Freedom Business Friday – Part 3

By Serge on March 19, 2015

The Thankful

We cancelled training and invited the women to a potluck meal.

Everyone pitches in: chicken masala and roti, spicy potatoes and haka noodles.

That afternoon as the mountain of food on the kitchen table grows, the excitement and chatter grows with it.

“Ok,” says Gabe. “Today, first we will eat, and then after we have finished, we will dance.”

“No, no!” the women chorus together. “If we eat first we will be tired, and then we won’t be able to dance!”

Alright. Dancing time it is. Gabe cranks up popular dance tunes from Bollywood movies, and soon everyone is on their feet, dancing and smiling and filling the whole apartment with music and laughter.

Then comes piles of food and the piles of conversation.

Languages blending and volume rising and falling as we all alternate between animated talking and tucking into the feast before us.

And then we slow down, and begin going around the circle, taking turns saying what we are thankful for.

“Good food and good friends.”


“The job and the nice party.”

And then…

“I am thankful for my new family here,” says Pura. “And I am thankful because now I know who Jesus is.”

The Storyteller 

For a moment, I put the spreadsheets down and just sit and talk with these women. We begin with a story that hopefully begins to plant seeds in their hearts that they are loved, they are precious, and that they are created for a reason.

There are so many layers.

In many ways, I feel totally unfit or unworthy to fill this role.

I have no idea what it is truly like to walk one day in their shoes. I know it breaks my heart when I think about it, but that doesn’t mean much.

My prayer is that somehow my words and my heart will all translate…

The Baker 

The giggling finally settles and Carol’s face gets serious. She starts to say something I can’t quite understand.

I watch the ladies, intent on her words, and struggle to piece together the puzzle of what must be happening. I start to feel the meaning of her words…

Risk. Courage. Strength. Trust.

The obstacles these women face every day…

The risk it is for them to leave…

The courage it takes to step out…

The strength to keep walking…

The trust they place in our hands…

These women have done the hard part…

Now all we can do is open our arms and pray to God he gives us the strength to catch.

The Free

Our 7 Precious Women

Beautiful and Bruised

Genuine, but Guarded

Strong, Resilient, Kind

Some Silent, Some Forthright

Broken Homes, Abandoned, Abused

Ever able to Smile

Thankful, but Asking

Crushed, but Hopeful

Faithful and Determined

Mothers, always a Mother

Giving, Sharing, Open

Addicted, Lost, Fearful

Stepping towards Recovery

Moving towards Jesus

Slow, Slow, Slowly





Freedom Business Fridays is a blog series focused on a new business that Serge staff are starting to help free people in forced labor or sex trade situations around the world. We are highlighting Serge’s first “Freedom Bakery” in South Asia. These women have a chance to leave the Red Light District Behind. This is their story. Told weekly, every Friday. 

The bakery’s name has been changed and author’s identity kept anonymous for security reasons.



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