What is the
Written by Kathryn Guthrie
"Where is he", "Is he going to see me talking to
this woman he doesn't know"
When I first began doing street outreach I was
trained to do two things when we encountered
someone who was "in the life". First,respectfully
look her in the eye when you speak to her and
secondly, be aware of her body language: is she
calm as you as you are talking to her or is she
nervously looking around as if she is being watched.
Many times it was the latter- she is constantly being watched by her abuser/trafficker/PIMP. Her thoughts would be racing- "Where is he", "Is he going to see me talking to this woman he doesn't know", "Am I going to be punished (slapped, punched, kicked or worse)".
In those cases, we would discreetly hand her a card with our Hotline number on it, tell her "call this number if you need help" and quickly walk away in order to not make a potentially dangerous situation even worse for her. At the end of the night, as our team shared who had touched our hearts, we would pray for her safety . We knew if her trafficker found the card there would be a consequence for her and the card would most likely be torn up and thrown away. She would need help but sadly, we would most likely never hear from her. What if we could give her something the trafficker would not be interested in...something he wouldn't take from her... that would be her lifeline?
We designed custom made bags with long straps, beautiful fabric, a liner, pockets and our solution inside- our Helpline number sewn into the liner of the inside pocket so it isn't easily visible. The bags are then filled with necessity items such as: shampoo, conditioner, body soap, lotion, a hair brush, tooth brush, toothpaste, a Bible and much more. But what would we call these potentially life saving bags? God gave us a verse from Hosea.
"... and she who was not loved, I will call Beloved ..."