SE Asia (MNN) — It’s one thing to know that 27 million people around the world are victims of human trafficking. It’s another to actually do something about it.
“It’s not the UN’s, it’s not the government’s responsibility; it’s our responsibility because we know that people are created in the image of God, and this is NOT His purpose or plan for their lives,” says Patrick Klein with Vision Beyond Borders.
“We as Christians should be moved with compassion and say, ‘We need to do all we can to rescue these women.'”
Klein is leading a short-term team in Southeast Asia right now. They’re building a safe-house to protect girls who are courageous enough to leave the trade.
“We’ll have 11 or 12 starting out, and our goal is eventually to have 50 women in that home,” Klein shares.
Along with building the safe house, “We’re going to have discipleship in the morning…and then in the afternoon, we will be teaching them [rescued women] how to make handcrafts, how to sew.”
This way, women can support themselves in a God-honoring way.
The safe house and training are the latest developments in an ongoing partnership between VBB and an in-country ministry partner. This partner is a woman who’s been ministering in the brothels for 15 years, establishing friendships and earning the trust of trafficked women.
“She’s sharing the Gospel with them the whole time, and once they trust her and they’ve come to Christ, they want out,” Klein explains. “It’s a dangerous work, but at the same time, it’s really exciting because you see God radically change these girls’ lives.
“When they worship, their hands are raised, their tears are just running down their faces. They’re just so grateful for what Jesus has done in their lives.”
Klein says people interested in supporting VBB often ask him whether they should go or give.
While giving is an immense help and is truly needed, “People should go; if they can go, they should go because I believe it’s life changing,” the ministry leader says.
Although VBB’s trips are short-term, they leave an everlasting impact on those involved.
The team members “come back changed, and they say, ‘You know what? I want to do all I can to help these women in the red-light districts,'” shares Klein.
Relationships forged between women in the trade and women on the trip lead to Gospel opportunities.
Klein shares the story of one team member, a rape victim, who connected with one of the red-light district workers in a unique way. VBB’s partner says she had never seen a smile on the worker’s face.
But the VBB team member ministered to this worker as she styled the woman’s hair, and by the end, something had changed.
As the worker got up to leave, “this lady from the States hugged this girl good-bye and said ‘I love you’ and kissed her on the cheek,” Klein recalls.
“As the girl was leaving, the girl turned around and waved, and she smiled for the first time.”
VBB regularly takes teams to minister in SE Asia’s red-light districts. Find a list of upcoming trips here.
“We can always use people who teach the women skills. Also, we need women that could come over and actually teach them in the beauty salon,” Klein notes.
“Lord, please help us get the Gospel to more people, and that the Gospel will permeate these red-light districts everywhere around the world,” prays Klein.
Please pray that more women will escape human trafficking and find salvation through Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord to open the eyes of brothel owners and traffickers who use these vulnerable women and girls.
Pray also for the men who abuse them to be transformed.
Says Klein, “They’ll go into these buildings…and they’ll window shop. They’ll walk in and look at the girls and see which ones…that they want to use.”