(Photo courtesy of Pierre Holtz)
Ghana (MNN) ― Imagine a life where, because of a supposed sin of a family member, you are sent away to live in the local shrine as payment for this sin. As a shrine slave, you are subject to every whim and command of the priests—even sexual exploitation.
This is the reality for many women and girls who live as trokosi slaves in Ghana. A high concentration of trokosi live along the Ghana-Togo border and many try other avenues to escape their lives of bondage.
Lorella Rouster with Every Child Ministries says, “They’re working at this big, open air market there in Lome in a very desperate attempt to try to buy themselves out of slavery to the shrines. But without help, it’ll be very rare that any of them will really ever be able to get out of this.”
Every Child Ministries gives trokosi the help they need. Over the past 12 years, Every Child Ministries has freed 500 trokosi slaves and 2,000 slave children.
Now, Every Child Ministries is taking their trokosi ministry to the next level. They just purchased a plot of land on June 1 along the Ghana-Togo border. This land will serve as the foundation for a rehabilitation center.
“It’s really a strategic spot because it’s located in an area where there are many shrines…and also we will be easily able to access the shrine slaves in Togo, especially those in the market at Lome,” says Rouster.
With this rehabilitation center, Every Child Ministries will provide vocational and life skill classes, Bible studies, counseling, and even temporary shelter.
Women at the center will be able to earn a living by learning tailoring, beading, or soap-making. Every Child Ministries is looking to expand the list of vocational training they offer.
Rouster says, “Our ultimate goal is to help those former shrine slaves become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ, and then to send them out to reach others like themselves who are caught up in that whole system. So we hope that it will have a multiplying effect on the Gospel.”
So far, there are three buildings located on the land plot. Two of them don’t have roofs, and one of the roofless buildings will require additional work on it.
Every Child Ministries plans to send a construction team to start fixing up the buildings and adding roofs in January 2013. They hope to have the rehabilitation center up and running by August 2013.
Before they can send the construction team in January, they need to recruit six male volunteers for the job and raise $26,000. You can donate to the rehabilitation center by clicking here, or volunteer for the construction team by contacting Lorella Rouster.
Please pray for the ongoing rescue of trokosi women and for protection over the construction of the rehabilitation center. Pray that the Gospel does indeed have a multiplying effect as more women are rescued from the trokosi slave practice.