It was my own family member, my adoptive brother, who took me from my house and sold me into prostitution. He talked to me about a place in Bombay where I could earn money knitting sweaters but when I was reluctant to go, he drugged me with some juice. I awoke far from home and found I had been bought by a man who also owned other girls. I was so frightened and confused, but those girls would not tell me what was happening. I was kept in a locked room and I could do nothing of my own will. Eventually I had to give up and do what they wanted me to. The reality of what my life had become made me want to kill myself. Though my spirit had died, I remained alive in that place for 4 years.
Girls in the brothel suffer terribly. Many of them are locked in dungeons in utter darkness, unable to tell if it is day or night, unable to talk to anyone at all, their only contact – the men that use them. I was fortunate that my brothel owner permitted me to go out on occasion and I met a girl named Gina, who told me about the Lord. Gina would meet me and take me to her church, and it is in that place that I found hope – hope that I could get out of that life and hope that I would have a family again.
With money I had hidden, I fled to the train station and to Nepal. I hoped my family would accept me, but though my parents wanted to take me in, my village would not permit that. In the Hindu culture, if a girl is out for even one night the village assumes the worst and will not accept her back. I had been gone for four years; in their eyes I was ruined, even though it was I who had been betrayed, and my family member who had wronged me. I was shunned and rejected, and now found myself utterly alone in my own homeland.
By a miracle, I remembered the phone number of a lady from Bombay Teen Challenge and the church that Gina had taken me to. Her name was Bimila and she had visited me in the brothel in Bombay before she returned to Nepal some months earlier. Bimila was now the housemother for a new home that Shared Hope just built with Believers’ Fellowship in my own country! They made a home for me and accepted me and became my new family.
About three years ago, I returned to the city of my slavery, and I moved to the Village of Hope outside of Bombay in order to reach into the darkness and shine the light of hope into the brothel. I still grieve for my sisters there and I can’t be completely happy until all of them are free.
As I began to heal with God’s help and the love of His people, I was able to help other girls returning to Nepal from the brothels of Bombay. One lady, too sick with the disease to make the trip but desperate to save her six year old daughter from the death sentence of the brothel, sent the little girl, Mannisha, to us just a few weeks after I arrived. We provided the comfort and love for each other that we both so desperately needed. I think of her as my own daughter and she calls me “mommy”; we are a family of God’s making! Today Mannisha is 15 years old and is a fine young lady and good student, testing at the top of her class and aspiring to be a doctor.
Once, I returned to my brothel to visit girls that I knew when I was there – to tell them there is hope – and all of them were gone, dead from the trauma and diseases of that life. My friend Gina has also gone to be with the Lord in heaven. Of my friends, I alone remain, and I know God has spared me for His purpose.
Last year I completed my first year in Bible College. My faith is growing ever stronger, and I feel the Lord’s call to go on to business school so I will be equipped to help with the financial management of groups that reach out to help women and children that have escaped the life of slavery. God makes all things new. As another slave, Joseph, said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
UPDATE: Renu was married in July 2012. During her marriage ceremony, she was escorted down the aisle by our local partner who loves and guides Renu as a father.