A few months back, I had started trying to assess what I could take out of my life since I was feeling overworked. Everything I am involved in, I care deeply about, so dropping things from my schedule is difficult. After looking at all I was involved in, I decided that it was time to stop going to the prison.
I had three women in the prison who we had been going through bible study together so I decided I would go a few more weeks and then let them know I would not be coming anymore.
The next week I showed up, and all three of those ladies were gone. They had finally been released, which was a real answer to prayer. But, there were two new ladies. So, I sat down and introduced myself to them and they did the same.
Favour and Chindu were their names. I asked what they were in prison for and Chindu told me they were arrested for stealing food. Favour reocognized me from the brothels and right away started confessing to me that they were prostitutes from a local brothel. All the while, Chindu was hitting her telling her not to tell me.
The first incredible thing about this story is that the brothel they are from is one that I have tried several times to be let inside. The owner assures me they have no prostitutes and are a legitimate hotel and will not let me in. But amazingly, God allowed these girls to get arrested so that He could bring them to me. And He allowed Favour to run into me in other brothels so that she would trust me right away. Amazing! It really is God who does all the work in salvation. I just feel privileged to get a front row seat once in a while!
So, I started to explain about what Grace Gardens is and how they can choose to come to Grace Gardens after they leave the prison instead of going back to the hotels. Chindu can even bring her four-year-old son. They were excited and asked a lot of questions.
Over the next two months, I kept coming back, barely remembering that I wanted to quit. I have gotten to know these girls pretty well. I have learned that although they are in their twenties, their attention span is that of a child. So I keep my bible lesson short and to the point with them I have also learned that they have not been able to go to school and are jealous when they see kids in school, so I started teaching them how to read each week after our bible study.
Every week, I share the message of Christ with them hoping to see them accept Christ. I never push people to repeat after me in a prayer because I see too many people here who are willing to “say a prayer” every time they are asked, but never show a change in their life. I saw these girls showing an interest and agreeing with all that I said, but I wasn’t sure if they truly knew Christ.
Then, last week, I walked in and sat down next to Favour. I said hello to Favour and she responded that Favour was not her name, but that Comfort was. I was confused until she explained.
You see, Favour was the name she used in the hotels. But, now that she was a Christian she thought she should go back to the name her mother gave her; Comfort. I asked Chindu if she was going to change her name. She laughed and told me she had give me her real name from the start, but that she would never take her hotel name again. God was already showing them that they are new creatures in Christ and that their old ways needed to die with their old self. Pray for Chindu and Comfort that they will grow in their walk with the Lord and will come to Grace Gardens so that we can help them on their path!
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Cor 5:17