Cynthia (not her real name), just 15 years old and she had just recently been rescued by the police from a hotel room where she was kept in a prison type setting for seven months. For seven long months men would enter her room around the clock for sex. The man that imprisoned her would bring her food and water but she was never allowed to leave. Compassion filled my heart as I looked into the eyes of a young girl who should have been thinking about high school, her grades, and dreaming about dating, yet she would be trapped in an unspeakable hell on earth.
I was astonished that this was happening in my city! Cynthia was safe now, but you could see on her face and hear in her voice she was wounded deeply. Just shortly after her rescue she would become pregnant with a child she was not ready for and yet excited to think this baby would love her, and fill that pain she felt deep within.
Our passion to rescue those on the streets would bring my husband and I to help purchase a 12 seat passenger van for our small church we attended at the time to start a ministry there. But 2 years later we would begin our own ministry and open up a church that would start in our home and 7 months later move to a building.
As we took to the streets of Phoenix in the middle of the night we would see several regulars that were becoming familiar with our van and would stop to talk with us. Monica was a transvestite in the central part of Phoenix that we would see frequently. One day as he sat at a bus stop, I sat down next to him to just talk and try to understand what held him to this life on the streets as a prostitute. He told me his story of being on the streets since he was sixteen prostituting and he was now forty-four. He said, “I don’t know any other life.”
I thought to myself, what would bring a young boy to the streets to prostitute him-self and keep him there over twenty-five years? I have often said to my husband, “I never dreamed I would be going out in the middle of the night looking for transvestites to minister to.” But the truth is those that we would see over and over again, I thought of often. I prayed for them and my heart hurt for them. I knew Jesus loved them and desired their souls as any other of His creation and He now placed that love in my heart.
The lost souls of mankind should burn within us to bring them to Christ, because that is what burned within Jesus. Street ministry is hard. People are so hardened by their lifestyles and choices, sometimes it seems impossible to help them, much less to even talk with them.
1 Peter 2 (NLT)
21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
22 He never sinned,
nor ever deceived anyone.
23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted,
nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.
24 He personally carried our sins
in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By his wounds
you are healed.
25 Once you were like sheep
who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
the Guardian of your souls.
Lord help us help others. Give us the love that only you can give. Open the eyes of the blind long enough to hear Your voice call to them to come. Use us as fallible as we are to be Your voice in the darkness. Amen
I will continue this journey on the streets tomorrow.
Be blessed today and let that blessing flow over onto others that so desperately need it, even if their spiritual eyes are blinded.