As I reflected on my experience with the girls, I had a hard time meshing these sweet, joyful, innocent girls with a past of abuse and pain. They had been through so much, yet they were so happy. It makes me hurt to think how different their lives would be, the pain that would replace their sweet smiles, if it hadn’t been for the courageous girls at the border stations. I couldn’t help but think about my little sister, who just turned 16, and how I would do anything in the world to keep her from harm’s way. Knowing that these girls don’t have anyone to protect and love them at home, breaks my heart.
Then I thought about their futures, the destinies of each of these girls. How, in six short months, our partner is helping them create an entirely different life. They are taught a skill that will be their new occupation hopefully for the rest of their life. Most girls in the US are just trying to pick a college at their age.
Their identities change as well. For their entire lives up until this point, they believed they were “less than” because they were girls. They were considered a burden, just by being born. When they get to the safe house, they learn that they are valuable, important and loved. They learn how to successfully make a living for themselves.
Finally, for most of them, their world is turned when they begin a relationship with Christ. In the Hindu religion, in their culture, they believe in karma, which states that everything that you’ve done, both in this life and past lives, effects what happens to you in the future. For these girls, this means they believed that they were neglected, abused, and trafficked because of something THEY did. However, many come to know Christ, that he paid the ultimate price for all their sins, and that their slates are wiped clean. Imagine carrying the burden not only of every sin you’ve ever committed in your life, but in many, many lives. Then imagine that heavy burden being lifted off your shoulders, knowing that you are free, not only physically, but spiritually.
With this new self, these girls go home to become business women, active members in their communities, and church planters, all the while, changing the lives of others. Under a humble, sweet exterior burns a fire of strength and tenacity.
To change a nation, we don’t go into combat with an army of men. We fight injustice, one girl at a time.