Today we headed over to NewSong to meet with Bridget. Living here are 54 girls between 5 and 20, all who have been subjected to some of the most unimaginable abuse. It is so hard to create a picture of this place for you. The surroundings are beautiful and the staff are beyond words. Their love for these children is so clear and that is reciprocated by the kids. Here children recover something of their lost lives. It is an incredible experience and blessing to come here and meet children who arrived with the belief that they were worthless, dirty and unlovable. This could be no further from the truth and through the patient work and testimony of the staff lives are being changed. These kids have come to know the love of Christ who died for them and loves unreservedly and without condition. One little girl aged somewhere around 14 was never far away - she now suffers from minor brain damage following the amount of drugs forced into her in the brothels.
Then we were treated to lunch with the girls – green Thai curry! To sit amongst these kids, many of whom have been the victims of white western men, is an honour again I can barely describe.
After lunch we take another long tuk tuk drive to visit The Sanctuary, Rahab’s House and The Lords Gym. As we arrived a bus full of very young children pulled up who were brought in from the brick kilns where their families are held in bonded labour. The last time I was here The Sanctuary was an aspiration and a wreck. Today it resonates to the sound of children at the kids club singing songs to Jesus and being allowed the luxury of being children for 2 hours of the day. Many of these kids will leave here and be sold tonight to satisfy the cravings of the men who prey on them. Bridget commented, “We live at the gates of hell – but there is a lot of hope here.” It cannot be put more succinctly than that. In the midst of a tangible darkness the light of Christ burns with a fierce intensity. This community is being turned around one life at a time.
As we wander through the buildings I meet with girls making bracelets. I ask for one with my wife’s name on and am told it will take around 30 minutes. True to form the bracelet is delivered by a lovely girl who says a few words and leaves. I then find out that she has hardly spoken a word since her rescue several years ago – so deep is the trauma locked inside.
Don & Bridget are an incredible couple who acted in response to a need. Described so aptly today as Nike Christianity – they just did it. No qualifications or experience in this area – just a heart for children in a land far from home who needed help. Pray for them and the staff who they work so closely with. Pray for safety in a hostile environment, for provision to do more and for wisdom to act in the right way at the right time. Pray for these children and for their protection and for this community that it will turn to Jesus and away from the trade it is world renowned for.