This Bridge of Hope centre began out of the desperate need seen by GFA-supported workers. Innocent children face dangers of being trafficked into the red-light district, just like their mothers. With an understanding of these children’s background, the teachers in this centre are able to mentor each child with grace.
Jemi, a single woman in her 30s, has been a tutor at Bridge of Hope since 2012. She has seen the children’s lives change drastically because of the centre.
“Once a child comes to the Bridge of Hope project centre and goes through the training period,” Jemi explains, “the changes and differences are very much visible and apparent. … They were very naughty or unruly before they came to the Bridge of Hope project centre. They used to have foul mouths, use vulgar words before coming here, but now they are not like that.”
These children will get a new life; they will become new persons as we teach them. I feel very glad and happy to think where these children will be in the future because of the investment we have made in their lives while here at the centre.
With hearts that want to see change, the Bridge of Hope staff care not only for the children but for their families too. Because they know true change starts within the home and that the way parents raise their children is crucial, they encourage every mother and father to be involved in their children’s lives and studies.
The Bridge of Hope staff visit with the students’ families weekly. They see it not only as an important part of their job but also as part of their calling. It is a way they can directly show the women in the red-light district they are loved and cared for—even when all of society rejects them and looks down on them.
“The most important thing that we do is visit them,” Jemi said, “because usually people don’t … want to do anything with the prostitutes in the red-light district.”
Bridge of Hope students look up to their teachers as class and activities are in session. They recognize the opportunity to imagine the future. Maybe someday they, too, could teach or become a doctor or a police officer. With newfound hope, each child knows they have the freedom to dream. They don’t have to choose the life of shame in the red-light district.
“The work that I do has a lasting impact in the lives of these children,” Kien says. “The impact is not only in children but also everyone the child in future will come across. These children have potential to impact others when they grow up because of our times invested in their life today.”
Although there is still much work to be done, Bridge of Hope stands in this red-light district community as a beacon of hope to those whom most people would refuse to associate with. Thanks to the commitment of the staff, children are receiving the love and care they need to thrive and succeed in life and not fall into the sex trade or continual poverty. Each child is given the opportunity to have the courage they need to transform their generation and the ones after them.
Dhinanath couldn't tear his eyes away from the scene before him. A car had quickly pulled up only a few meters in front of him and his colleague. He saw one of the car doors open and a young woman tumble out. Unconscious.
Priya looked up from a rough stool in her leaky shanty to see who had called out to her.
"Auntie," the voice came again, "can we come in?"
In 2017, GFA-supported workers in 18 Asian nations worked together with the Body of Christ all over the world—including you—to see lives and communities blessed by the love of Christ.