My nine brothers and sisters rejoiced when my father arranged a marriage for me at the age of 15. A baby daughter brought us such joy, until disease claimed her life 10 months later. Abandoned for another woman, I was left alone in disgrace. At first I worked as a maid, but respectable work pays meager wages to women in West Bengal; the pimps make sure of it.
At age 24, I convinced myself that selling my body certainly couldn’t be worse than starving to death, but I was wrong. Life in a Mumbai brothel kept my body fed, but my spirit withered as the years passed. Five years ago, a kind construction worker, offered to pay off my pimp and marry me. I thought escape from prostitution would restore my dignity, but my guilt clung like a wet garment.
One day at the market I met Recha. This former prostitute told me about Jesus, the God who could remove my sin and shame. She took me to Hilltop of Hope, where I am learning how to read, to sew, and to walk daily with Jesus my savior. My sisters in Christ at Hilltop of Hope care for my new infant son, while I sew bags and share Jesus with women who remain enslaved in sex trafficking.