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For three years, Samira has lived at the Ethiopia Women’s Home, a safe home funded by Hand of Hope, Joyce Meyer Ministries World Missions for women rescued from human trafficking. But we first met Samira in the Red Light District of Addis Ababa.
Like many girls who end up as a commercial sex worker, Samira’s family was very poor. They didn’t have enough food to eat, so she traveled from her small village to the big city of Addis Ababa to become a maid. After working and saving money, Samira began the journey home to visit her mom and help her family. It was on that trip that everything changed for Samira. She was robbed and left with nothing.
That’s when she met a girl on the bus who told her about a “great opportunity.” At only 15, Samira had no other options. She followed this girl back to the Red Light District and began her new life as a commercial sex worker.
During her two years in the Red Light District, Samira was beaten repeatedly and contracted HIV, which left her bedridden. Thankfully the staff of Crisis Aid International (CAI), our ministry partner in Ethiopia, found Samira when she was near death. After three years, the shy, angry and confused girl who entered the home has found a new life in Christ.
“It was very ugly in the Red Light. I was not happy there. But now I’m changed.” What’s brought this change for Samira? It’s the love of God, the support she receives at the home and the new life she has ahead of her.
Rescuing Girls from Human Trafficking
Samira is just one of the many girls currently living in the two women's homes sponsored by Hand of Hope, in partnership with Crisis Aid International. Staff from the homes spend numerous hours in the Red Light District searching for girls who are ready to escape the horrors of human trafficking.
After the girls come to the home, they receive emotional, physical and spiritual care from the housemothers and encouragement from the other girls living in the home. Every girl is introduced to a life with Christ and spends time in prayer and worship.
The girls living in the homes now know that God has a beautiful and perfect plan for each and every one of them far from the dimly lit streets of the Red Light District.
Providing Free Medical Care
Unfortunately there are thousands of girls still living and working on the streets of Addis Ababa. From May 12-14, 2011, a team of medical volunteers from Joyce Meyer Ministries wanted to reach out specifically to them, so they held a three-day medical clinic at Mercy Chapel—a facility that once operated as a brothel but has now been transformed into a church and vocational training center.
Each day, the lines at the clinic grew. Women, young girls and children were treated over the three days. They received free medical and dental care, medications, a hygiene gift pack, HIV testing and prayer.
The medical volunteers also spent two days, May 9-10, treating women and children in the mountain village of Angacha. In addition to providing medical and dental care, the team also got to witness firsthand the effects of poverty and malnutrition, as well as the vital projects Hand of Hope is partnering with CAI to accomplish.
Feeding the Hungry
Just like Samira’s family, many of the people in Ethiopia are in desperate need of food. Many fill their bellies with kocho (also known as false banana), but the plants have absolutely no nutrients.
Our prayer is to help families avoid starvation and children escape the same fate as Samira.
Your prayers and financial support allow us the opportunity to reach out to Ethiopians. And with your continued support, our hope is to change the lives of so many more like Samira and the thousands you’ve reached through medical and dental outreaches, feeding programs and shelter for human trafficking victims in Ethiopia.
Hand of Hope is the missions arm of Joyce Meyer Ministries. Our goal is simply to help as many hurting people as we possibly can, to alleviate human suffering and to help Christians grow in their faith.