“And he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, and the guests I invited aren’t worthy of the honor. Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see.’ So the servants brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike, and the banquet hall was filled with guests.” Matthew 22:8-10 (NLT)
In December, I spent time with fellow servants in OM’s Bus4Life ministry. The Bus4Life travels around Central and Eastern Europe to bring Christian literature and a space for outreach and conversation to communities. We received from God the invitation to go to the intersections in accordance with Matthew 22 and look for the forgotten people — the people that those who are ‘respected’ in society are not interested in.
I look like Santa Claus (even more so as I get older), and we have found ways to use this in ministry. I play Father Christmas in some schools and kindergartens and in ministries among refugees and homeless people. This year we spent four nights ministering to sex workers in the red-light district of a Hungarian city. We partnered with another ministry that focuses on reaching out to these people and manages a safe house.
One night, we had a deep conversation with two women on board the Bus4Life. Both visited with us for a long time because the police were sometimes carrying out razzia (raids) in this area – and the women had a preparation from God, I think. We talked a lot and were able to share the gospel with them through the Christmas story and Christmas songs. They told us stories about their lives and deep desires, and we also had the opportunity to share our testimonies with them.
After that first conversation, one of the girls didn't want to take the Bible we offered her. But she returned later, and when she went out from the bus this time, she asked me for a Bible and a blessing from me for it. I told her that the Bible is perfect and a blessing from me couldn’t be better than that, but that I would like to bless her. I prayed for her.
The other girl was very open in talking with us as well. She said she would like to step out from this “profession,” but she has a 5-year-old daughter to provide for, and she is able to make money this way. When she was on the bus with us, she received a telephone call from her pimp, who was very angry because “his girl” was lazy and not in the street for business. We prayed, and the girl went out.
Later she called us in tears because her pimp had hit her badly. It was the last drop in the cup for her, and she made the decision to move out from her pimp’s house immediately. We went with her and helped her move out to a temporary place for one night, and the next day we moved them to a safe place that provides care and support. It was a really big adventure!
Here, she will be a part of a program for ex-sex workers and can start to live her new, free life. May God give her enough strength and love to live a good life according to biblical values. Her daughter was nice and talkative, and she is proud that Santa Claus moved them out of these circumstances.
*Names and locations kept vague for security reasons
Credit: Edited by Jessica Alyea · © 2017 OM International