I think it is safe for me to say without any embellishment that I was in Hell. As we made our way threw the heavily trafficked streets of Delhi, we turned onto the main road of the red light district. We could see women through the bars of the three and four stories buildings beckoning men to come into the brothels and the men standing down on the street looking and calling up to the women.
Our guide took us down the street and we came to the doorway of a dark and musty building. He went up and a few minutes later motioned our team to join him. When our team made their way up the stairs for the first time, I was unable to continue and so I had to turn around and head back out. Our guide came back down and asked to please come in so I did.
Upon entering the brothel, we immediately were given a tour of the "entertainment" rooms. The conditions were shockingly abhorrent. Just a plywood platform stained from years of use. Kati and Chelsey spent their time with the "landlord" of the building and I will let them share their story in another blog.
Our guide sat us down with one of the women who works in the brothel and she began to share her story. At age 13, she was tricked into coming to the brothel by being promised work as a seamstress. When she was young, she was kept at the brothel under lock and key and had no way to escape. Now, as an adult, she is "locked in" because of the bondage of years of sexual slavery. She could leave today if she wanted but she has nowhere to go and she feels she is worthless. While we were there, she pulled out some of her money to buy us a cold Pepsi. We sat in amazement as the women tried to serve us by buying us a pepsi. It was clear to me that this 30 year old women had lost all sense of dignity, identity and self worth. I asked her if she had any hope. She said at this point all she cares about is her children. As she finished her story, I asked if I could pray for her. I look into her eyes and told her that she is beautiful to God. I felt helpless and a sense of despair trying to explain to a women that has spent her entire life as a sexual slave against her will that she is loved and has value. But, we prayed for her and touched her and my guess is that it was the first touch from a man with pure motives she may have felt in many years. We walked away and she sat on the bench waiting to service her next customer.
While we were there we actually had the chance to see several "customers" walk in and get locked in the room with their girl - it was surreal.
Then our guide took us to talk to two other women. One was 28 and had been in the brothel for 14 years. She was brought there by her husband who was much older than her and she still had a fire in her eyes and light in her heart. She said she wants to leave. But, there is no where for her to go. There is no place for her to live. The other woman was 36 and had been in the brothel for 15 years and she said she does not want to leave. She said she has lost hope and sees herself as a prostitute for life. We prayed for both of them and encouraged them and I was able to hug them both. I had a helpless feeling.
Our guide and his wife have been working in rescue of these women and have no support. They are not compensated for the work they do. Our other guide runs an orphanage and they house 6 of the children of these woman.
Please ask God if He would have any way for you to help these desperate women. They need housing far outside the city and our guides who work on the front lines need to be supported. If you want more details please contact me. I will be back in the states July 3.