In a small village at the end of a long, dirt road in India, there lived a girl named Ashwani. Her life was nothing short of a nightmare. The village she called home was known for something horrifying – sex trafficking. The despair and darkness in that place were tangible, etched onto the faces of those trapped in its grasp. Ashwani’s path seemed predetermined, headed straight for a life of unimaginable horrors, GB Road

From Hope to Horror

GB Road, located in Delhi, India, is a place synonymous with darkness and despair, a harrowing reality that remains hidden from the mainstream. It is infamous for being a red-light district, where the path to exploitation and suffering begins for countless young girls. Vulnerable to poverty and deception, these girls are lured into the sex trade, often by ruthless traffickers who prey on their innocence and desperation. Forced into a life of prostitution, sometimes even by their own parents, they endure unimaginable horrors, robbed of their dreams and dignity. Behind the facade of bustling streets lies a heart-wrenching tale of human trafficking and exploitation, shedding light on the urgent need for comprehensive measures to rescue and transform the lives of these victims, providing them with a chance to rebuild their shattered lives, and that is what Hope Partners does.

The following video is of mature content, viewer discretion is advised.

The team from our Hope Center in Ajmer, India named Mason’s Place, visits various villages every week. They share a time with the kids, telling them about Jesus, communicating the story of hope and redemption. They build relationships here, offering love and another alternative than the curse of poverty.

Ashwani’s small village is one of the hardest to visit. It is known as a sex trafficking village. It’s filthy and dark and the spiritual oppression is tangible. The destitution and misery etched onto the faces peering out of doorways speak to horrors unimaginable. The girls in this village are birthed on a dark path that is headed straight for a life of sex trafficking. This path has few exits.

So often, the poor are left with few options. Their struggle for survival is constant and it leaves them extremely vulnerable. That’s where Mason’s Place comes in. They don’t just offer a helping hand; they build genuine relationships with people in need. They support single parents who are desperately trying to make ends meet and provide for their children. They also reach out to the apathetic guardians of orphaned kids who are barely hanging on, practically teetering on the edge of becoming another statistic.

Another Possibility

Hope Partners Director Joseph Thomas, and the team from Mason’s Place present them with another possibility. The girls are invited to Mason’s Place where they will be cared for, educated and loved. Joseph reasons with the parents how, in the long run, this education will help them far more than the few dollars to be earned from selling them into slavery or trafficking.

Becoming a Statisic

Unfortunately in Ashwani’s village, girls are sold by the hour in nasty run-down shacks to men who venture down the dirt road. Their lives are sold to traffickers who drag them off to vile brothels in overwhelmed cities. They become nameless, faceless victims to fall somewhere into those statistics, that number with all the commas and zeroes that makes child trafficking just too impossible to comprehend.

At the time, Ashwani was 16, maybe. It’s hard to know for sure. Many of the poor don’t know their birthdays. If your mom plans to sell you to a pimp someday, she certainly isn’t keeping track of your birthday or lighting candles every year on your birthday cake.

Ashwani begged to come to our Hope Center. Anytime our team would pull up outside the village, she would be waiting. Asking for someone to please talk to her mom, please convince her to release Ashwani from this life, please permit her to live at Mason’s Place.

Her mom always refused.

But why?

Security and Education, Food and Shelter

Well, that’s not an easy question to answer. Mason’s Place offers security and education. Food and shelter. Hope and a future. It is an escape from what is virtually inevitable in this depraved village. Joseph would beg her mom. Allowing Ashwani to go to Mason’s Place costs her nothing yet offers her so much.

Her mom not only refused, she became hostile. She called other men in to threaten Joseph to leave her alone. Like the other girls in the village, Ashwani would one day be sold. That’s just the way it is in these poverty stricken places. Children here are not born with a spark of hope and possibility. They are born into a cursed and desperate place.

Millions of children are trafficked for sex

Poverty is a concept lost on so many of us. We can’t comprehend an environment with such little regard for humans, such distaste for girls that their life can be sold for less than our weekly Starbucks tab.

Over 1,000,000 children are trafficked for sex. That’s a lot of zeroes. A lot of torture and abuse. A lot of hopelessness. A lot of kids without someone protecting them, fighting for them. It’s so much evil and desperation. To truly attempt to comprehend the magnitude of this is simply too overwhelming for the senses.

It’s easier to look away. To say “How sad,” maybe offer a prayer and beg God to stop it, and then try not to think about it. It’s truly unbearable. Especially when the daily reality of it feels so far away from us. What can we even do? It feels so helpless.

2020 Lockdowns

When the lockdowns started in India in 2020, Joseph and the team worked tirelessly to visit these villages. Desperate situations became even more dire in the face of a pandemic. They delivered food, helped people find work, did all they could to show the love of Jesus to a people without hope.

Joseph visited Ashwani’s village often. He continued to invite Ashwani’s mom to see her daughter’s potential. To open her mind to entertain the idea of hope.

He never gave up. Joseph is faithful like that. He relentlessly pursues each child he can. He would rescue every single girl from these horrors if he could.

She’s Gone

Recently, Joseph visited Ashwani’s village and she wasn’t there to greet his car. She wasn’t walking the dirty streets, waiting for his arrival, begging yet again to be allowed at Mason’s Place.

Ashwani had been sold. The pimp had arranged for her to be taken to Mumbai.

An innocent 16-year-old girl who begged for another life. Who heard the stories of Jesus shared on those Friday afternoons in that small meeting area in the middle of a filthy village. Who desperately reached for another option, only to have the door slammed in her face.

The truth is, the statistics are easier to live with when one of them doesn’t have a name. And a face. And a story.

Gone But Not Finished

Ashwani’s story isn’t finished yet. She has worked her way on to prayer lists of people around the world. Her face has become an image to remind us that evil and wickedness exist and while the dark alleys of India seem far removed from our safe world, our prayers can do battle that will move Heaven’s armies to fight for this innocent girl and the countless more just like her.

Will you join us in fighting for Ashwani? Will you write her name where you can see it daily and plead with God for her rescue?

I know all those statistics are overwhelming. But this one has a name. There is always hope when God is writing the story.