I asked a young mother what her dream was for her daughter, and her answer shocked me. I didn’t know what to think at first, but as I began to understand, the impact of her words hit me like a sledgehammer.
The red light district in East Africa is one of the most horrific places you can imagine. Women with empty eyes line streets lined by one tiny dark room after the next. A few colored lights beckon men into the rooms to use and abuse these hopeless women.
Perhaps worst of all, children wander the streets alone at night. Some wait outside the rooms as their mothers usher in man after man and infants are stashed away in boxes on shelves or under beds.
Being there never fails to sicken me. How can a place like this even exist?
A lovely young woman named Mekides once worked and lived in that dreadful place—and her infant daughter, Devora, slept in a box under that bed. But not anymore.
Along with our ministry partner, Crisis Aid International, we were able to offer them both a beautiful alternative: to take them from that dark place and give them a home where she is respected and trained for a career to ensure they never have to go back there. And perhaps most importantly, they are loved and showered with the love of Christ.
When I talked with Mekides, she said she can’t even express how her life has changed. She always wanted to be a hairstylist, and with the training she received at the rescue home, her dream has come true. She is employed, successful and happy.
It was Mekides’ next answer that completely caught me off guard. I asked her about her dream for her daughter, and she answered, “I want her to be like you.” Tears sprang to my eyes as I thought about that, because I knew that it wasn’t about me personally, but about the blessings so many of us take for granted.
She went on to explain, “Like you, a fulfilled girl, a fulfilled woman—she will become successful and helping other women.”
The truth and the responsibility of her words hit me hard. We are blessed to live fulfilled lives, to know the Lord, and to be able to help other women. I simply can’t thank God enough, and out of that gratitude I want every woman and girl I can possibly reach to see a glimpse of His great love for them. I’m sure you do too.
Perhaps Mekides said it best as she described her own transformation. “When somebody comes from darkness to light, it's a big change for me and it is for my daughter. I'm very happy. He (God) will lead me. I know it and I feel it. He's my Father and I'm so thankful to Him.”