Journey of Hope
by Miia da Silva, TWR Women of Hope regional coordinator for Europe and CAMENA
“Human trafficking is a heinous crime happening all around us. The victims – 30% of which are children – are subject to forced labour, sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse. We must do more to bring criminals to justice, and help victims rebuild their lives.” - António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations
There are no simple answers to combating human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women. What is clear is that we must address the devastation it brings to every woman caught in its trap and that we must reach out to these women and help them find inner healing and freedom.
Reaching the women who work on the street is not an easy task, as they are under rigorous control and cannot move freely. Different kinds of organizations need to work together to tackle this complex challenge. TWR Women of Hope, as a media ministry, has created Hidden Treasures, an audio drama that shares real stories of real women trapped in prostitution. This media tool is then used by organizations “on the ground” to bring a message of hope in Christ as they connect with trafficked women in a discreet and relatable way using MP3 players.
Hidden Treasures exists to bring hope and healing in Jesus to women in prostitution by using media to share relevant, real-life stories that promote conversations leading to transformation.
Getting out of prostitution is a big, challenging step. Our partners on the ground build relationships with these women and share the Hidden Treasures audio drama with them. One woman shared, “The stories are very touching and relatable. In some of the stories, I can see myself and in some other stories, the lives of my friends who work on the streets. The social worker in the story, her love and care are as wonderful as the love and care of the Christian social workers I have met.”
But what happens after a woman has successfully left the prison of forced labor? What begins, is a long process marred by shame and the burden of trauma. Even a minor trigger can break the process of healing, and too often, women return to a life on the streets.
Wanting to address this problem, we asked ourselves: How can we support our partners who help women to build a new life of freedom? And so, the idea was birthed to create a second series of audio dramas. As a media ministry, we want to walk alongside our partners and develop the next step of programs, which will support the healing process of these women and help them in their ”Journey of Hope.” While the organizations on the ground will be able to work with survivors of trafficking on a personal level, we hope to create a media tool that can support the spiritual growth and building of new identities in Christ for these women.
Would you pray for TWR Women of Hope as we go forward with developing Journey of Hope to help women grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus as they find healing and hope in him?
Hidden Treasures is available in Albanian, Bulgarian, Czech, English, Hindi, Hungarian, Romanian and Russian. A Korean version is also close to completion, with Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese close behind. Although the programs can be listened to online at www.hishiddentreasures.com, they are mainly distributed by our on-the-ground partners using MP3 players.