There are somethings I wish Young Life and Youth Ministry had not prepared me for, like for example chatting with prostitutes on the streets. It is 2:40 am and I just got home from handing out Easter candies and Easter cards to the girls working the streets on the outskirts of the Eternal City. I am gonna be completely honest with you and say I was super nervous about this new venture. Sure I went to the Human Trafficking Conference and I have read articles and watched films, but going out for the first time to actually have conversations with prostitutes is a bit unnerving.
Just 4 of us went, and we spent time in prayer before, during and after. I went assuming, even though I had been informed at the conference otherwise that these would be women, that they would be tough and stand offish, I was wrong. Friends these were girls. These were girls I would place between 14 and 20 years of age. These were kind and gentle teens, excited for the chocolates and even for the invitations to church for Easter. These were someones kids, many of whom had an understanding of church from some part of their life.
And after talking to the first two girls I recognized that this was in fact no different than the first time I went to the SLV High School campus. It was just as intimidating and then all of the sudden it wasn't. These teens were no different other than the fact that they are working the streets of Rome. They were smiling and chatting and dancing.
I never in all my times at the High School campus imagined that God was preparing me to chat up prostitutes in Italy, but it seems God never lets anything go to waste. This was only our first encounter with these girls, and I ask you to begin now to pray for these 18 gals that we had the opportunity to talk to, that God would continue to show us how to build relationships and that He would draw them to Himself. The 18 that we met with are only the tip of the iceberg here in Rome, so you can pray that we might find ways to be a blessing to more and more girls. Pray for these girls; for their safety, for peace and for them to come to know that their is a God who created them in His image who loves the with a true love that they might not even believe exists. And this may be harder but pray also for the men who are soliciting these gals that they might no longer desire them, but instead have a deep desire for God.