17 Oct New Hope Dawns at Freedom House
As we prepare for the opening of our second sewing center in partnership with the International Princess Project of Costa Mesa, CA, it has been exciting to see the ways God is already at work in the lives of those He has called to this work of hope and dignity. The new center is located in Peddaparem, which is one of the largest red light cities in the state. There is a darkness in the streets of Peddaparem by day and by night fall the only thing you feel comfortable doing is staying inside. There are few women who roam the streets at night, most are already working, but many pimps pushing prostitution and men looking for deals flood the streets.
We’ve acquired a house in the middle of it all so that we can begin our ministry presence. We visited for the first time last week and as we gathered to pray over the land and buildings God’s goodness and light filled each room. The residential building is a good size, with two bedrooms in the front portion and two more in the rear. Previously a house where prostitution ran rampant, we have commissioned this building for our ongoing staff presence in Paddaparem and the teams who will come from near and far to conduct ministry in this desperate land. The house was previously modified for sex work with secret doors masked to look like closet space and a hidden room in case of police invasion. It weighs heavy on the heart to know that from the outside the street looks similar to most other residential areas in Andhra Pradesh but inside more than half the homes in Peddaparem the lives of women young and old are being destroyed, enslaved to a sin that appears to give no hope of a better life, no sign of change.
Just minutes away from our residential building is the sewing center. The former owner of the house is renting us the building. She too use to be involed in the sex trade industry, but falling on hard times was forced out of the area. We’re praying that Christ will allow us to minister to her as well. She’s made some beautiful upgrades to the doors in the home that are hard-carved pictures of Jesus. When we enter the center their is peace. It’s daytime so the streets have resumed normal business. We meet twelve of the twenty women who are have left or desire to leave the sex trade and we open in prayer, thanking God for the way that he has brought each woman here today. That he has restored hope to these beautiful, cherished women and that he has had a plan, since the begining of time, to prosper these women, to bring each one a hope and a future.
We spend the day explaining what the women will be doing and giving instruction on cutting patterns, sewing, and construction. The women are all excited to get there hands in and have a try so they spend the next hours sewing old fabric, focusing on straight lines and even margins. They seem to picking it up quite well. With much help from the teachers, one pair of punjammies is assembled by the days end. The punjammies are not perfect by any means… but they are beautiful. Their story makes them so and then again that’s what this is all about!
To learn more about the International Princess Project please visit http://www.intlprincess.org/