Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Ladies in Waiting Ministry…

Human trafficking is the slavery of our time.  Women who have been trafficked often times have been subjected to profound trauma both physically and mentally.  They also face social rejection, discrimination, and humiliation both in their own society and the one for which they are forced to work.  In our communities, there is the urgent need and often time great opportunities to provide these women with various forms of assistance.  It may be just a smile or small gift to let them know they are not forgotten, or it can take the form of health care, occupational training, or emotional support. 

Hands that make a difference, as they prepare small gifts
for the “ladies in waiting”

In Strasbourg, France a group of internationals from local churches have joined together through the “Ladies in Waiting” ministry.  This group aims to reach out and minister to the prostitutes who work the streets in holistic and meaningful ways.  This “Ladies in Waiting” ministry has already made an impact in the lives of over 30 prostitutes coming from the countries of Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, France, Ghana, and Nigeria. 

One outreach the group recently did was to hold a picnic in the park one evening before the women had to work.  The team printed invitations and made all the arrangements to have a nice finger food, potluck style meal at a local park.  While out on the street handing out the invitations, Tiffne met one particular Lady in Waiting who quickly accepted the invitation.  Tiffne asked if she would like another invitation so that she could invite one of her friends and the lady responded, “I don’t have a friend.”  Tiffne answered this response by saying, “now you do and we would love for you to join us at the picnic.”

On the evening of the picnic, everything was set.  As the hour of the picnic came and went, no “Ladies in Waiting” showed up.  Sonia, a member of an outreach team, had arranged to pick up some of the ladies in her car so they would not have to walk to the park for the picnic.  However, when she arrived to get the ladies, they said their “controllers” were making them begin work early as a way to prevent them from joining the picnic event.  The outreach teams were disappointed but not discouraged and spent time sharing about their experiences in this “Ladies in Waiting” ministry and prayed for each of the women they had invited by name.  

After a time of prayer, Sonia shared another story with the group as they began packing “to go boxes” of food to deliver to the Ladies in Waiting who were unable to attend the picnic. Sonia said that on her first visit to Ladies in Waiting she met a beautiful young lady (Rose) and that during following visits and conversations, she asked Rose if she wanted to do something else with her life.  Rose said she wanted to get another job, but lacked the encouragement to try. Sonia continued to encourage Rose to try to find something different and prayed that God would open up a clear opportunity. Then, one night as Sonia was making visits, she looked for Rose but was told by other Ladies in Waiting that Rose was enrolled in school and had found another job!

Please pray for this “Ladies in Waiting” ministry, specifically for the prostitutes who have found themselves trafficked or trapped in this profession and for the women working to make a difference through this ministry. This month we are praying specifically for Gift, Joy, Aude, and Julia to understand about a personal relationship with Jesus.  These ladies are showing an openness to discuss spiritual matters.

Specific “Ladies in Waiting” Partnership Opportunity:
On November 6th we will be having a prayer walk for the Ladies in Waiting ministry here in Strasbourg.  We will walk and pray on the very streets where these ladies work and where our outreach teams go to visit with them.  We would like to invite you and your church groups to join us in a “virtual prayer walk” on this day.  We will be praying for Gift, Joy, Tressi, Rosie, Layla, Pauli, Claudia, Favor, Julia, Sophia, Sarah, Aude, Laurissa, Lorena, Mikaela, Simona, and other ladies along the streets of Strasbourg.  We will be walking and praying on the following streets: Avenue du Rhin, Plan de Bouche, Boulevard du Nancy, Boulevard d’Anvers, and the Rue du Port du Rhin.  If you would like to join us for this virtual prayer walk opportunity, please let us know and we can send you a Prayer Team Training PowerPoint slide show to help guide your time of prayer with us!

Tiffne Whitley - Strasbourg, France                                               E-mail - twhitley@cbf.net

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