Freed sex slaves began slow rehabilitation process

By July 13, 2010

Ghana (MNN) –55 sex slaves from the "Thunder
god" shrine of the tribal religions of Ghana were liberated March 25, 2010. The liberation of these "trokosi" women was
partially due to their head priest turning to Christ and leaving his

Since then, ECM has continued to help these women whose
lives are in desperate need of restoration and rehabilitation.

Sharon Aldrich of ECM says they have just finished a three-week
rehabilitation program where they worked with seven of the freed women. ECM created a personalized plan for each woman's future, held
Bible studies twice a day, and taught them
how to sew. "We also helped them find
a more viable way of making a living, which involved
training them to develop a home business and possibly get a micro-credit

During the program, Lorella Rouster, co-founder of ECM, spent
an hour each day teaching the women various aspects of running their own
businesses–including basic math skills.

ECM hopes to offer the next step of rehabilitation
to any of the freed women who are interested. This will include more
information about starting a business and learning more skill sets.

Though training, personal attention, and Bible studies are
helping freed women take steps toward a life of wholeness, the process is slow. "It's
difficult for them to go back into the community and feel a part of everyone
because they have been set apart for something they know is wrong,"
Aldrich said.

However, ECM is speaking into their lives and showing them
they are loved and valued by Christ and His followers. For the women who turned
their lives over to Christ, their faith is growing and deepening. Aldrich said
they get excited just to hear Bible stories.

"It's encouraging to see them take the
next step of their growth. They enjoy being in Church, and they enjoy
hearing Bible stories. It was very exciting for me to be able to tell them
about Moses and the way that his mother sent him down the river. They smiled
and clapped just to hear that story,"
Aldrich said.

As for their former priest, "There is a local Christian man who is going to him every week and having prayer and Bible study
with him. And we pray for him," said Aldrich. ECM is keeping in contact
with him and is amazed by his strength as he refuses to return to his idols. "He
simply found the courage to do what many idol worshippers would like to
do," Aldrich said.

These 55 freed slaves, however, are not the end of ECM's quest to
liberate sex slaves. Though this was a slow process–taking five years for
these individuals to finally be free, ECM is already contacting and forming relationships with other
shrines, hoping to free even more slaves.

Pray for ECM as they continue their work in Ghana. Pray for
these freed women to find acceptance in their communities as they try to piece
their lives back together. Pray that they will find redemption and the unconditional
acceptance of Christ. Pray for the priest to remain strong in his faith and for
his fellow priests to turn to Christ through his example.

Support ECM and the work they are doing with trokosi and
vulnerable women and children across Africa at their Web site.

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