August 29, 2011

Offering Hope to Those Enslaved…
One of the newer ministries that the Lyon City Team (LCT) has partnered with is the L’Alliance de L’Esperance (Hope Alliance) ministry, which seeks to reach out to those caught up in Human Trafficking—primarily in the form of prostitution.  The ministry is made up of Christians from various local churches and missions organizations, both French and English.  Twice a month teams from Hope Alliance head out on the streets late at night to meet the women.  A few teams of 2-3 will go onto the streets while one team will follow and pray.  The teams may talk with girls from France, Bulgaria, Nigeria, as well as many other European or African countries.

According to The Guardian's report in April 2011, France is considering making it illegal to pay for sex.  If the law is passed, France would join a small number of European countries that will punish such crimes with time in prison.  Sweden was the first to establish such a law in 1999, followed by Norway and Iceland.  It is believed the 80% of the estimated 20,000 prostitutes in France are victims of trafficking and slavery. 

Over the past months of reaching out in this way, it has been exciting to see the girls’ eyes light up as the team hands them a Bible in their own native tongue.  They are often starved for the hot tea and chocolate that the team gives them and even more for the conversation, literature and help.  The teams offer to pray for them if they desire, and take time to simply get to know them, trying to build relationships and understand what issues these women face.  With God’s help, those involved in this ministry find ways to be a light for the gospel in this very dark place.

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