#9 Hope in the Darkness (March, 2015)
Hope in the Darkness:
A Letter from the President
Dear Prayer Warriors,
Get down on your knees fast! Pray hard. Stop what you are doing and pray. This week we received word from our Indian partners that the Madame in charge of Sweetie, who beats her and who I have befriended, has asked for a special meeting to discuss Sweetie’s future. For the first time, she initiated a conversation about Sweetie and implied that she is thinking about talking to her boyfriend (Sweetie’s owner). You might recall that I have spent a long time with this man, begging him for Sweetie. Our hope is that she be raised in a loving Indian home where she could go to school. He just watched me coldly, without any facial expression, basically saying, “No thank you.” Why would he allow his “property,” being raised for sale to the highest bidder, go for free? Because she is owned by a corrupt official, a police raid will not work.
I’m tempted to get on a plane and fly out there tomorrow in order to be at this meeting. But time, commitments to safehouses and programs, and last minute costs make it unwise. Anyway, God doesn’t need me. He can set the captive free! I just spoke at the Pentagon and will be in twelve states in six weeks, so I need to keep my feet to the fire and stay put with my knees on the ground. That’s where I need your help!
This is the first glimmer of hope we have seen. Although we are wary that this might just be words and may lead down a dead end path (which has been every path we have pursued so far), we see that wheels are spinning and the option is still on the forefront of the Madame’s mind.
The Madam moved out of the brothel that she still controls. Another “madam” moved in and there is competition between them for customers. She built a house and lives there and manages from afar. One time, we arrived at the brothel area to find the two in a physical fight and we had to separate them. Moving out and still controlling the women that are “hers” is a face-saving way of continuing to do her “business.” She moved Sweetie into her own home too. Sadly, that doesn’t mean Sweetie is safe. Her home is likely just another brothel site. It does mean that Sweetie is separated from her “biological mom” who is rarely in the original brothel, as the “Madam” often ships her to her sister’s brothel across the country. It also means that Sweetie is not tied to the pole anymore. The Pack ‘n Play that we traded for the red cord that bound her went to the new home. And it means that Sweetie is not in the brothel where creepy customers show attention to Sweetie. That is good news, and I am grasping at straws of good news for this baby who has stolen my heart and the heart of the WAR world.
Last time I was in India, I took a high-end house warming gift from America to give the “Madame” as a good will gesture. Gift giving is very typical Asian tradition. It simply reminds her that I have not given up; I am her friend; I want Sweetie and the conversation will not go away as long as I live. In Asian culture, there is no other hope except to build a relationship that requires “give and take.” There is really nothing this woman can give me so the unspoken hope is that she will be constantly reminded of my passion for this tiny baby. Relationships in Asia mean everything, and that is where the true power and ability to “call in chips” comes from. Not only that, but I also genuinely care for this Madam who God thrust in my path. She too is a little girl whose cries were never heard, but who grew up to be the “owner” rather than the “owned.” She is still controlled by the man she calls her “boyfriend,” who is the corrupt government official. If he gives me Sweetie, maybe I’ll pray for him. Okay I’ll start now, in faith.
We are asking you to gather up your prayer warriors near and far and take this week and month to pray on bended knee for God’s mighty hand to move in the hearts of both the Madame and her boyfriend. God’s plan for the future is unknown, but we do know that His hand is on this precious child and He has promised to “never leave nor forsake” her. Let us pray together for His will to be done.
If Sweetie is to be released to a safe home, where she will hear of freedom in Christ, it will be because of the prayers of God’s people who cry out to the Father of the Fatherless. As we move into Mother’s and Father’s Day…let’s make this our prayer. Then, God alone will receive the credit for this miracle! Scripture repeatedly tells us to be the voice for those who have no voice! That is our earthly calling!
Fighting for Sweetie until there is no breath left in me,
Women At Risk, International
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