Working with local pastors to help free children from the sex trade!
Garati, now 8, does not remember what happened to her and her mother one chaotic, scary night 6 and a half years ago. That night, in between a stream of male visitors, police burst into their barely standing slum home and arrested Garati’s mom on prostitution charges.
After the raid, Garati never saw her mother again. Her mother, having gone to trial and prison gave Garati to Pastor Adi for safe keeping. As the years passed with no contact from Garati’s mom, Pastor Adi became Garati’s guardian.
“I have seen so many bad things in my life,” says Pastor Adi. Seeing so many women abused by the sex trade, and so many of their children abandoned, Pastor Adi began taking in the neglected and orphaned children. He then asked his church members to do the same. He along with 48 other families have taken in more than 350 children of prostitutes, as well as young girls that wanted to leave that life. But this is a temporary fix, as the church members are often barely able to support their own families. Pastor Adi hopes to build a center that will offer better care, food, and education for the children.
In addition to the financial challenges of supporting so many children, Pastor Adi faces the anger and threats of a local mafia that runs the sex trade. They see some of their girls finding refuge with church members. “They are after me,” he says. But he also adds that he is not heeding their menacing words. “I always pray to God and depend on Him to save me. There are still more children that need help and I hope that within a few months we can rescue a few hundred more."
When he thinks about all of the children that he and his church members are struggling to help, he says softly, his head bowed as if in prayer, “I see the picture of Jesus on the children’s faces."