Stepping into the red light district in Tijuana, Mexico you can feel the hopelessness. You can get lost in the chaos. You can lose track of the innumerable girls lining the walls, and the untold stories of the girls working within the bars. You can get swallowed up in a sea of customers there for a “good time.” You can be over taken by the despair that is all around you.
The funny thing is, I find life there.
When we visit the red light district we go with purpose: we pray, we worship, we talk to people, and we declare life over the city. When we worship there something in the atmosphere changes. As we sang I opened my eyes to see a small crowd of people around us. We were able to talk with them and pray for them. One man came up to us asking how he could ask Jesus into his heart- breakthrough. There was such a hunger for Jesus.
All of a sudden I met Selena. She held my hand as she told me her story: A 42 year old woman with four children, she earns a living by selling her body in the red light district of Tijuana. She showed me the scars she has on her face from where her husband had beaten her. The burden of her life too much to bear, she had considered ending it, continually getting drunk to numb the pain. When we met her she was at a turning point: desperate for a change, desperate for a savior. I got to pray over her restored identity, speak into her value as a daughter of Christ. I got to tell her that those burdens are not hers to carry, that Jesus carries them for her.
I found myself in the middle of a red light district with a prostitute crumpled into my arms, weeping and begging to have more of Jesus, begging to change her life. I’ve never seen anyone so desperate for Jesus in my life. We were able to give her the number of a church and shelter that we partner with in the area and by the time we left she had walked to go get all of her stuff and exchanged her heels for tennis shoes, ready to run after the new life that Jesus has for her.
Many people see Tijuana or any red light district for that matter as a lost cause. What I see is the potential for new life. In the darkest corner of that red light district, Jesus is there. Even in that darkness He gives new life to the lost. As Christians we have a calling, to go to the broken and the lost and to let them know that there is a savior who meets them in the midst of their brokenness.
There are no lost causes. There is no too late.
I don’t know how many years Selena was in prostitution, but I do know one thing: she has new life ahead of her. Jesus doesn’t give up on people and neither should we. There is a need, a need for people who will go to the broken, in their neighborhoods, towns, cities and nations to declare to them that their Savior is simply waiting for them to say yes to Him.
God wants to release transformational breakthrough into the nations, will you be a part of it?