Sharing the Freedom I Have Found
I am Starfish Project's Outreach Director at our Riverside Branch. I go into the same neighborhoods filled with brothels that I used to work in so that I can bring women and girls out of the dark life of exploitation and help them experience true freedom. It is an honor and privilege to spend my life serving and loving the women and girls at Starfish Project.
Zi Yun’s Outreach Reflection
This week was quite special. We went to a red-light district that I am very familiar with. Many years ago, I used to work and commit crimes in this place. While there, memories flooded my mind, and I was overwhelmed with gratitude for who I am now. I sat and visited with women in each brothel for a long time – there were women I used to be very familiar with and newcomers.
One of the newcomers I remembered from our last visit to this area. At the time, the woman inside was very busy managing the renovations of the new brothel. We gave her a Give Hope Necklace as a way to begin a relationship and told her we would visit again soon. This time on outreach, I saw her sitting alone in the shop, so we went over to chat with her. She asked what we did, and I shared openly with her why we visit the brothels; to bring hope, a listening ear, and the possibility of a new life of freedom.
“I shared my story with her. I shared that I, too, worked in a brothel many years ago. I shared that I, like her, managed a brothel and exploited women and girls.”
Give Hope Necklace
As you purchase the Give Hope necklace, either to gift or to keep, we will set aside a necklace exactly like yours to give to a woman still in the brothel. As Zi Yun shared, this gives our outreach teams the opportunity to deliver your message of hope along with the beautiful Give Hope Necklace.
I shared my story with her. I shared that I, too, worked in a brothel many years ago. I shared that I, like her, managed a brothel and exploited women and girls. I shared about my family, abusive husband, and painful divorce. I shared how I found freedom and began a new life for myself and my children. As I shared my experiences, I could see the surprise on her face. I know my story is something she has never dared to hope for and like nothing she has experienced. I know her feelings deeply because I was her. Yet now I am free and privileged to share my freedom story and my hope with her. After listening, she opened up to our team and began sharing her story too.
“I know my story is something she has never dared to hope for and like nothing she has experienced. I know her feelings deeply because I was her.”
I am looking forward to more visits, and dream of a day when she, too, can experience freedom. If it is possible for me, it is possible for every woman we visit.
Through your jewelry purchases, you allow Zi Yun and our outreach teams to restore hope to women and girls still living in exploitation. Join our Share Hope monthly jewelry subscription to provide a care package for a woman still in exploitation.