Monsoon season has hit Mumbai. As we braved the deluge of rain with the drive to the red-light district, Philip, Santhosh and I began to prepare ourselves for the long day! Unfortunately, the rain did not stop once we arrived in the red-light area. It only poured in intensity! We climbed the stairways, hopped over sewer lines and struggled to hold the feeble umbrellas upright as we climbed to the Lighthouse, the LWR center in the heart of the city.
The ladies and several children were there to greet us. We were so happy to see their smiles. I won’t ever forget the blank expressions on their faces the first time I met them in February 2015. There was hopelessness in their eyes. But to see their joy today, there’s only one explanation for it, and that is Jesus. Yet, there is still a battle going on for the souls of these women and their children. We must not forget to fight for them.
Towards the end of the day, the rain had finally ceased. I stepped outside of the Lighthouse to walk around the slum area. I saw a few women huddled together and I wondered what was in the center of their circle. There I saw a box with a rainbow of colors in tiny jars. It took me a few minutes to realize that the box was filled with an assortment of nail polish. A man came with another box of nail polish and displayed it in front of the ladies. There was a lot of negotiation as he relayed the prices and showed the various colors.
I don’t know who the man was, or who sent him. But it saddened me that instead of finding ways to help the ladies be set free, people found ways to keep them captive. It happens over and over again, everyday. A safe hostel (safe home) has been arranged for many children of the women of Project Butterfly. But many of the mothers are saying, we want to leave this place too. We need to build homes for these in captivity, and not find ways to keep them oppressed. This project will take all of us working together. This has to be done, because we all are called to set the captives free. I hope that you will join me in this vision to bring hope, bring change, and bring new life to the people of Mumbai’s red light districts.
Together let’s transform Beauty from the Ashes!