Yeah, so I’m dreadful at updating this thing but I’ll try to be better in the future. Right now I’ve got about three more weeks in the lecture phase of the DTS and then I’m leaving for outreach in early December. My team is going to South Eastern Europe and we don’t have a set plan of what the outreach is going to look like. We do know that photography and the rest of the arts will have a huge part in what we do though and we’ll most likely be working with raising awareness of human trafficking and documenting as much as we can of this going on in countries like Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Greece and Turkey. All of these countries have a huge problem with sex trafficking and a large part of girls that are found in western brothels are from this region.
About three weeks ago I went to Nuremberg with four students from the music track to do a weekend outreach. At the time we had no idea what we were going to do there. We were walking through the city, looking for a place to play street music and suddenly realized that we had walked right into the red light district. Barely clothed girls sat in windows, waiting and tapping on the glass when men walked by. We were instantly affected by how spiritually heavy and hopeless the district felt but we prayed and felt like we should stay and play music there. As we played, girls started coming to the windows and opening them to hear us. The atmosphere was transformed as they smiled and clapped from their balconies and they even tried to give us money. Two of the girls in our group went to talk to some of them and they were able to share who we were and why we were there. A girl named Maria would not let them go until they told her what we wanted to drink and she bought us all cokes and waters from the brothel bar. They got to talk and pray with her for about fifteen minutes and we were all so touched that she wanted to bless us just for playing music on the street! Eventually, someone called the police and we had to leave the district but I was so changed by what I had seen that day. I saw with my own eyes the injustices that we have been learning about in the DTS. I talked to women who had most likely been trafficked into Germany from other countries through deceit and manipulation. Statistics became reality, as signs on their windows read, Maria-Romania, Natasha-Ukraine, Amy-Thailand, Sara-Bulgaria…
We went back with a team of nine this weekend and continued to work in the red light district. It was harder this time around because we went at ten o’clock at night on a Saturday and the streets were full of men. We had spent time in prayer beforehand but it was still so hard to see guys walking in and out of brothel doors, not caring a bit that the girls there are offered no hope. They aren’t loved by anyone, they are far from home, they’re looked down on by everyone and most have no way out of the hell they live in.
I felt incredibly useless and powerless against such ignorance and depravity, like I was a child screaming at a tornado to stop but then God reminded me that He is the only one that can affect change in places like that. He has overcome the world already and one day there won’t be red light districts, there won’t be oppression, slavery and manipulation of the innocent. All this evil will pass away but His love will not. The kingdom of darkness is strong but temporary. God’s love is so much stronger and it is eternal.
We had hoped that we’d see Maria again but the girls at her brothel said that she didn’t work there anymore. We don’t know what happened to her but she was most likely moved to a different city. Please keep me and my team in prayer as we prepare for outreach. We will most likely be working in places far worse than the Nuremberg red light district and face much bigger challenges. Pray for these places too, that hope will spring forth in girls like Maria’s hearts and that they will find ways out. Prayer is our biggest weapon but you must believe that it will effect change in the world, that the God that we pray to listens to us and is bigger than any darkness we face.