On June 20, 2012

The Red Thread Movement

So I just returned from a couple of weeks in Nepal working with the ministry Eternal Threads. It’s a great ministry that I highly commend that is working to create connections between 3rd and 1st world countries, and providing fair trade opportunities for some of the most vulnerable people in the world. (In fact, if you are a person with any influence in your church, and would like to throw a gathering for your church to shop and make a difference in the world at the same time, you can email eternalthreads@mac.com)

One part of the Eternal Threads ministry is something that has grown exponentially over the past couple of years. It’s called the Red Thread Movement, and what it is doing for the girls in Nepal is unreal!  For those of you who haven’t heard, The Red Thread Movement is an ACU student initiative that helps women who have been sexually trafficked from Nepal to India (over 12,000 girls are trafficked in Nepal every year) and because the culture is a very honor/shame based culture, most of the girls who are trafficked are too ashamed, or not allowed to go back home.

So Eternal Threads helps them go to a safe home where they are taught a sustainable business skill like sewing or being a beautician and then sent back to their villages. And they take the Gospel with them! These girls are planting churches in villages that no Western missionary could reach, and it’s working like crazy!

It starts like a mustard seed, and just keeps going.

But it’s not enough to tell you this in the abstract. So let me introduce you to Gita:

Gita came from a small village in Nepal, where her mother left to become a migrant worker overseas to hopefully raise money for her struggling family. That was over 5 years ago…they haven’t heard from her since. So Gita’s dad eventually remarried, and her step-mother was less than kind to Gita. The family had no money and then Gita met “Romeo.” He promised her the world and gave her hell. He romanced her, proposed to her, and slept with her, all within just a short time of knowing her.

Then “Romeo” told Gita that what he really wanted to do was get married in India, Gita didn’t have much holding her to her small village in Nepal, her prospects were extremely limited, so she went. And it’s here that Gita’s life really turns on a dime. At the border she was stopped by girls at a border station, girls who had previously been trafficked themselves, and it’s here that Gita learns about the true intentions about the love of her life.

She was less than 10 yards from a life of Hell on earth. And she was stopped.

They say that it takes the average girl anywhere from 1-3 months to be able to face the reality of what has actually happened to her, and how close she actually came to being forced into sexual slavery. At first they deny it, they think he really loved them, or that he really was trying to get them a legitimate job in India. But when it finally dawns on them what has happened they need more than just a place to stay.

They need the Gospel. 

And that’s what is so great about the ministry in Nepal. The Safehouses are filled with people who know about the power of a God who gives us 2nd chances in life. They are places of restoration, and they work! They are taught here anything from how to read, to how to sew, and how to believe in a God who also believes in them.

Do you remember that one encounter Jesus had with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4? Jesus meets a woman at the very bottom of her brokenness. She’s been married 5 times, and now she’s just living with her boyfriend. And she’s who Jesus chooses to reveal His true identity to. Not Pilate, not Nicodemus, not the rich and powerful men of his day, but her.  And then Jesus gives her living water. But do you remember what Jesus actually tells her?

Remember exactly how Jesus talks about this? ‘The one who believes in me, as the Scripture says, out of that person’s heart will flow rivers of living water.’

Out of that person’s heart! Didn’t see that coming did you? Just when you think he’s going to say ‘into that person’s heart’ But he doesn’t, Jesus says that He makes us living rivers of water. And she does. This samaritan woman goes back into her village and introduces every single person to the Christ.

Because Jesus isn’t just forgiving our sins, he’s using them. He’s redeeming and restoring the world, one girl and one boy at a time. And we can be a part of it.

Almost a year after her attempted abduction, Gita now is a trained beautician who owns her own beauty shop in a village that is mostly run by men. No one knows that she was trafficked, but they know that she is great addition to their village. She gives the other little girls something to look forward to besides “overseas opportunities.”  She is an agent of Restoration every where she goes. If you want to know what the Gospel looks like with skin on, you could just point at Gita. Because what Jesus did for the Samaritan woman, he is doing for Gita, and for people like her all over the world.

And you can join in.

Because before Gita was ever a beautician, or a church planter, she was in the process of being restored, and she was making red thread bracelets.

Now your church or your group of friends can buy these bracelets. They are $3 apiece, and here is what the money goes to:

1. Over $1 goes back to the girl who made this, giving her an opportunity to buy things like a sewing machine or beauty supplies before she goes back to her village to work.
2. To the Border stations that are supported by this ministry. These are the stations that are run by girls who had previously been trafficked. Each station prevents 200-250 girls a month from being trafficked.
3. To run the safe house and train the girls in a sustainable income.

I am a Christian, in part, because nothing else can get me to care about people outside of myself quite like Matthew 25 can. Nothing else can get me to interrupt my own selfish ambition quite like the knowledge that Jesus doesn’t just stand on the side of the elite and powerful, but on the side of the broken and destitute. Nothing else has ever been able to get me to look outside of myself quite as much as seeing Jesus in the unexpected people and places.

I just had the privilege of spending 2 weeks with Jesus. And if you’d like to stand in solidarity with the people that He does, you can start by buying a bracelet.

Join the movement.

For more information on this you can go to www.redthreadmovement.org, to purchase or for questions you can email staff@redthreadmovement.org

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  • Candy White

    Thanks Jonathan for bringing attention to this important work!  Since the Red Thread Movement has grown out of Eternal Threads.  I hope that each reader of your blog will check out http://www.eternalthreads.org to see that the message of hope is being shared with many of the poor and disadvantaged in other nations as well.  This web site tells the story of other nations as well and displays the beautiful things made by the girls in Nepal and of other nations too.  Thanks again for sharing the story of Jesus!  Blessings –
    An Eternal Threads volunteer who wears the Red Thread bracelet to remember how blessed we truly are!

  • Kathy

    Every time I read and reread this blog my heart is torn open and the tears fall in a flood. May I always remember these sweet children that are being thrust into the most evil of all, “…making one of these little ones fall.” Thanks to the King of Kings who says HE not us, HE will take care of them in eternity.  Thank You, LORD!! Blessings to Eternal Threads, Red Thread Movement and all the hundreds of little girls that are saved from that horrible hell on earth in the middle of the sex trade!!!  In His great love, grace and Almighty, never ending mercy!  K