Thursday, March 08, 2007

Missing Pearls

Two nights ago when I slipped off to the coffee shop to send some email, I ran into a woman I'll call Vanetta, one of the students in the writer's workshop. She was seated at a table with a man I didn't recognize. Of all the people in Hyderabad I know about eight. Vanetta is one of them.

She told me she was dining with the retired chief of police here in Hyderabad. He nodded warmly and asked me to join them at their table. It seems one of the women she works with had sent the police to her home because the woman's 11-year-old daughter had disappeared and she thought maybe she'd gone to Vanetta's house. This kind man had helped smooth things over.

However, the girl never showed up. She was still missing.

Vanetta works with the sex workers (prostitutes) in Hyderabad, ministering to them and serving as an advocate for them with the police. Last year for several months she had watched this woman's daughter and the girl grew close to her. Vanetta believes the woman tried to sell her daughter for money and the girl ran away.

A shudder ran down my spine. I couldn't help it. I have an 11-year-old daughter.

"The other Pearls were so worried," my friend told me. She calls the prostitutes Pearls. To her they're precious. To the streets they're worthless.


And if these precious women become believers, Vanetta calls them Polished Pearls. "I love them so much and I'm so worried about this girl, please pray for her," she said.

If you can, please pray for Vanetta (God knows her real name), the Pearls she works with, and the young girl who is still missing. Plead God for their safety and entreat him that each of the pearls Vanetta loves so much would be polished by God's Spirit and laced onto the secret necklace that he wears closest to his heart.

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