The Precious Ones
I woke up at about 12 am with terrible stomach pain. I laid in bed knowing that I had to be up for ministry in 3 1/2 hours. All of a sudden I felt consumed with anxiety. I felt unsure about going out at all and not just because I felt sick. My team and I spend a lot of time praying. We are a bold group of people. We walk into the "lions den" on a regular basis and have the confidence to do it because we know we are backed by the creator of the universe. When feelings like this arise we are quick to go to God and ask "why". I spent time asking God if we were not supposed to go out, but I felt a sense of confidence backing my team. However, I still felt shaky and unsure. For anyone who has met me, shaky and unsure are definitely not words they would use to describe me. I decided to try and rest and see what I felt when I woke up.
When I woke up for ministry in the early hours of the morning I felt fine. I got up and ran out the door to join my team. We spent time praying for our outreach. Asking God for things like protection and guidance. We also prayed that we wouldn't get caught up in "another outreach". That God would give us a passion for each girl we encountered. One of our team members felt God saying that He is all things for all people. That He is strength for the defenseless and gentle for the timid. We left with excitement. Ready to let every individual we encountered know that they not only matter, but they are radically loved.
We took turns getting out of the car, handing out gift bags and having conversations with the precious girls being sold on the streets. Each one so beautiful, so sweet and so uniquely incredible. As we drove, I realized that the anxiety I had felt was most likely because I am a pregnant mama. I am currently pregnant with my third child and like every other pregnancy I feel a sense of protection over my little baby growing inside of me that causes me to be even more protective than usual over my own body.
On the third stop it was my turn to get out. I was accompanied by two other girls from my team. As we approached a VERY young girl we noticed that she had a pregnant belly. Yes, you read correctly. A precious, young girl being forced to sell her body for sex even though she is pregnant. This is actually not unusual. As we approached the girl a car pulled up to her full of people. The young guy driving the car was yelling profane things at her in an obvious attempt to "sweat" her. (sweat-This is when a pimp other than the prostitute’s harasses her either with sweet talk, intimidation or efforts to "break" her. The goal is to get the girl to join his "stable" and work under him. Giving him authority and control over her.) We continued forward and offered her our gift. The car drove off on its way. I felt such a sense of motherly protection over her. She was so vulnerable, so precious and so alone. In the past we have had girls ask us to stay with them until they know the coast is clear because they say we make them feel safe. The girl didn't know how far into her pregnancy she was but I knew she was further than she thought and was most likely not receiving medical care. We told her that she could call us 24 hours a day and we are able to connect her with pregnancy resources along with many others.
As we drove away I felt God speaking to me that he had allowed me to go through feeling sick, experiencing intense anxiety and fear just to feel a sliver of what this girl must feel every single night as she wakes up and is forced to stand for hours on end selling her body for another's moment of gain.
It is moments like this that drive my team forward. Its seeing the faces behind the statistics and knowing that there are girls that are alone, broken and searching for a glimpse of hope in their lives. This is why we do what we do. This is why I have given my life to searching and fighting for these girls. Letting them know that they aren't forgotten and that there is a God that sees them and who's heart is aching to see them reached.