This is an update of the lives of some of the women we are ministering to at Neustart and the steps of redemption God is lovingly bringing them through.
J: J is a young Polish girl who was once part of a Satanic cult but whose heart is in a state of seemingly rebellious searching. What I mean by that is she expresses her fears, concerns and questions often in the form of closed remarks or piercingly hateful comments. She talks about how evil God is but continues to bring Him up in conversations and makes jokes about my "relationship" with Him. I see this as a real search of her heart and soul---though attempting to be cloaked in rebellion and rejection---longing to know the truth about who this heavenly Father is and longing, herself, for a relationship with Him.
She has big dreams to become a journalist. And with her determined personality, I believe she can do it. If her heart seeks God, she no doubt can do it for with Him all things are possible and he adds unto us all that we need if we seek Him and His kingdom of righteousness. What a blessed promise. Through Neustart she has gotten connected with the "Lernladen", an organization in Berlin that helps and guides individuals to make the next steps they need to pursue the career of their choice. J has met with the Lernladen a few times and is making steps to pursue this dream of journalism and step out of prostitution.
M: Please pray that we can find Hungarian-German reading materials for her, such as a Hungarian-German Bible and/or a Hungarian-German dictionary. Although she has been living in Germany for 7 years, her German is very basic. It has been beautiful to see this awakened hope and joy in her not only in her new drive to learn German but also in her hunger in reading God's word. Her heart is so soft toward God; she has said that her work as a prostitute is sinful and that she knows Jesus doesn't like it, but she says, "I must". Please pray for God to open doors wide for her to be able to get out of prostitution---for ways in which her spiritual, financial, physical, and emotional needs may be met apart from this work. (She is the young woman featured in the picture above---we are working together on her German).
D: D is the woman who gave birth to the baby boy in September. She is doing well in that she has not once been back working on the streets since the birth of this child and she has found a new job working in a restaurant! Praise God for this provision! Things seem to be going quite well for her. As a result, her search for God has come to a halt. She is not seeking Him, reading the Bible, nor does she experience interest in talking about spiritual matters. It has been sad to see her take these blessings for granted and keep closed eyes to the Giver. Please pray for God to open up her eyes and for her to turn to Him.
V: V is a woman who is in bondage by a strong negative spirit. But it is so evident with her, as with everyone, that there is this image of God in her that cries out to be restored. For example, at Neustart's Christmas party (hosted for the women on December 19th), V received her gift of a scarf, hat, gloves, calendar, personal card, and other goodies. After receiving and opening her gift, we began talking and I had shared about my family and how sometimes we have our problems/struggles. She then opened up and shared with how she can understand---she has her own problems in her family, problems that the women who work with her on the streets have never experienced. I talked with her a bit more, and it was beautiful to see her take this step of trust in opening up and seeking a place of healing. Oh that she may come to know Jesus, the one who came to heal broken hearts and set captives free!
Another one of our volunteers has been working with V and also introduced her to the "Lernladen" (like with J). So V, by God's help and grace, is also taking steps to move toward opportunities for another job and away from prostitution.
B: She is amazing! It is so beautiful to see God at work in her life, teaching her how to love. For example, she hugs us volunteers and other women who come into the cafe often. Rhonda, one of our leading volunteers, said that years ago, B would not do that. Her hugs are often a bit awkward and aggressive but one sees that she is experiencing and learning how to love and show affection, something she has not experienced much of in her life of 45+ years on the street (her father forced her into prostitution at the age of 15).
Please be praying for these amazing, amazing women. Please pray for their salvation and for them to surrender to the Holy Spirit, who longs to revive and redeem! Please pray for them as they all makes these steps of growth and progress. Please pray for more courage and strength as none of these women are by an means on easy journeys. May they know the unfathomably love of God and freedom found in Christ Jesus!