Last month's field visit to Indonesia was challenging on many levels. Wherever our team went, we saw little girls who are kept out of school to work. We prayed with dedicated co-workers who invest long hours every day to free and equip women and children. We listened to an Indonesian doctor who performs surgical repair on girls who have been sexually brutalized.
The weary surgeon urged She Is Safe to help him with prevention and aftercare, since the local authorities turn a blind eye to the abuse of girls in this region.
We had already learned from our field partner leader that in this area, men's desires take precedence over all else. "Even if they abuse a girl, the town will protect him, because they feel sorry that this girl has ruined his life. The adult is important, and the child is not."
How would you respond to this doctor and the thousands of girls who live under the darkness of abuse and exploitation?
Over our years of service we have learned that the best response to this oppressive set of problems is to address the root causes of abuse in comprehensive ways. That's why, in Indonesia, we're working to prevent, rescue and restore women and girls from suffering abuse and exploitation.
During our visit, we engaged in wonderful work for women and children on several fronts, and we are expanding our ministry to free and equip more women and girls.
Prevention: Getting children into a formal or non-formal learning opportunity helps to keep them safe, builds their sense of dignity and worth in Christ, and increases their chances for a life free from exploitation.
Rescue: Our newest work in the red light districts of Bali involves making friendships in brothel communities, engaging women and girls in weekly Bible studies, and helping them break free from the sex industry.
Mila was brought to Bali as a teen from an impoverished island with the promise of a restaurant job. As soon as she arrived, Mila was horrified to learn that she had been ensnared by criminals who coerced her into the sex trade. She is now a mother with two children who are entirely dependent on her.
Thanks to the Bible studies in the red light district, she is also a new Christian. Even with her new faith, there seems to be no way out from her perspective. What she doesn't yet know is that we have negotiated a way for her to get to a safe house, receive counseling and gift assessment and enter vocational training-while taking care of her children. I can hardly wait to see this happen!
Restoration: Helping abused and exploited women like Mila requires a strong support system. Some women we are helping are in learning and savings groups we call SIS Transformation Groups. 10-12 women meet weekly, led by a SIS-trained co-worker. Members receive vocational training, small loans, and discipleship.
We joined one group and asked the simple question, "Tell us what your Transformation Group has done for you?"
Each woman answered differently, but the theme was clear, "I am a strong woman now.", "I have learned about nutrition. I never thought I could grow my own coffee beans, harvest, grind and roast them. And all of my products are made without pesticides.", "I am teaching my daughters that they can be strong women."
A Hopeful Journey
Thank you for accompanying me to Indonesia with your prayers and support. As we went from villages to brothels, we counted on your prayers for God to set captives free and transform their lives. And your prayers have been effective. We saw hope ignite in hundreds who previously thought there was no way out of the darkness for them.
With your continued help, we can free even more who are in need of God's rich love.
Please continue to pray for the work in Indonesia and the support that is needed. If you would like to help us set more captives free, please click the "Donate Now" button below.
President & Founder,
She Is Safe