For the past three days, Dr. Alex Denkyi of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Dr. Isaac Nyame of the University of Development Studies (UDS), Pastor Dr. Patrick Kudadjie of Pentecost University (PU), Deaconess Mrs. Theodore Oduro of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), and I have been in residential camping, working on a few research projects and reports for the Church.
Yesterday evening around 10 pm, after completing the day’s activities, we decided to evangelise some of our sisters on the street at night by going through A&C mall and the KFC area at East Legon, a popular suburb of Accra in Ghana.
Ministry to prostitutes (sisters) on the streets is a significant and often overlooked aspect of religious and social outreach. The sisters who engage in sex work face myriad challenges and stigmas that can lead to feelings of isolation, despair, and hopelessness.
By extending compassion, understanding, and support, ministries have the potential to positively impact the lives of prostitutes and guide them towards a path of healing and redemption.
We spent about three hours and 30 minutes undertaking this exercise, resulting in four of them accepting Christ as their Lord and peraonal Saviour. What shocked us was that most of these ladies were Christians but found themselves on the street.
From our interaction with them, it came to light that the sisters on the streets face a range of vulnerabilities and risks, including physical and sexual violence, substance abuse, and mental health issues.
Almost all the sisters we came into contact with entered the sex trade due to poverty or a lack of viable opportunities. (One of the ladies was a university graduate who studied English but found herself on the street.)
It is our conviction that outreach to these individuals is not about condoning or encouraging their actions but recognizing their humanity and offering them an alternative way forward.
We need to take this ministry very seriously and invest financial resources into it. We cannot just pick them off the street without any resources to support them.
Using an approach of establishing empathetic and non-judgmental communication, we were able to lead four of them to accept Christ. By actively listening to their stories, we appreciated the level of support that is often lacking in their lives.
The question we kept asking ourselves was what next? Without providing practical assistance and resources, these young sisters will find themselves back on the street.
Resources such as counseling, housing, and learning a trade or seed money to practice the trade already learned will help keep them off the street. This requires more dedication and investment on the part of the ministry for meaningful and sustainable impact to be made. A deeper understanding of the plight of these sisters through an empirical study will help draw deeper insight and a workable approach to getting them out of the street permanently.
To every Christian, let us go to these sisters and clear them off the streets for Christ and also invest our resources in helping them have a better life.
Written by Pastor Daniel Appiah