We don’t love the word “rescue” in the context of prostitution and trafficking work, because the implication is that WE missionaries and social workers are doing the heroic and dangerous work of swooping in and carrying women away from this life, Indiana Jones-style. That’s not what we do. But Jesus DOES rescue, and it’s in Him that each of the SutiSana women have found their hope.
It must be a jarring experience to be shivering in your doorway a few days before Christmas, trying to turn enough tricks to get your kids a few presents and buy a fruitcake, when a noisy group of carolers barge into your brothel in Santa hats.
I always wonder what goes through the women’s minds when we give them their Christmas gifts and a hug as they listen to,
“Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright…”
It might all seem like a massive joke, an incomprehensible dissonance to the night they’re actually living.
But what if you recognized a face in that group? Not one of those gringos or smiling Bolivians that come through each week with an invitation or a small gift. But one of your friends who used to work in the doorway next to yours. And she is wearing a silly Santa hat and singing,
“Joy to the world, the Lord has come.
Let earth receive her King!”
This year, because cancelled SutiSana events from social unrest in November were all rescheduled for right before Christmas, I was selling at a fair the night the staff and volunteers of Word Made Flesh Bolivia went to the Red Light District to carol.
But in my place went ambassadors far more effective than I. This year five SutiSana artisans chose to carol with our group. Five women who have been rescued by Christ and want to share that same hope with their friends.
In terms of a Christmas miracle, you don’t get any better than that!
By: Cara Contreras, SutiSana Co-Founder & Coordinator