Mala* was 16 years old when International Justice Mission (IJM) first met her. She had been trapped in one of Kolkata’s infamous red-light districts for nearly a year and she had lost hope of any escape. It was one of the worst cases International Justice Mission had seen (The Justice Calling, Chapter 7, pg. 165). Mala and the other girls in the brothel were being raped between 10 and 20 times a day by brothel customers. If they tried to resist they were beaten. “There are only two ways to get out of this brothel,” Mala told IJM: “You either get sold to another brothel, or you die. Those are the only two ways”
What Mala did not know was that there was a team working to rescue her. For six months, IJM worked with local authorities to rescue Mala and the other girls. However, every time they planned to rescue them, the brothel received tip offs and would move the girls before they arrived.
We learn from Mala’s case that justice does not happen overnight. When days turn into months and months into years, moments of inspiration and passion will not sustain us. Hope in Christ and the victory in his name bring forth long lasting perseverance that will propel us to withstand the longevity of the work of justice.
The call to move into the darkness is a call to stay. Let us not be tempted to engage injustice and suffering in this world for just a moment, or feel either ill-equipped or scared to stay. Mala’s story and countless others that IJM and partner organizations could share, show us that the work to bring justice to cities, governments and entire cultures takes time. Perseverance must be a consistent companion if we are going to engage in God’s heart for justice for more than just a conference, a moment, or a social bandwagon movement.
"The beauty of it all is that we have the power to stay, “we have the opportunity to proclaim the persevering hope we have in the face of the overwhelming brokenness of this world”
The Justice Calling, Chapter 7, pg. 171
Thankfully the story of Mala did not end with freedom being snatched out of her hands. In fact, freedom became her new reality after she was rescued. Although Mala’s life was changed, there are still many more waiting for freedom. The Mala's of this world need us to move into the darkness and choose to stay until justice, shalom and restoration have taken up residence.
Read more of Mala’s story and learn how we can continue to answer the call of justice with perseverance in The Justice Calling.
Three Ways to Get Involved Now:
- Get a sneak peek! Download the first chapter of The Justice Calling. Share it with at least one person today and use #justicecalling on social media!
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*A pseudonym has been used and images have been obscured for the protection of this IJM client.