Every so often when we hit the streets on a Friday night, we feel like our purpose is crystal clear. We always know why we are out on the street, what message we want to communicate and how we want to share the love of God with these women. But at times it is easy to get discouraged: do they really hear us? Do they believe? Will they remember even though we didn't get a chance to talk to them for very long?
Friday night Ben, Lindsay and I met up at 1:30a. We spent some time in prayer as we usually do - but this time our prayer was specifically asking that we would run into a woman that really needed to hear from God. That needed to be encouraged or challenged and met on the streets tonight, the woman that wanted to speak with us because she was at that place where she was breaking.
And that is exactly what God did.
The very first woman we say after driving down the track for about three blocks was BI. She was on the phone, as usual, and seemed in a hurry to get somewhere. When we approached her to give her a bag she looked confused. She asked what it was for and why we were talking to her. We said we were out here talking to the ladies - that we wanted to let her know how deeply God loves her and that he has big plans for her life if she ever wants to get out of this.
BI had an almost scared look on her face as she began shaking her head and saying "You've GOT to be kidding me!" over and over again.
She proceeded to tell us that she was on the phone with her sister and had just been talking about how she was scared and tired and wanted to get out of the game. She was done. She wanted a change. She has two kids and didn't want them to have to grow up in fear and watching their mom come home with bruises, watching her have to sell her body to make a living and making them susceptible to the violence of the pimp that controlled her life.
We walked with her down the street for a while because she was uncomfortable standing in one place, she felt like she was being followed. And eventually gave her a ride to the metro station so she could go get off the street and home to her kids.
She was not ready to seek help at the moment - she was too scared of her pimps retaliation or what would happen to her kids - but we left her with our phone number as well as the number to three rehab centers around Los Angeles that she could seek help from.
We were able to pray with her, talk to her about how beautiful and special and unique she is and how much God truly truly LOVES her.
It was not a coincidence that we ran into BI Friday night - that she was at the end of her rope hoping for a way out and God brought a way to her.
We ended up spending around an hour with her. What a privilege to step into life with her, pray with her, love her, cry with her and seek to share a glimpse of hope with her in the midst of a really scary time.
Pray with us that BI has the courage to make a change in her life - that she would not give into fear but she would choose to pick up the phone and get some help.