June 22, 2018
Feelings of fear and uneasiness come to the girls in those first few seconds they encounter us if they don’t recognize who we are. Typically, it quickly turns to peace, joy, and laughter when we meet on Saturdays from 3 am – 6 am. On occasion, we meet the more reserved girls who have strong guards up. It is easy to tell that their walls are up to protect themselves from the life that they are currently living. Stay strong. Stay confident. Don’t get hurt.
Friday night, something in us decided to meet the girls at a different hour. Of course there were reasons behind why, but truly, it was the nudge of the Holy Spirit. Instead of 3 am to 6 am, we went to the streets from 1 am to 4 am.
Something seemed off. Hearts were hardened and the seeming chaos of the girls getting in cars and driving away with strangers was happening within feet of where we were. It was off-putting because this street in particular is typically pretty peaceful. Our encounters the majority of the time are full of joyful conversations, hearts touched by our presence, and girls open to receiving prayer.
We had no idea that the atmosphere on the same street could change so drastically only a few hours earlier than normal, even though the same thing is happening the whole night. Taken back by the first few girls’ responses, we were brought to a new level of understanding of the reality these girls live each night. They live in fear: fear of being arrested, fear of getting robbed, fear of not making their quota, fear of being hit or abused, even fear of women getting out of a car to give them gifts. They live unable to trust. Their lives are completely covered in fear of something or someone.
What makes another hour feel like another world? Honestly, we don’t know, but what we do know is that those who are the hardest to love are ones that need it the most. These girls have probably never felt someone’s sincere love for them. They don’t understand that they don’t need to do anything to be loved. By the end of our time, we began to see the softer, more open hearts that we were used to. That night, our hearts re-broke for the reality of what these girls’ nights really look like, even if they yelled at us to go, hesitantly received the gifts, or weren’t open to talk to us. Nights like this are important for us as a ministry. As hard as it is to see the anger or fear in their eyes, it rids us of any apathy that might be trying to take root in our hearts and reignites our passion to see these girls find freedom, not just from the lifestyle but from their fear as well.