Seventeen years as a prostitute left Makenna* unspeakably lonely and ashamed. She blamed herself, but as is the case for many young women around the world, desperation and deception enslaved her in the sex trade.
At 12 years old, Makenna’s aunt brought her to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, to be a housemaid. For a time, it worked—until Makenna was no longer wanted and made to serve with no pay. Desperate and forced to fend for herself, Makenna sought the help of a job broker, who led her to a brothel and into a life of sexual slavery.
Makenna suffered terribly for nearly two decades. Then, she heard about a Samaritan’s Purse partner who, because of your prayers and support, could help her escape. Makenna ran to them and never looked back.
With our partner, Makenna found help to heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually. She received safe housing, Biblical counseling, and help to care for her daughter, who was born while Makenna was trapped in prostitution. Over the yearlong rehabilitation program, Makenna joined other women in learning new job skills like hairdressing, tailoring, and catering.
“[Makenna] is paying close attention to every activity. Her life is also moving nicely. Her self-esteem has increased, and she is a hard worker,” our partner said. Best of all, Makenna was surrounded by the love of Christ.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10, ESV).
Makenna knows all too well the work of the thief in her life. But the Good News of the Good Shepherd set her free. “Jesus’ love enabled Makenna to forgive herself,” our partner shared. Makenna is now living in victory, “I am loved, and I am a free woman,” she said.
The number of women exploited in Ethiopia is rising, yet our small but mighty partner has worked amid conflict and economic turmoil to help 50 escape and restart life this year. You can help support one of these women like Makenna, long imprisoned by darkness. As we look toward a new year, you can help them escape, thrive, and find new life in Jesus Christ—letting them know that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
*Name changed for security
The hardships women in the developing world face often leave them without hope. Through your generous gifts, Samaritan's Purse is working to restore the hope of women through programs aimed at increasing literacy, providing maternal health care, teaching livelihood skills, and stopping trafficking and prostitution.