Last night was difficult.
I’ve spent the last two years learning about “the game” and spending time getting to know the women who are trapped in it. But sometimes when I’m on the streets and in conversation with these women it is easy to forget just how manipulated they are, how trapped they are, and how hungry they are for a new and different life. These women are good at playing the game – they talk the talk, walk the walk, and display every assurance of confidence.
But every so often you are reminded of the reality of this dark world.
Last night we saw some pimps “sweating” some girls. This is when a pimp other than the prostitute’s corners her, harasses and sweet-talks her to come work for him. They were hard at work trying to catch girls “out of pocket.” Out of pocket is when a girl talks to or gestures to another pimp without her pimp’s permission. A prostitute is not allowed to speak, look at or make any gestures to any other pimp. If she does he can say she “chose” him and try to take all her money…among other things. These girls did well and eventually got away from the harassment of this other pimp, but it was a really hard things to watch – and even harder to hear some of the things that are being said to these women.
There is a woman A* that we met a few weeks ago and had hopes of meeting up with once we got to the track. After a few texts and phone calls unanswered we figured her phone had been deactivated or something. Today Laurie got a text from her saying she had been in a car accident and broken her wrist – that’s why she was not out on the track. Incidentally this gave her time to read the brochure we gave her that had Laurie’s testimony on it (if you’ve never read about Laurie’s story…go here or watch this). She has been chatting with Laurie all day about her testimony, her family and her involvement in the game. We keep praying that the Lord will gently speak to her through our presence, Laurie’s testimony and other individuals He brings into her life.
We didn’t get to talk to very many girls last night because the cops came out and they all went into hiding. We did get to meet a sweet man M.A. that lived on the streets and then we saw L* - she actually didn’t recognize us because she was so drunk. I can only imagine the coping mechanisms one goes through living on the streets or turning tricks. But it doesn’t break my heart any less to see them turning to drugs and alcohol when I feel like there is very little I can physically offer them to ease their pain.
The most interesting thing to me throughout the night was our conversation with M.A. When we were done praying for him he wanted to pray for us. He prayed that in all things God would get the glory because he deserves it all. I love that no matter where life takes us, no matter how far we fall – the Word of the Lord never comes back null and void. Those things that we learned at a young age remain with us and come back in times we need to be reminded of the truth.