Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Her Story is My Story

I traveled around for two years talking with groups about issues women face globally. I led discussions on various topics. I helped others understand the “issues”. But the issues become something so much greater when met in the form of a person.

Several years ago I was attending a conference on ministry to women in prostitution. It was there that the issue sought me out. It was there I met Sarah. Sarah was two years older than I; she was only 26. Through sharing our stories we became friends. Sarah is a woman in prostitution. Throughout the 8 day conference we found times to meet and share with one another our hopes and dreams for life. It was through our sharing that I realized that Sarah was just like me. Only, she had some unfortunate events unfold throughout the course of her life. At our core, we both yearned for the same things in life. From that moment until now, every time I discuss the issues of prostitution, I no longer see the stereotypical situation. I see Sarah. I see her smile. I hear her voice of hope. I hear her cry for help. She is just like me.

I still think about Sarah often. For a year we kept in touch regularly as she would report on her failed attempts to leave the industry. We encouraged each other. Her story is now a part of my story. I was affected by an encounter with a girl just like me. No longer are stats just numbers for me, they are the faces of friends in need.


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