While we're on this subject of little baby boy- let's get into the subject of naming your children. So I've had names for my children since I was about 12 and learned that picking names is so fun. I love the names Madeline Marie and Jacob Ryan (though with the whole Twilight craze and Jacob in it, I may have to change that name. Rats.) These, in my opinion, are relatively common, acceptable names for children. In America, we don't often get too odd of names. There are a few, no doubt, but John is much more common than something like Ocean (Just an example). And, for all those who don't know this- it's actually ILLEGAL in Germany to name your child a weird name. You have to have some sort of proof that a name has been in your family for a while if you're going to name your child a "odd" name. Now, in the Philippines it's a free for all. The main thing we've seen is that the couple does an odd combination of their names to create a name for their child. For example, my parent's names are Sharon and Larry. Now when I was born they named me Molly. But if we lived here, and they were part of this culture, they may have named me Sharry. You see? But you also have the other names that creep up every now and then here. Hilary was telling me about a mom who named her kids after the royal family. Not just Charles but PRINCE CHARLES. On the birth certificate this kid's name was Prince Charles. (They also have a Princess Diana) This all bring me to the main point. The baby I delivered this morning was named Lord Benedict. Yup. You read that right. Hehe. Just though I'd let you in on this little tid bit that made my day. :D
Ok...so on to the more serious stuff. I guess we'll just jump right into it. Last night before working at the clinic we went to the Red Light district with a man named Father Hines. This man is...amazing. He was raised in Germany and came to Cebu 29 years ago and has been working here ever since. Everyday he goes into this district (as well as the dump sites) and hands out medicine, condoms, etc. Now let's back up a little bit. When we went to the Red Light we had to pass through a blockade of guards. These guards are there for pretty much one reason: to keep anyone who is going to help get these girls out of this situation OUT of the district. The girls are valuable to them and help will not be tolerated. So needless to say Father Hines had a difficult task in front of him 29 years ago. He finally got in when he proved he was a friend. His theory is that by continued kindness and relationship we can win more to Christ than through blunt force. So when one of the pimps got hit by a car and ended up in the hospital with tons of medical bills- the others went to Father Hines. He ended up covering the medical bills and from then on was let into the community. From there he could distribute free condoms, snacks, lead women to the Welcome House that can help them recover, and hand out much needed medications.
Now let's do an overview on the Red Light district. This is the prostitute area. Mainly brothels. It's also the "dump site" for unwanted children. We walked in and just saw masses of kids running around, most without parents. They said that when parents don't want their kids they often just drop them off at the Red Light district. This obviously adds to the continuing business of prostitution since most of these young girls will end up being the prostitutes in a few years. This whole business is based on lies and threats. Some girls are lured in thought promises of legitimate jobs. They are then hooked on drugs and prostituted. They are so ashamed of what happened that they don't go home to tell their parents the truth. Other girls are brought in by fellow prostitutes who are payed a sum of money for each girl they bring in. Others, the younger ones, are paid big bucks to come into the business and then kept there through drugs or some other way of slavery. It was stated at one point that when cops come and arrest the girls, the pimps bail them out and then use that debt to keep them where they are. If they run, they are followed. If they are found, they are killed. It takes about 6-7 customers a night to stay alive. These girls honestly have nowhere to run and it really sucks. This is their reality- and mine is a 2 month trip away from my cozy country home and full ride to college. What a reality check this has been.
So back to Father Hines. He is so so so well known in the community now. They have successfully saved a few girls but nothing compared to the numbers that exist. Even now they don't know how many there really is because everything is done through texting instead of brothels. (As is, I'm sending my cab, be ready.) But the second that Father Hines walks in that place all the girls come up, hug him, and have huge smiles. He's the one man who has ever truly cared about them. He is in a sense the father they never had. He truly is doing an amazing thing. So we got to go with him into the site and help him hand out the usual condoms, meds, and biscuits. All the kids immediately wanted to check out the new white girls and came crowding around Mel and I asking our names and ages. We gave them all stickers and they stayed with us the whole night. Never once did I not have some kid holding my hand, talking with me, and walking through the streets with me. It was heartbreaking to be honest. I didn't know how to do it but all I wanted was to be their mom. I wanted to hold them like my mom holds me and tell them how special they are. I can't get the image of those kid's faces out of my mind. I don't really know how to process the lack of futures they have. It's...too much for me. Only God can handle these things... I just wish I could do more.
Reality hits hard when you meet a girl who tells you it's her first night out and asks for condoms. This girl looks like she's going to the mall with her friends in her striped dress and heals. Then you learn that she is 14. She shouldn't be doing this! She shouldn't even know how this works yet! How is this ok?! Then you get it- she was probly raised here. Now she's old enough to earn her keep. Or that's probly what they tell her. How is this happening when I live in my comfortable world of nursing school and Starbucks? I don't know how two totally different realities can exist. But that's just the thing. It's her reality. She didn't look too scared like I would have looked. She wasn't sweating or crying the way I wanted to scream out loud and protest the danger she was putting herself in. She looked resigned. This was life. This was her life. I'm not ok with her life. I want to help save those who have to have her life. How, Jesus, can I do this? How can I get your children back to you? If my heart breaks how much more does Yours? If I want to scream is that what your thunders really are? Is this what sin has brought us to? Who knew the stupid apple would lead to this. I want to change it. I want to change the world. Can I? Can one person be enough? Maybe. Not one alone. One with Jesus? Definitely. How do we start this new revolution? How do we turn the hearts of children toward the father? How do we penetrate the darkness with light so bright that nothing can stand in the way of it? How do we take this word to the nations without fear of failure holding us back? I'm still figuring it out. This much I know. We are His generation. We can fight. I'm not sitting down anymore. It's not worth it. I will fight this injustice somehow. I'll let you know how when I figure it out. Jesus help me...
Molly Walker, 0038, Overton HQ.