Friday, April 17, 2009

17. Hope

Weekly, we have the pleasure of helping at a center that works to rehabilitate women who have been involved in commercial sex work (prostitution). The center is called Rahab's Rope, and it is a haven for women trying to make a new life for themselves and leave behind the trade.

Most often than not, the women became commercial sex workers (CSWs) because they were forced to or sold by someone close to them, perhaps a father or husband, or because life circumstances led them to do this as a way to provide for themselves and their families. All of their stories are heart-breaking.

Rahab's strives to rehabilitate the women physically, emotionally and spiritually. Up to 30 women are given a home in the center along with any young children they may have. They are given the opportunity to learn English, basic math and other skills like sewing and jewelry-making so that they can leave the life of prostitution and find other work. They are also assisted with medical care (many may have HIV/AIDS) and childcare as well as financial help to attend nursing school, beauty school or basic college classes.

When we go to the center we are able to help with the English and math classes as well as teach stories from God's Word. Many of the women are choosing to follow Him and are being discipled at the center. Recently, we began to start thinking of other ways that we could help, and we decided that some sort of arts and crafts project would be fun. It would give the women something creative to do and bring beauty into their lives. We decided that each woman should make a scrapbook about their lives.

Since Reba's mom came last week, we had her bring out disposable cameras and scrapbooking supplies, donated by friends and family. We bought the women small scrapbooks. Today we went to have a "lesson" in scrapbooking. Our friend Camille, an excellent photographer, came and taught the ladies basic photography skills and presented them with their disposable cameras.

We then showed them some examples of scrapbook pages. We put all the papers and stickers and scissors out in the middle of the circle and let them go at it! It was cute because, at first, they really weren't sure about what to do or confident to do it. But, once they got going, they really got going. They were able to create some beautiful pages. They will keep their cameras for a few weeks and then bring them back for us to develop. Later, they will put the pictures into their scrapbooks.

We hope this scrapbook will help them be able to creatively express themselves and give them something to represent the new life they are trying to lead. Please lift up these women and their children as they are continually trying to escape the slavery of commerical sex work. Please also plead on behalf of their salvation.

me and some of the cutest kids ever

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