Hubby – restoration and hope
For nearly eight years, we have stopped and chatted with Hubby, a lady who was trafficked as a teenager from Valkundi village into the line in Sonagacchi. Hubby cannot speak or hear, but has always welcomed us with a smile and her own unique way of communicating. For all those years, we have tried to persuade Hubby to leave the line and work at Freeset Bags and Apparel in Kolkata. In October, having discovered she was back in her village for the holidays, we made a point of visiting her in a simple mud home just down the road from Freeset Fabrics. While visiting, we encouraged Hubby and her mother to come to Freeset Fabrics and see it in action. They came that afternoon and Hubby indicated that she wanted to come and start work the very next day – which is just what she did! Hubby now lives back home with her mother and is learning to spin and weave. Every time we visit, Hubby gives us the biggest smile and communicates that she is never going back to Sonagacchi. She has found new life and is finally free from the sex trade. Eight years seemed like a long wait at the time. Now, as we look at Hubby’s positive future, we realise that no time is too long when a woman’s freedom is at stake.
From Tranzsend workers in South Asia.
New to the faith
One morning late last year, an elderly woman we’d met at Christian meetings from time to time arrived at our place with three high school students. She’d been talking with one of the girls, named Nam, while riding on a local tuktuk. Nam told her she and her friends needed to complete an interview with a native English speaker as part of their English course at school. This woman thought of us and brought the girls to our place. Over the next while, the girls visited a few times to conduct the interview, to write out the answers, and to correct any errors they’d made. During one visit, my Bible was on the table. Nam asked about my faith. She was really interested, so I gave her a Bible in her language and the notes to go with it. I didn’t see her again until one Sunday about a month ago. She arrived at church with Beam and New, two teens who had first been invited to come along by their Korean teacher, who worshipped with us. Beam and New had attended an Old Testament seminar at the church where Tim Bulkeley was teaching. At that seminar these two girls became so excited as they learned that the Bible wasn’t a fairy story – it was based in a real land with real people. They have since been baptised and their eagerness to grow in their faith has rubbed off on their schoolmates Nam and also Fai, a teen who got baptised over three years ago but had fallen away. Now we see these four girls each Sunday and they encourage one another as new Christ-followers.
From Tranzsend workers in South-East Asia.
Learning from Prita
It’s a privilege to work among and learn from the women of our business. These women teach me much about God’s love, forgiveness, grace, and how to trust in Him. One example is a lady named Prita*.
Prita grew up in a poor village and at just thirteen years old was sold into the sex trade. There she suffered much trauma and abuse until 1998 when she joined our freedom community. The years following saw the slow journey from bondage to freedom, despair to joy, hopelessness to hope. Then she was diagnosed with cancer of the jaw. It was a fast growing terminal cancer. Palliative care and pain management is not done very well in this part of the world and Prita’s case was no exception. The tumour grew so large that it dislocated her jaw and she was in constant agony. I remember one day visiting her in the hospital. She was in intense pain. She grabbed my hand and said, “Jishu Jishu.” I remember thinking to myself, “Yes Jesus, where are you? This woman who has gone through so much pain, has found freedom and hope, only to die at the hands of a painful cancer. Jesus, where are you?” I didn’t know how to respond to her. Then, after a few minutes, she let go of my hand and pointed to the small cross she had put beside her bed and asked me to pray. She was not crying out “Jishu” with the “where are you?” attached. She was crying out “Jishu” as a declaration of her faith in the midst of her suffering. She was calling for Jesus to take her home. I always came away from my hospital visits with Prita with a sense of sadness about her pain and the probability of her death, but that was mixed with a sense of encouragement at this amazing woman of faith. Oh, to have a faith like hers. This is why I love my community so much - they teach me every day about love and trust.
From a Tranzsend worker in South Asia.
Just before Easter 2015, we were chatting with Dudu and Weerachai about various things when we learned that many people in the village are frightened of ghosts, particularly the ‘Pee Bop’ that inhabits you and eats you from the inside. On Easter Sunday I was sharing about the death and resurrection of Christ and His victory over all the powers of darkness, including over the Pee Bop. Well, one granny’s eyes nearly popped out of her head, she was so surprised to hear such a thing! The assurance that Jesus had won the victory over Satan and all his cohorts just amazed her. A week later she was back. There was a big smile on her face and her hair was nicely styled for the first time. She happily shared how she was no longer afraid to walk in the dark because she had the assurance that Jesus was looking after her and no ghosts could get her.
From Tranzsend workers in South-East Asia.