Guest / Limited Access /

I never thought I would be sitting at a table full of women comparing their daily quotas of paid sex. Linda, a former top madam in Australia, who once grossed $30,000 per week, remarked that in her days on the street the "girls" serviced around five clients a day; now they have to accommodate ten to fifteen. Juanita, from Costa Rica, looked shocked. "Fifteen? I did a hundred a day, on a double shift! The men lined up outside the door and we had only ten minutes with each one."

I was attending a conference of 45 Christian groups involved in ministry to women in prostitution, with 30 countries represented. Ostensibly, I was interviewing the ministry leaders, but they mostly stayed silent. Instead, former prostitutes themselves told heart-breaking stories of degradation and transformation.

Juanita, for example, was sold into sexual slavery by her own mother at the age of four. While other children went to school, she worked in a brothel, earning for her mother the higher rates paid for young girls. Eventually she had two children of her own, whom her mother took from her. With no education and no other skills, she continued working in the brothel, in the process becoming addicted to alcohol and cocaine.

One day a customer grew enraged when she wouldn't do what he asked, and hit her on the head with a baseball bat. She lay in a hospital bed, desperate. "I got on my knees and pled with God. I wanted somehow to escape prostitution, to become a real mother to my children. And God gave me a vision. He said, 'Look for Rahab Foundation.' I didn't even know the word Rahab." She found the organization's phone number, though, and a few days later Juanita showed up, bruised and bandaged, at Rahab's door.

"I need help," she said, sobbing. ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only
The Largest Company in Your City
Branch offices of the church have potential without parallel.
Recommended3 Church Methods That Need to Change
3 Church Methods That Need to Change
Church methods have to change for churches to remain effective.
TrendingWho’s Who of Trump’s ‘Tremendous’ Faith Advisers
Who’s Who of Trump’s ‘Tremendous’ Faith Advisers
The Republican candidate finally names his campaign’s evangelical connections.
Editor's PickGo Ahead, Evangelicals: Use the P-Word
Go Ahead, Evangelicals: Use the P-Word
Only some believers are ordained. But all are priests.
Christianity Today
Back From the Brothel
hide thisJanuary January

In the Magazine

January 2005

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.