There is no ‘quick fix’ – it takes time, energy, love and grace

Sometimes being a Christian can be frustrating.  We want miracles immediately and sometimes struggle to accept that things happen in God’s time not ours.

The Rahab team support around 40 women who sex-work on the streets around west Reading.  Some of the women we support are out almost every night, others come out when there is a utility bill to pay, others to feed their addiction and, very sadly, we do see more women out in November raising money for Christmas.

We want to support the women as they break free from the cycles of abuse, poverty and addiction; to help them be a part of their community and not just hidden on the side being marginalised and shunned.

One thing I have discovered is that there is no quick fix.  This journey takes time and can often include a ‘U’ turn when things go wrong.  As many Christians in the 1970s and 1980s, I read ‘The Cross and the Switchblade’ and watched the film.  I imagined us saying those amazing Christian/Biblical words that would change someone’s life immediately.  I’m not saying miracles don’t happen but sometimes it takes time and there tends to be no sparkling star in the sky when we pray with the women (you will need to watch the film if you don’t know that reference)!

However, God is there with us and of that there is no doubt.  He is there when we pray for the women, he is there when they begin treatment for substance abuse, he is there when they are referred for housing or benefits and he is there when they fail and need to start again.  The challenge for us is that there are others willing to bring them down, keeping the women where they are so they can continue to control their lives, make money from them and simply abuse them.

Last year, we prayed with one of the women.  She has been sex-working for many years but felt the power of God surround her and wants to make changes to her life.  It is a slow process, she isn’t sex working, she is in a hostel and is trying so very hard to make the changes she needs to.  We continue to support her, to give opportunities for her to help the Rahab team, to build her self-esteem and help her to know she is a child of God who loves her unconditionally.

Whilst there was no sparkling star in the sky when she was prayed with, our prayer is that over the next few years, her life is miraculously turned around.