Vite Trasformate (transformed lives) is a gospel-centered ministry to reach those trapped in prostitution in Italy. Many thousands of women are on the sidewalks each night. Most of them are victims of human trafficking and exploitation, and they are all without hope. The primary objective of Vite Trasformate, which operates under the leadership and partnership of local churches, is to see lives transformed by Jesus Christ to the glory of God.
The following testimony is one of many such accounts of God’s grace. To learn more about the ministry, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Slowly and gravely the witch repeated, ‘There is no sun.’ And they all said nothing. She repeated, in a softer and deeper voice. ‘There is no sun.’ After a pause, and after a struggle in their minds, all four of them said together; ‘You are right. There is no sun.’ It was such a relief to give in and say it.”
Those familiar with C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia will remember these words from The Silver Chair. It tells the tale of the “under”world Witch’s power to confuse the mind of Aslan’s followers to the extent that they are persuaded that there is no “over”world (‘there is no sun’), only eternal darkness. Last week we experienced such power to confuse. Let me tell you the story.
Many of you remember the story of the Nigerian girl named J* whom we found on the streets of Bologna back in February. Here’s the blog post in case you don’t remember the story:
Now, here is the rest of her story:
Ruthi had tried for quite a while to get in contact with J* through her social worker. Finally two weeks ago, Ruthi made contact and we discovered that J* was in a shelter in Bologna and that she had asked to return home to her mother in Nigeria. Her social worker had bought her a plane ticket and asked Ruthi to accompany her to the flight on Friday. Tuesday Ruthi, Cristhina and I went to visit her. The girls bought her some new clothes and we rejoiced with her. It really was the J* from so many years ago! She was trafficked from Nigeria at the age of 15, and after six years of living hell in Italy, she was going home!
Thursday we got a call saying J* had changed her mind. She didn’t want to go home anymore! What had happened? We found out that a Nigerian man had begun coming to the shelter, convincing her to stay. We were overwhelmed with dismay. Ruthi was out of town that day so I decided to go to see J*. I drove to the dorm hoping to find her there. When I arrived she was outside with the man. The next few hours felt just like being trapped in an “underworld” with a witch whispering over and over, “there is no sun”. In place of a witch was a powerful Nigerian man shouting over and over again that there was no escape for J* That she would end up dead on a garbage heap. That we were sentencing her to her death. He begged me not to take her away. I stood on the steps of that place calling on the name of Jesus. Was it true? Was there no hope for J*? Was there no hope for any of the trafficked girls in this world? Were they all destined to die? Should I stand my ground, or just give up? Was this really my fight?
I ended up calling the police, getting J* and her stuff in my car, and at nearly midnight tucked her into bed in our spare room. At 5am Ruthi and Cristhina came to pick her up. Before leaving, downstairs on the dark street, I sung her a song- “Amazing Grace”. I told her about the man who had written it. How he had sold Africans like her into slavery. And how the amazing grace of Jesus had set him free, and that same grace was setting her free. This is her song!
Ruthi and Cristhina traveled by train-one on each side of her- all the way to the airport in Rome and put J* on a plane for home! Everyday Ruthi calls her in Nigeria and J* says, “I’m home, I’m happy, and I’m safe!”
Tonight our team will be back out on the dark streets of Bologna choosing to believe that there really is an “over” world where the Son is reigning on high. And He really does have the power to save. Even now, even these, even here in the “under” world!!!
Will you believe with us?