The night was young as we opened up the doors to the Nevaeh prayer room. Our dream is too weekly open up the prayer room in order to offer a place of refuge and comfort to the women working in prostitution right outside our doors. As we sat there setting up the noise from the streets filled the room, people hollering and laughing, matatu, piki piki drivers honking and calling out to people as they drive quickly down the crowed street. Loud music and lights flashed all down the streets as bars filled with dancing and chaos. The parties were starting early and the night began to unfold. Kylee and I stood outside the room looking over the balcony at the women below, praying silently to ourselves before heading down to greet them. They were ready to work and came with a smile masked on their faces. As we began meeting the girls and talking with them my heart was filled with pain for them. Looking into their eyes I began to see how broken and shameful they truly were, and how desperate they could become. One of the women, probably around forty years old, even with a knife wounded hand all wrapped up in cloth, sat there waiting to be picked up on. The extent that these women go too in order to make a little bit of money is heartbreaking. After we had made our rounds and offered up the invitation to come and have hot tea with us we headed back upstairs to the prayer room and within about fifteen minutes women began to come. As they came we poured them a hot drink and sat with them talking and laughing. God is so faithful; we had exactly the amount of tea for the number of women that came!
Shakira (prostitute name, not real name) was one of the last women to come in. She walked in smiling and proud chewing on her drugs to keep her awake and high all night. She was so beautiful, literately looking like a Barbie doll all dolled up for the night. She seemed confident, and then… she began to talk. As Kylee and I sat close to her she began to pour out her heart and tell us her story. This woman is actually a seventeen year old girl who moved by herself from Uganda three months prior in order to make money for her five year old daughter at home. She told us how alone and shameful she feels all the time and how she doesn’t want to be a prostitute but because she doesn’t have an ID she has no other choice. She was so full of hopelessness. That is when we introduced her to Jesus! (Because of translation, I’m not sure if this was her first time or what she believed prior) As we laid hands on her and she closed her eyes Jesus came and began to lavish her in His love. We spoke many things over her and by the end an intense peace sat upon her and within her. It was like He came in, spoke to the storm in her life, and we watched it calm. When she opened her eyes and brushed the tears away, she hugged us and thanked us. God began to speak to me Jeremiah 29:11 over her life and I told her. “For I know the plans I have for you,” say’s the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” She felt encouraged and happy when we finally finished talking and we asked her if she wanted to play Jenga with us. She was super excited and jumped down off the seat and onto the floor ready to play. We grabbed the game, pulled it out, set it up, and began to play. Suddenly all the lights went out, a blackout; which is a regular occurrence in Kenya. We just laughed and grabbed a candle to continue our game out in the dark. Shakira was so happy and for the first time since she walked in that room I saw the seventeen year old girl that she truly was.