During special outreaches to women in red light areas in Austria, outreach workers go in the knowledge that Jesus is with them and His resurrection power gives hope, strength and life.
“Before we go out to speak to women on the street and in brothels, we always pray the verse which says: ‘Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world,’ shared OM outreach worker Sara*. “It’s a declaration that the light of Jesus in us is stronger than the darkness we go into.”
Sara and OM partners hold on to this truth. She and other members of OM’s outreach team go into the red-light district, talking to the women, building relationships and trust. The team gives gifts and an OM-produced pamphlet entitled ‘Maria’, produced specifically for the women in red-light areas.
The ‘Maria’ leaflet was designed by OM EAST, written by an outreach worker, and has been translated into nine languages. It helps small outreach teams share the life-changing message of the gospel with hundreds of women in brothels and in the streets.
“The ladies definitely received our gifts happily and we had quite a lot of personal talks,” reflected Sara. “It was hard work, but God gave us strength.”
Sara recently got to talk privately with a woman she had contact with for years but could never speak to without being watched. She learned the woman had come to faith in Christ through the literature and is taking steps to leave prostitution. The woman said, “I called to Jesus; I asked Him to help me, and He heard me. I believe in God—He is real and obviously leading me.” Sara explains that it can be a long road out of prostitution because of consequences and because the women are traumatized and carry issues from the past. It requires God’s help, but Sara says, “We have seen this happen.”
“For people who are leaving prostitution and were not protected from many things, there is much more to deal with than their past,” said OMer Simon, who designed the brochure. “But it’s like all of us when we come to faith, we decide to follow Jesus and then the growth process begins, like a plant that needs to be watered and cared for.”
Sara and her colleagues continue to talk to women, to build trust, and give them contact information. “Connecting is the key to helping healing take place, that’s why we do what we do,” Sara said.
*Name changed for security