Wednesday, December 07, 2011Download All Stories
WEEK OF PRAYER: Human trafficking, amid the despair
SOUTH AFRICA (BP) -- The odors of liquor, smoke and sweat permeate the air. One small bulb lights the alleyway. Traffic is light on the main road, but this side street stays busy."Mister!" a young woman yells to a car driving past. "You're the daddy! I'm your little girl and I got what you want right here!" Another woman hides in the shadows, quietly crying. The pimps' laughter rises as they share jokes while smoking and playing cards.To read more stories about how Southern Baptists are ministering to those trapped in the sex trade, click here.Two young women share a bottle of alcohol to give them courage to approach the cars driving through the side street. A client parks in the shade, waiting for a woman to join him in the backseat. Another client follows a woman into her pimp's apartment. Thirty minutes later the man leaves.One after another, the clients pick up the women; somehow there is an endless supply. As one woman leaves, another arrives. Two young women stand in the shadows, hesitant and afraid. Suddenly a pimp approaches and provides them with more drugs. The women begin to sell themselves again.
I was convinced I could never end up in a situation like these women -- hooked on drugs and alcohol, forced into prostitution and sold from one man to another. I could never be a slave. I could never be trafficked.
One afternoon with a pimp in the park changed my perspective. I knew who he was and what he did. He knew nothing about me.
Diallo* was adept at slyly pulling information about my life and passions. I'm not hesitant in sharing my faith, and soon Diallo learned I'm a Christian. Moments later, he invited me to attend church with him.
The scenario is all too common. A strong, handsome young man meets a single woman. He is lively and charming. Best of all, he says he's a Christian. New to the area and looking for friends, it would be easy for a woman to fall into his grasp. The innocence of the moment soon can turn into a nightmare.
Just one prearranged meeting is all he needs.... Read More
Sex trafficker knows 'I make God angry'
SOUTH AFRICA (BP) -- With violence increasing in parts of his Nigerian homeland, Sterling* fled to South Africa to pursue a business opportunity he had been promised by the man who sold him his visa. Read More
Prostitute made new in Rio de JaneiroRIO DE JANEIRO (BP) -- Viviane Avelina Bezerra's face does not match her story. The shy 25-year-old Brazilian with big brown eyes and a gentle smile carries herself with such humility and kindness that no one would guess that only a year ago, Viviane was selling her body just to get by. Read More
Americans' view of Southern Baptists studiedNASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- The majority of Americans have a favorable impression of Southern Baptists, according to a recent LifeWay Research study. However, 40 percent of respondents have an unfavorable view of the denomination; more than a third strongly assume an SBC church is not for them; and the negativity is higher among the unchurched.
The LifeWay Research study was conducted in September 2011 after Bryant Wright, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, appointed a task force to consider a possible name change for the 166 year-old convention. Read More
HHS rejects 'morning-after' pill on store shelvesWASHINGTON (BP) -- The head of the federal health department has surprisingly rebuffed a plan by a subsidiary to permit the sale on store shelves of a "morning-after" pill that can cause abortions. Read More
One more try to reverse Calif. gay history law
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (BP) -- A coalition of pro-family groups in California has launched another effort to overturn the state's landmark law that requires gay history be taught in public schools.
The coalition submitted a proposed initiative to the California attorney general's office Tuesday (Dec. 6) and said it expects to begin collecting signatures in early 2012, after the initiative is approved. The first attempt to reverse the law, known as SB 48, failed when the coalition gathered 497,0... Read More
A prostitute – young & widowed -- finds faith
INDIA (BP) -- Ajanta Gupta* had nowhere to turn. A widow in her early 20s with HIV, two small children and no job, she was desperate.
A friend introduced her to prostitution as a quick way to earn cash to keep her children from starving.Read More
Clinics help prostitutes see Jesus
INDIA (BP) -- The smell of cooking okra wafts out to the streets, greeting the colorfully dressed women and children streaming into the backyard where a free medical clinic is being conducted.
Fresh-cut flowers decorate the pharmacy table in one corner. Woven mats and plastic chairs cover the rest of the dirt yard. Prostitutes and curious neighbors in one of India's slums sit in any available space and stare at three visiting American nurses.
Unfazed by the chaos of running children, i... Read More
Indonesian shares Christ's love in brothels
INDONESIA (BP) –- The lines on the face of 40-year-old Tri Hartoyo* disappear when Suh Hasan* pops her wild cloud of hair into the doorway. Hartoyo enthusiastically throws her thin arms around Hasan and pulls her into the house. They settle onto a couple of overused couches with patches of upholstery missing.
FIRST-PERSON: With children, love is still spelled T-I-M-E
Columnist and parent Brad Whitt says he, like other parents, often is tempted to give his young children a toy instead of his time. Yet time is the most meaningful -- and the most expensive. Read More