, rubbing it on her own forehead, a cultural custom that is a desperate plea and ultimate sign of humility. The madam grabbed her hand to stop her, but smiled because Becky knew this custom and was lowering herself to elevate the madam. Becky gave the woman a bracelet from her own wrist, a pledge to be a big sister. Then Becky asked for Sweetie, saying that she wanted a new path for the baby girl. The madam said she would give Sweetie to Becky in a year, but Becky told her no, she would not wait a year. So the woman said she needed to ask her boyfriend because he is Sweetie’s real owner.