“YOU,” he gently but firmly places his hands on her shoulders and looks into her eyes, “are a precious child of God.”
She looks away in shame, her past screaming silently within her, “Liar!”
Ralph* re-situates himself in her line of vision. Eyes crinkling, he softly says, “Believe it.”
Somewhere in the crevices of her soul, a spark is ignited.
“What if he’s right?” she wonders.
A place for healing
Redlight Greenlight is a home of refuge and holistic care for resilient survivors of human trafficking in South Asia.
“Co-created and run with the local church, it’s been a place of healing and life-skills training for 184 girls since opening in 2012,” says Ralph, a SIM worker. “While we see great needs—the girls are heavy with fear, shame, and jealousy—we also recognize these are feelings common to the human experience; the girls are not beyond reach.”
“Human trafficking is messy,” he continues.
“But it’s a blessing to care for the rescued, to respond to God’s assignment to love all kinds of people. Because that’s what the girls need most—love.”
Redlight Greenlight houses minors only (girls up to age 18), and as many as 12 live there at any given time.
“The police rescue the girls and bring them to us,” Bethany,* his wife, explains. “So, they have a court case.
“We work with police and the court so they can testify against their abusers.
“This takes education and counseling. We also work on their life skills and vocational training, and of course provide medical support, as many come with HIV and broken bodies.”
Called by God and called to SIM
Ralph believes in Samairah,* not because of anything she said or did, but because one day God told him the same truth about his own identity and it changed his life forever.
Growing up hearing about SIM’s work in the Sudan, and later hearing directly from SIM workers at the university he attended, Ralph’s curiosity in the organization was piqued.
“As I prayed about how God wanted me to serve Him, I sensed Him saying I should be part of SIM.”
He and Bethany have been serving with SIM since 1994.
“We had experienced the redemptive ways Jesus could heal our own deep pain, and we desired to help others experience Christ’s healing,” he says.
“Bethany especially wanted to find those who, in the world’s eyes, are the most broken and offer hope to them.”
“Of course they need counseling,” Bethany says of the girls. “And they need practical tools to succeed after leaving Redlight Greenlight. But to care for the person as a whole? That must be done in community.
“These girls have been hurt by the community, those who exploit them. They’ve been hurt by family.”
“So it really takes a community of loving people to bring healing in their lives,” Bethany continues. “That’s why we are so thankful this ministry is a part of the local church. Because church is the healing community to these girls.”
Believing for victory
“Working with trafficking survivors, it’s very challenging to maintain an outlook of hope that they can change,” Ralph says quietly.
“Let alone that the social systems that enable trafficking—such as objectifying women, pornography use, violence, demeaning attitudes toward women, hatred of the ‘other,’ etc.—will change.
“At times we are also challenged to hold onto the hope that we ourselves can change. However, it’s crucial for Spirit-filled followers of Christ to hold on to such hope, not only for ourselves, but also on behalf of others who may be caught in despair.”
Twenty-five years with SIM, and the couple continues faithfully serving the resilient young women God brings their way…even as darkness provokes them.
“We’re trying to help them to see God’s got a whole different future in store for them,” Ralph says, teary-eyed.
“We are inspired by the hope Jesus brings to real-world brokenness.”
Please join us in prayer:
- PRAY for girls staying at Redlight Greenlight, that they would experience the love and healing of Jesus in a profound way that changes them forever.
- PRAISE God for SIM workers Ralph and Bethany. Ask God to meet their needs as His vessels in a challenging field of service.
- PRAY that God would raise up more SIM workers to serve where the needs are great. Ask Him to bring to mind someone YOU can tell about serving with SIM!
By partnering with SIM, you share the gospel and help restore young human trafficking victims in South Asia.
Please prayerfully consider giving a gift to Redlight Greenlight, where SIM workers like Ralph and Bethany minister to the resilient survivors of human trafficking, sharing the gospel and helping them holistically heal.