Last Friday night, Jewellan Morrison (our Program Director) and I had the privilege to serve in Atlanta, GA with an amazing group of people affiliated with the Atlanta Dream Center, called Princess Night. This outreach group goes into the darkest, seediest, scariest parts of inner city Atlanta where most nights they make the news for murder and drug and prostitution related arrests. (we found that out after our trip).
Faithfully, every Friday night a volunteer group takes a 14 passenger van filled with prayer warriors who are called to “rescue them from the hand of the wicked." They are armed with red roses and scripture cards with a “hotline” phone number on it for the woman to call if she needs and wants help off the streets.
The night went like this; we sat in the room with 12 other volunteers from IHOP (International House of Prayer) and our leader began teaching us and explaining what we would see and what we could and could not do and say. All of the training was for our protection of course. As I listened to the teacher prepare us for the real possibility of pimps/mean boyfriends and drugged up people coming toward us and what to do should that occur, I admit my heart was beating very fast. Yes, fear was creeping in.
Our main goal was to give a red rose to a woman prostituting or as we were taught to call her, “a woman on the street” and an encouraging scripture card that said something about how much God loves her and wants a beautiful life for her. That she is a treasure. The hot line phone number was also written on it and we were to ask her if we could pray with her right then. Obviously, we would love to take them all off the street that night and get them to safety, but we were told it’s rare for a woman to actually leave with the van that night.
We were told that we would pray from the time we got into the van and non-stop until we came back to debrief in a couple hours. We were to pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us to who He wanted us to talk with. God is so good, from the minute I got into the van, I felt a “covering” of protection around the van (I could actually see and feel a bubble around us) and I knew that we were completely covered by a hedge of protection from our Lord. All fear was gone and a bold courageous spirit came forward in all of us! We prayed and God showed us woman after woman after woman. In all we spoke with and handed out 6 roses that night. Some women ran away and would not take a rose and we learned that the reason is because if their “pimps” catch them doing that and wasting time (and time is money) they would probably get beat up.
“Group 2, there is a woman wearing white pants around the corner, go talk with her” came the request from our leader. Jewellan and I headed out of the van with our leader/volunteer and two male prayer warriors on our heels in case we needed their assistance. After walking around the corner, we saw her. She was a beautiful young woman and was quickly walking away from us and we said, “hey can we talk with you?” She turned toward us with a soft beautiful face and a soft spoken “yes”. She wasn’t familiar with the “princess night”, maybe she was new to the area and the streets. We were able to speak with her for several minutes finding out that she has an 8 year old son whom she desperately wants to get back and be a mother to. We asked her if we could pray for her and she said “Oh yes please”. (we also learned in our training to pray with our eyes wide open and be very alert of what is going on around us). That is when I spotted our two male prayer warriors praying over her boyfriend/pimp about 30 yards away from us. WOW, that was powerful! Jewellan had the opportunity to pour into this young woman about a different lifestyle, one that she can have her son and a beautiful life away from pain and abuse. She also shared how she sensed the woman was trying to fill a void in her life. That she knew that there was something better out there than the life she was living and we could all tell from the tears in her eyes that that was exactly what Tay was thinking! She was wide eyed with lots of questions and said she would call the hotline number. In all we got to share and pour truth into “Tay” for 20 minutes, which is miraculous we are told. But we serve a God who still performs miracles every day!
We found out later that night “Tay” called the hotline number, but after a rescue attempt was made, they could not find her. We will continue to pray for “Tay” to be protected and for courage and opportunity to make the call to come out of the darkness and into the light. Jewellan and I felt so blessed to be able to see that side of what the women we serve at the Refuge for Women have gone through and come out of. How humbling the experience was for both of us. We are forever changed!
Written by: Cindy Warr, Development Director RFW
"For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you, not to harm you. To give you a hope and a future'" Jeremiah 29:11
(one of the scriptures on the hand made beautiful cards we handed out)