One night here, God gave one of our team members an unsettling dream pertaining to human trafficking and prostitution. As she asked God what it meant and why she had the dream, she received an enormous heart of compassion for the people in those situations. It was so clear that God was doing something in her and in our team through this dream, but we had no idea why because we've never done that type of ministry here in South Africa and it wasn't in our plans, but God was up to something greater.
Two days later, we had the opportunity to do some "street ministry" with a local ministry. None of us knew what to expect. Around six in the evening, we followed the ministry leaders to Nelspruit (the nearest large city). We showed up to a very sketchy block and we walked around the block praying, and also ministering to those we felt called to.
We regrouped after a while and were led into an alley, up a narrow flight of stairs, into a building, down another dimly lit flight of stairs, around a hallway, and past rows and rows of doors with numbers crudely drawn on each. We were in the heart of a brothel. With young women ushering men in and out of their rooms, I stood shell-shocked in this despicable hall where the silence was only broken by the occasional click of a lock. After five minutes, we were all led into a room where the dirtiest bed I have ever seen was shoved into a corner.
We stared at each other with pits in our stomachs as we came to realize what was happening around us. I felt like all around us, unseen demons lurked and cackled knowing full well that the prince of darkness reigned with a heavy hand in this place.
Then, one of our friends from the ministry walked in and said, "It is the time to worship and praise God." She looked at us and somehow I managed to start singing, "Holy Spirit you are welcome here, come flood this place and fill the atmosphere, your glory God is what our hearts long for, to be over come by your presence, Lord." The rest of our group joined in until there was this tremendous sound of God being glorified in the saddest place I have seen in my entire life.
You know how a candle isn't noticed in a bright room? Well in a dark room, a candle, a comparatively small source of flame, can seem like the brightest, most beautiful thing you have ever seen. That is what I think this was. As we sang, several women came into the room.
The first woman's name was Gloria. As one of our team members prayed over her out loud, the rest of us sang and inconspicuously prayed for her. She was in tears.
Another woman entered, kneeled in the door way, and scooted into the room. I knelt down next to her and she couldn't even look me in the eye. I rested my hand on the floor near hers and very slowly, after a couple minutes, she took my hand and I asked if I could pray for her. This happened with about 4 more ladies. They crowded on the floor waiting for prayers, all of them crying.
But the most angering and heart wrenching thing I have ever seen, was when these women had to stand up, wipe the tears out from under their giant false lashes, adjust their clothes, and go back into their rooms where they were used and used and used on a half an hour basis. We learned that many women in "Guest Houses" like these, have lost their parents and must provide for their younger siblings. So they prostitute themselves for quick money for food, shelter, and school fees for their siblings.
I began the next song after the women left that room, this time with the words "There is power in the name of Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain, break every chain, break every chain, break every chain."
This song grew louder and louder under the building positively rumbled with the sound of twenty-something voices singing. A customer in the room next door banged on the wall alerting us to quiet down. We were so loud that the landlord was furious and commanded us to leave. As the ministry leader talked with him, we prayed that he would reconsider.
He agreed that we could stay as long as we stayed inside the room and quieted down. We continued praying for him. Then about ten minutes later, a miracle happened, the landlord returned with his brother and asked to receive prayer...both men were devout Muslims that unquestionably felt the power of Jesus that night.
God is so Good. I don't know how he did it but God is so good and that place will never be the same.
The ministry we worked with goes to this location often...ministering to the women...doing whatever they can to help them out of their situation and to find a new way to provide for themselves and their families. We have been permanently burdened with a heart for those in human trafficking and prostitution. Join us in prayer for these people and this ministry. It was, without question, a night our team can never ever forget.