Guest / Limited Access /
The Hope Dealers of Honduras
Spencer Platt / Getty

Late one evening in April 1997, Betsy Hake put down her felt-wrapped Bibles and gift bags and sat down on the curb between two prostitutes. A bilingual missionary from Indiana, she was exhausted from trying to reach the scantily clad women and transvestites around the downtown district of Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras.

Hake asked the two, "Is there anybody here who would like to trust Jesus? Who wants to really believe that Jesus can change your life?"

Nancy, who was younger and dressed more conservatively than Vilma, took a closer look at Hake. "Well, okay. I guess I'll do that." After a short discussion, Hake guided Nancy in a prayer of confession.

Encouraged, Hake turned to Vilma.

"I'm so ashamed to tell you this," said Vilma. "Nancy's my daughter. The real reason I went to the streets was because I wanted to give a different life to my child. When she got halfway through high school and saw the kind of money I was making, she followed me here. I can't make her stop!"

Vilma then told Hake that she had been praying silently alongside Nancy for an exit from the streets.

"I finally realized I couldn't do it on my own strength—that I needed Jesus."

That night, Vilma left the streets and never looked back. But when Hake offered Nancy a ride home, she declined. "You know, I would like to do that. But I owe 500 lempira [US$24] on my rent. I really need to make that money." She left in search of her next trick.

At that moment, Hake realized it would take more than reciting the sinner's prayer to persuade prostitutes to leave the sex trade. She decided to reshape her outreach by integrating efforts to overcome the poverty ...

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

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

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this IssueChaos and Grace in the Slums of the Earth
Subscriber Access Only Chaos and Grace in the Slums of the Earth
My Easter weekend with missionaries who follow Christ to the uttermost.
RecommendedRussia: The Other Christian Nation
Russia: The Other Christian Nation
A cozy relationship between church and state has lasting implications.
TrendingDied: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy
Died: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy
Jerry B. Jenkins: 'Thrilled as I am that he is where he has always wanted to be, his departure leaves a void in my soul.'
Editor's PickIs There a Better Way to Fight 'Political Correctness'?
Is There a Better Way to Fight 'Political Correctness'?
When language is a tool for coercion, nobody wins.
Christianity Today
The Hope Dealers of Honduras
hide thisSeptember September

In the Magazine

September 2013

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