(Image courtesy Vision Beyond Borders)
Nepal (MNN) ― "God has hardwired a woman to love and to nurture and to care." One of the saddest things in the world is to see a woman so hardened to life that she is unable to mother her children.
Wes Flint of Vision Beyond Borders says because of human trafficking, that's a common sight in streets of Nepal, Burma and India. "Sadly, it's this debaucherous behavior that sears the heart and sears the mind, and it's void of loving the way that the way that God has designed a woman to love."
Vision for Women, an outreach of Vision Beyond Borders, is working in some of the world's poorest countries to meet the spiritual and physical needs of our sisters in Christ. The extreme poverty in Nepal and India results in malnutrition, disease, illiteracy, and often deep spiritual depravity. Little value is placed on women and girls in these countries where they are sold into sex slavery by members of their own families for as little as $10.00 U.S., depending on their age and beauty.
On his last trip through Nepal and Burma, Flint says that really hit home. "One of the things that really caught me off guard is the greed and the selfishness and the brutality that [occurs] on a daily basis with these girls."
The numbers are stunning. Flint notes that in Nepal alone, an estimated 250,000 women and girls have been sold into sex slavery to work in the brothels of India. Due to the nature of their enslavement, these girls often bear children. The future for these innocents is grim, says Flint. "The children are really without any hope. They will be sold into this same lifestyle as soon as they are of age, usually very young."
Even if they are not sold, they are expected to do hard physical labor to make money to help feed their families. It's a future of drudgery, humiliation, and loneliness. It's no wonder, says Flint, that "they refer to themselves as 'the walking dead.' That's how they look at their own lives. It is hopeless, it is completely void of emotion and feeling."
According to partners with VBB, girls as young as 7 have been sold into slavery. These women and girls are confined in a room called "the cage" where they are beaten, starved, and raped until their will is broken. Then they are forced to service customers to repay their debt--a debt that incurs more in interest than they are paid for their services. Boys are not exempt from the abuse, either.
And yet, "God is bringing people to bring hope and bring the Word of God into these precious lives so that we can provide an opportunity of trust and get these girls rescued out of this lifestyle."
Flint explains, "In many of these areas, they've never heard the name Jesus Christ. This is coming out of a Hindu culture. They don't understand this God who saves." VBB partners are trying to bring hope to these women and children.
For the children, Flint says, "We work with contacts to establish a school and a training facility so that they understand and know the Gospel, they understand the God who saves, and we provide them an education. With that education, these children can have a hope of obtaining a normal job."
For their mothers, it's a bit trickier. Most of them have been horribly abused by men. Building trust takes time. Women who are also believers work in these areas. "What we have are contacts there that establish trust with these girls, and then we provide an opportunity to get them out of that lifestyle and get them into a safe house. We then retrain them into a craft trade and help to facilitate selling those items so that they can earn an income."
Flint goes on to explain that this task seems impossible. However, they're after the end game. "Nothing will really change until these brothel owners and those that are the perpetrators come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. When the heart of these people change, then the same thing will happen with those that are under them in those brothels."
The Gospel is making inroads in the red-light districts of South Asia. Rescued children blossom. Flint says because of that, "We're seeing that the power of the Gospel is transforming and changing lives in a very powerful way."
The dark and crushing world of sex trafficking seems to leave little room for hope. But thanks to the work of many who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of justice and freedom, the teams think freedom is within reach. Flint sums it up this way: "Once the Truth of the Gospel comes through, where God transforms these people and changes their lives, then that is what establishes true hope and that is what brings change into these brothels."
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