I sat just to the right of her, my friend across from me, shaded by the overhanging trees and calmed by the cool breeze from Lake Victoria not so far away. A story spilled from her lips, sharing what led to our encounter that Friday night. She had sworn she would never be that girl. “Prostitute” would never be the label she wore. But, circumstances had led her to the unthinkable.
A little hesitant at first and understandably uncomfortable, her guard started to slowly come down the longer we sat. She told of how the pressure to provide had somehow become too much, and she finally gave in. The temptation for quick money seemed impossible to overcome.
But, I thank our faithful Father for His perfect plan, His perfect timing. After having just started working the streets, Jesus led me right to her as a physical vessel carrying a message He had already been planting in her heart- “you are worth more.”
Cynthia* recounted the battle of depression she had recently faced and her resolve to pick up a Bible in order to find some hope. Growing up in a Catholic home, she was never attracted to the religion. Once old enough to make her own decisions, she found herself disinterested in the church. In fact, to her it was pretty “lifeless.”
But, she was recently starting to see faith in a way she never had before. Something about reading the Word on her own had brought life and light unlike what she experienced as a child. The Scripture written on the card I handed her that Friday night had pierced her heart and dared her to dial that number on the bottom of the paper.
So there we were. It had all led us there to that shaded spot. A place that seemed safe. A place of peace.
It was under those trees that my friend and I were able to speak life into her, helping her see how Christ was radically pursuing her heart in that very moment. She admitted to wanting to live a life for this Jesus she was coming to know and learn about, even quoting some Scripture she had recently read and recalled. So I simply asked, “what is holding you back?”
Her response? She just wanted someone to encourage her that it was the right step to take.
Friends, the scales fell off. She was given eyes to see the invitation He had extended to her, drawing her into a lifetime of being loved by Him and falling more in love with Him. Heaven smiled down on her as we sat there and she prayed to receive Christ and His grace, vowing to live a life for Him no matter the cost. Because it was going to cost her. Immediately she was going to have to make decisions that would challenge this choice, but I promised her she had just made the greatest choice.
Another name has been written down. Another number was added that day.
Her journey with Jesus has just begun. Pray for her to grow in strength spiritually and pray for me to help encourage her down the path of living surrendered to Jesus. It will not be easy for her, but oh, it will be so worth it.
From the streets to salvation… our Father is still rescuing and rewriting stories to tell of His radical redemption. And He’s not finished yet.
*name changed for confidential purposes