I have been challenged recently in my thinking. Through all these amazing organizations and ministries that we’ve been introduced to there always runs a common thread. The desire is to foster and inspire in others as much as we are able the hope for a future. And that in and of itself is a noble cause.
But what kind of a future? Their situations may not drastically change. Their lives in the countries they live in may continue to be harsh and unyielding. For many, they may fall back into the clutches of whatever it was they were rescued from. Yes, that’s the reality of it all. Hope for a future is temporary – but we want to aim for what is eternal.
Many organizations are doing a good work, an amazing work of providing jobs and opportunities, a “hope for the future”. But the question we’ve been asking ourselves is “What about hope for eternity?”.
Both are very important, but without the gospel doing the changing, the effects are merely temporal. Yes, we need to do what we can to help others help themselves, to give them a leg up in the world, to allow them to stand on our shoulders, to encourage, love, and do for them what we can.
Rahab’s Rope – Love in Action
But even more importantly are our prayers, the gospel going out into their hearts and lives – their seeing and knowing that we don’t just care about their bodies, but about their souls.
This is the mission and the aim of Rahab’s Rope as they work with women who are and were trafficked throughout India. India has one of the worst human trafficking rates around the world. That came as a shock to me. I’ve always seen their country as being quite conservative, perhaps more out of ignorance on my part than anything.
The reality of the red light district in any country is that it’s harsh, there’s no hope, and there certainly seems to be no God. But he is there, and these women need to know that he cares, and we care, not just about rescuing them from the grasp of men, but from the grasp of the world and sin.
In Mumbai, the Rahab’s Rope team builds relationships with the girls in two red light areas – not just giving them a sense of empowerment, that they can change their lives, but pouring out God’s love on them, and on the teenage girls who aren’t trafficked, but live just around the corner from the brothels.
In Bangalore, the main focus is encouraging hope and building women up in the truth in the restorative aftercare facility. They also work in the slums where they’ve established a stitching center to teach women who are at risk for prostitution.
The Goa Project provides basic education and training for women living in the slums, and also supports two preschools in an effort to decrease the risk of these children being forced into the commercial sex trade industry.
We believe the more trust and relationships we build, the more lives we can impact.
I had a chance to interview Sarah Schulte, the Recruiting and Mobilization Director from Rahab’s Rope. She provided some really great insights into the work that is being done in these areas of India – but more importantly, how the gospel is going out and affecting these women.
What is the significance behind the name Rahab’s Rope?
When Vicki Moore first learned about trafficking in India and felt the call of the Lord to do something about it, she was in an Old Testament course and they were studying Rahab of the Bible. Of course, Rahab hid the two Israelite spies, under flax, according to the Bible. To hide two grown men would have taken a lot of flax, so probably Rahab was doing something with it to have so much at her home.
In those days, flax was often used to make rope, so it’s not too far of a leap to presume that she had made the very rope that God then used for her escape. This is one of the foundational principles of what we do – equipping women to make something with their own hands that God can then use to provide them escape from a lifetime of slavery.
Where do you work and why have you chosen to work there?
We work in four locations in India – Bangalore, Delhi, Goa, and Mumbai. Vicki had been going to India on mission trips for many years and really had a heart for the people there; when in 2004 she read an article about sex trafficking in India, she already had an upcoming trip planned to Bangalore. Through that trip, God directed Vicki to contacts who would teach her more about the problem and help her set a plan in motion and Rahab’s Rope was born.
Since then, we have expanded to the other three locations, really, through God’s provision and opening the doors. The four cities where we work happen to be some of the largest centers for trafficking in India – a country which is one of the worst for trafficking – and are the very places where God has given us the contacts and opportunities to work.
What do the women who work with Rahab’s Rope do and how are they supported?
While we minister in a lot of different ways, the women who made the jewelry here are in our prevention program, where they receive training to equip them to find other jobs, or to continue on working with us (we pay them per piece for the items we sell here in the US and Canada).
Additionally, we try to help support the women with whatever needs may arrive, be that medical, financial, emotional, etc. And of course we share the Gospel in all that we do, as ultimately, the goal is to bring them to know a loving Savior.
Currently, there are 22 women working in our prevention program and able to support themselves, as well as approximately 15 workers in the red light area learning the same skills, and then quite a few more in our after care programs.
What is your vision for the future of the women who have been and are being rescued from trafficking?
That the women would be equipped to care for themselves and their families in a way that does not leave them vulnerable to traffickers, and that those who have been rescued learn what life looks like in a world that is so different from what they’ve known. We desire them to come to know the Lord, escape violence and poverty, and to become successful in their communities. (AMEN!)
How can people get more involved with the work you are doing?
There are lots of ways! Here are a few:
Pray! Of course that is the most important and the only reason we have any success in what we do.
Travel to India. We send teams throughout the year to work directly in these various capacities, and there are opportunities for men and women in trips ranging from 10 days to 12 weeks.
Over 55% of our funding as a nonprofit comes through sales, so this is a huge part of what we do, and it gives dignity to the girls making the products, knowing they are earning “good” money (as one of the girls in the red light area referred to it) for something they have made with their own hands – and that people in the West want.
- You can shop online – www.rahabsrope.org
- Host a party – we’ll send you the products, a short video, and the return shipping to send it back; you just invite your friends to raise awareness and funds
- Wholesale – if you have a retail store and would like to sell some Rahab’s Rope products, we’d be glad to talk with you about it.
Volunteer locally. If you happen to live near Gainesville, GA, or if you have some skills that could benefit the ministry remotely, we’d love to have you join our team.
Rahab’s Rope wants to celebrate mothers around the world – for now until May 11, get 25% off your order from the Pearl Collection and help support the Rahab’s Rope women being rescued from trafficking.