So we've made a little headway in the red light district but not much. It's an interesting area to work in. Like I said in the last update our first contact didn't work out. Our second contact sort of fell through as well. The second man I believe really wanted to help us but he was so busy and communication with us was difficult since our phone wasn't working at the time. God is faithful though and gave us another man who is willing to help us.
We've gone down to the red light area probably around a total of 6 to 7 times total so far. The first 2 times we went down, we went down when it was still light outside. It was good to get an idea of what the area was like and meet a few people and take some pictures. We also tried prayer walking but it didn't work so well since it's so loud you can really only walk in two's and sometimes single file. After it not really working out with our second contact we just started going down on our own. We communicated as best as we could with out little Hindi and their English. There's some people who were very friendly to us and others who tell us to leave.
One night when we were out we met a woman who said she's been a prostitute for somewhere around 20 years. She lived in a village but she needed money so she came to Mumbai. She now has 1 daughter and 2 sons. We met her mother and daughter because they live there with her. She said that she wants to go home but I don't think she can because of money. She doesn't have a pimp so no one is telling her she has to stay. She love my leader and was crying the first night we met her.
There was another woman who Kelsey and I met one night and we thought her name was something like Judy but now we're not sure. We were both really drawn to her after speaking to her. She had really good English and she seemed so very sweet. After not very long at all of speaking with her a crowd of young men was gathering and they (her and another girl with her) started acting really nervous. I asked if we should go and she said yes. We turned and left down the road to met the rest of our group. After not going to far I turn to look back and couldn't see her anymore. It was like she disappeared out of no where. We have looked for her since and asked the other girl who was with her through a translator but we've gotten no where. I'm a little concerned for her and can't help but wonder if something bad happened to her.
Last night was the first night that we went out with our new contact; who is really great to work with. We were thinking about not going out once again because of rain but decided we were going to anyway. I think that some of the ladies were really impressed that we still came even in the monsoon. I hope that it showed them that we really care. As we were walking through the area today I started tearing up. We were going to meet some of the ladies who were really happy to see us last night and especially Kailyn. Some of them told us it was better to come 3 to 6 because they're not busy then. We were going to go have tea with these ladies but didn't find them. We were met with a lot of opposition today partly I think because of our cameras.
We ended up leaving the red light area and just walking down the street taking pictures. We seem to attract crowds at rapid rates. LOL It's okay for a while and in some areas but after a little bit it becomes overwhelming. We ended up meeting a very nice business muslim man who invited us into his office. He gave us pepsi and introduced us to his son. He told us a little about himself and his beliefs and we also shared a little of what we believed about Jesus but not much. His wife was roman catholic but converted to muslim. He ended up wanting a pic of each of us individually. It was pretty gross because I he posed pretending to kiss my cheek. So I pretty much got lipped by an old Indian man. I guess I can mark that off my list of things to do before I die. Just kidding. He was very nice though and told us before we leaved that if we needed anything at anytime to call him; even at 12 at night. "I will come and get you and take you to my house. You are not friends or even good friends but family now!" This is what I love so much about the Indian people. They are so hospitable!
Another thing that's happened in the red light district that I wasn't expecting at all was ministry to male prostitutes. They are cross dressers and at first glance and even meeting them you can't really tell. What got me wondering was his voice for one of them. He is obviously on hormones and/or has had surgeries. One of them speaks very good English so be we've been able to talk to him quite a bit. He's the prettiest man I've ever seen and it's really sad that he's there. He's told us that he's only been here a month and that he's in college or was in college. I'm not really sure I believe the month part at all. He also said he started doing this because of family problems. That's really sad if that's truly the case.
As you can see from the what I've written there's very people who need freedom from more then one thing. The red light area isn't at all like a pictured it would be. It's basically women living in a certain area sitting or standing outside of their home selling themselves as life in India goes on around them. It's not like there's big bars with lots of prostitutes in them or anything. It's like these women living with other women and maybe a pimp or with their children and husbands. Some stand on the main road on the sidewalk. Others sit in front or stand inside tiny little dark ally ways. I've never seen a western man down there all these times so I'm thinking there's somewhere else westerners go.
Please pray for the women to have open soft hearts and their pimps so we can talk to them. We are planning on giving flowers with verses out to the women soon so we're hoping this will open the door up for us a little more. Please also pray that the man who is helping us right now would get a heart for this area and carry on the ministry here when we leave next Tue. Thank you!
From the crazy country of India,
The Traveling Iowan :)