Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Sound of Joy

There are sounds you associate with terrible atrocities. Whales and screams that chills the bones and breaks the heart. Darkness that looms over the area suffocating any signs of hope. These are the sounds and signs of people resigned to evil dominating their souls.

For the part few days, we have been journeying through the frenetic, hectic streets of Kolkata. A city where there are still ritualistic animal sacrifices to the goddess Kali. Worshipping death and destruction by blood running freely to appease her lust for death.

We have seen the worst sides of humanity. Neighbours, friends, uncles and aunts selling girls into slavery all for money. They abuse natural trust from simple people for their own temporary gain, and in turn sell these girls, and their souls. Stories that many of us are familiar with, but only speak of once the children have gone to bed. Stories easier left ignored, because they disturb us deeply if we take them as truth.

That darkness is what makes these images so beautiful. The stories are all true, but there are bastions of light shining in the darkness. Communities standing up to fight trafficking, churches planted to stop the erosion, education offered to provide new opportunities and training to combat the root cause of poverty. It's families reporting their missing daughters so they can be rescued and those responsible brought to justice. It's the same girls testifying in a court where their every word is scrutinized, and speaking flawlessly to bring these monsters to justice. It is angels in heaven doing fierce battle on behalf of those taken advantage of, storming the fortresses of the evil one.

It is the sound of new beginnings. New opportunities for people the world has cast aside. How do you help someone who has been stuck in slavery for years? Girls who stopped developing mentally the moment of first trauma, with little or no schooling and unable to read or write.

These things are happening today. Girls finding new family in Aunties who love them and sisters who have suffered the same trauma. Salvation and healing in Jesus Christ who holds them tight and watches over them. It is the sound of healing.

Today we had two great experiences of visiting the Destiny Foundation, who employs some of these women, teaching them job skills and selling their sewing at fair trade prices. It is a first line for these girls to learn how to work, and produce goods that are worthy to be sold. A safe place for them to learn and grow, and prepare for the rest of their lives.

The second experience was visiting the recovery home to show them the movie they participated in making. As we entered the home, the air was electric with anticipation. Throughout the 8 minutes of video, heaven and earth collided as young women who should be decimated from the trauma in their lives sung a beautiful song through their laughter. It was the sound of pure, unadulterated joy.

There is no better proof of healing than 25 young women taking pure joy in the story they created. Laughing at the silliness of the acting, the hilarity of the dancing and the innocence of girls being girls, as they should have been all along. It is a gift that we were able to give them, but they will never know what a gift they have given us.

Tonight, I heard heaven. It is going to be a great party, and it sounds like freedom.

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