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The ‘blonde rose’ from Bloemfontein

Lisa Truter

One day, a few years ago, a “blonde rose” decided to exchange her life in Bloemfontein for an apartment in the Blue Waters block of flats in Sea Point … a simple move that made a minister of a church in Sea Point anxiously reach for his phone.

I relived the incident at the Blue Waters apartment block when, during the first week of June, Towers of Hope – a ministry in Bloemfontein – invited us to host a workshop on outreach to women involved in prostitution. It was a wonderful weekend of home visits to beautiful but broken women, caught in the web of prostitution and drug abuse. We had delightful moments during the workshop when, together, we discovered God’s will for these women. We also had the privilege of experiencing the streets of Bloemfontein, armed with coffee and hotdogs for the women we engaged with.

During the Friday night  our team met a young girl. She was scantily dressed for a cold Bloemfontein night, skinny and only 17 years old. We could see she was terrified. Her parents died in 2007 and she, along with her siblings, went to live with her grandmother. In 2010 she ran away and they never saw her again. She now lives with a pimp and a sort-ofgirlfriend. While struggling to look us in the eye, one of her first words to us came in a whisper: “They rape us, but they do not even pay us”. With a cup of coffee and a hotdog we were able to share the Lord’s love with her and saw how scared and insecure she hungrily wolfed down her coffee and hotdog. There were many women, all of them hungry for love and hope. May God bless the ministry of Towers of Hope in Bloemfontein and lead them in this wonderful new season.

Back to the anxious minister of years ago: The “blonde rose” came to his church office seeking help and made it very clear how she managed to put food on the table. The more she explained the more the minister realised what he needed to do: Phone a friend! And that friend was Fourie.

Fourie and I immediately went to the apartment and knocked on the door. The woman’s son opened and kindly invited us in. She was sitting on her bed and to her right stood a massage bed. There was no chair in sight, so Fourie half sat, half lay on the massage bed while I sat next to her on the bed. On her bedside table was a Bible as well as a few Solly Ozrovech devotional books. Without me asking, she said: “I can’t go to sleep at night without having read my Bible and a bit from uncle Solly at the end of each day”.

In the end the woman and her son moved back to Bloemfontein. I can’t help but wonder if she might have been one of the women we met during the Friday afternoon home visits. Prostitution deforms and mutilates women so fast, it would have been easy not to recognise her. While standing on that open plain, I even wondered if she was still alive and how her redhead son, who never seemed to progress at school, was doing.

Perhaps we should all anxiously reach for our phones when we come across things that make us uncomfortable, and stand up against the things that are destroying the heart of our country.

Posted in Articles  
 Straatwerk  / The ‘blonde rose’ from Bloemfontein
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