The following blog is written by Sara Kuryan. Sara, along with her family, recently returned home after serving at Bombay Teen Challenge (BTC). BTC is an organization that fights human trafficking in Mumbai, India. Sara shares her experience of serving in the Red Light District.
We’ve been planning on coming to serve at Bombay Teen Challenge (BTC) for over a year. After hearing about Alex’s experiences on his mission trip two years ago and talking to others who have come here in the past, I thought I had an understanding of what to expect.
There is nothing that could have prepared me for what I saw and experienced at the BTC clinic in Turbhe. The clinic is in the center of a newer Red Light district. It was once two separate brothels that BTC purchased and renovated into a clinic to serve the medical needs of the people in that area and introduce them to BTC. The clinic is literally surrounded by brothels. As I sat in the clinic, I saw the women with exaggerated amounts of make up calling and reaching out to men as they passed by. They were aggressively trying to solicit these customers. The darkness that I felt was indescribable and there was a deep sadness that overflowed my heart.
While Alex, John and Jocelyn were seeing patients, Hannah, Grace, Maya, Sonya and I had an opportunity to spend time with the children at the clinic. In the back of the clinic, BTC has set up a small daycare for 20-25 neighborhood children who come in and out throughout the day. These are mainly the children of the prostitutes. Some children come before school, others come after school and the younger kids come for most of the day.
This is where I met Neha. She is a beautiful 26 year old woman who was rescued by Devaraj uncle along with her mother and brother many years ago. She received her Masters in Social Work and chose to work in the Turbhe clinic after college. There have been opportunities for her to work outside of BTC but her heart’s desire is to minister to these children, as she was once one of them many years ago. She says she sees herself and her brother in these children. Everyday, she sits with the children and teaches them about God’s word. How amazing is that!
Many of the children are products of the Red Light District. I can’t even imagine what their evening and nights look like and the things they see, hear and experience. Some of them are living on the streets. We had the privilege of teaching the story of Zachhaeus to the children. We shared how even though Zachhaeus was a sinner and hated by the people, Jesus saw him and wanted to share a meal with him. As I looked into their precious faces, I shared God’s love for us sinners. He loved us so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins. I was overjoyed to share the gospel with these children and the HOPE that comes from knowing the Lord.
As part of our work with the children, we did a small craft. We brought foam crosses along with stickers to decorate them. The kids seemed to really enjoy the craft. I asked them to hang it up on a wall where they live and think of God and His love for them. So far, there have been 10 children who have been rescued through the work of the daycare at the Turbhe clinic.
There is HOPE in this darkness. RESTORATION is being accomplished. Only God can provide this hope and restoration. He uses people like Neha as His instruments. Our God is sovereign and faithful and I pray that He continues to bring more women and children into His kingdom through BTC.