Guest Post - A Glimpse Of Hope
Rosie is currently spending time with Robert, Jenny, and our Justice DTS in Athens, Greece and wrote a beautiful piece about her time there. We loved it so much we had to share it with you! Check out more of Rosie's writing on her website: https://www.rosekatherine.com/
Today we walked with Jenny and the YWAM LA justice team through the White Light District (usually called red light), while they handed out gift bags to the girls in the brothels. And it was heavy. Even for the students whose DTS is specifically geared towards the hearts and helping and redemption of sex-trafficking, the streets of Athens are a whole lot different than the streets of LA. Here, prostitution is legal, and the brothels are intense. And there's over a thousand of them within just a couple of blocks of our apartment. I'm not saying that because we're staying in a dangerous part of the city or anything, but rather, I'm saying it because we're staying in such a normal safe part of the city. And there are just brothels scattered throughout.
In the neighborhood we walked through today, there is a white light over every single door. Every single door for three blocks straight. And with each white light comes one girl. And as we stood there today in the middle of the street, with doors on either sides of us, we watched men come out one door and go right into the next one. Some were "window shopping", picking which girl looked best. Others were just making their rounds, going to girl after girl. We watched groups of friends who were laughing and goofing off, all walk through the same dark doorway, up the stairs or into a lobby and wait for the same girl. Over and over again. Dozens of guys, within just the hour we were there.
Businessman, refugees, old guys, young boys. People who would just walk right by us, coming and going.
I was making eye contact with these guys, as they walked down to these basements. And they are shameless.
And it was heartbreaking.
The culture here is different for sure. Especially with the influence of all of the ancient temples and all that comes with Greek mythology, they're selling sex everywhere. Postcards, sex shops, and literally sex itself. It's readily available, easily accessible and ACCEPTABLE. In America, it's there, it's around, it happens, but it's shameful. It's something that is kept secret and hidden in the shadows. Here in Greece, it seems to be celebrated and shouted from the rooftops. Or on the second floors, as most of the sex shops are advertised to be on. Instead of being a concentrated darkness that nobody talks about, it's sprinkled throughout the city and just adds a general heaviness and weight.
It's hard to see, it feels gross, and dirty, and it's so sad.
And I think that's what breaks my heart the most.
Sex was created by God. It's a holy and sacred and special thing. Inside of marriage, it's beautiful and wonderful. It's literally life-giving...
And this world has made it into something that ruins lives instead. Into something harsh and scary and gray. Into a corporation. All over the world, back home too.
Here it's just legal and right in front of our eyes. It's confusing and conflicting.
Here I am walking completely free in the street and there's girls my age trapped and breaking on the other side of the walls.
It's just so dark.
But that's where the YWAM justice students come in, where Robert and Jenny's hard work and passion come in, as they are opening doors to hand out nail polish and candy and encouraging notes to these girls, a little bit of sunlight pours into the darkest hallways.
And therein lies a glimpse of hope.
The lights above the doors are white and bright, used to market something so dark. But the light is God's, and he is taking it back.
John 1:5 - "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness will never extinguish it."