A special outreach in the French city of Lyon changed the heart of a short-term participant towards prostitutes. In July, she was part of a short-term OM Transform team that came to work alongside local Christians who have a burden to share the gospel with women engaged in prostitution. They have been going out onto the streets of the city for more than three years and have created a charity called the “Alliance of Hope”. Their aim is to meet up with women who work on the streets and get to know them.
Seven volunteers from the USA, England, Switzerland and Ireland came to Lyon to join the team and help with the outreach. While part of the group went out each evening to meet the women, the rest stayed behind to pray. The volunteers offered the women a glass of fruit juice, along with small gifts and a Gospel or Bible in their own language. A worship evening was organised at the end of the week, and four of the women invited came to the event.
“The first time we went out into the streets, we went to an area where we knew we would meet prostitutes,” said Juliane, a member of “Alliance of Hope” who helped with the outreach. “The first woman I met was leaning against a post, and as I approached her, my attitude was one of harshness and judgment.”
Gabrielle* was French. She said she had been a Buddhist for some time, although she was originally from a Catholic background. “Speaking with her, my attitude changed as I looked into her eyes,” Juliane said. “She started to open up to us. We asked if she would like us to pray with her, and she accepted prayer for her three-year-old daughter and also for her grandmother who was going blind.”
Gabrielle told Juliane she was working on the streets in order to pay off a large debt and she wanted to stop once the debt was fully paid. The Transform outreach team said goodbye and hugged her.
“Holding her in my arms, I was overwhelmed by a sense of God’s love for her and found it hard to let her go,” Juliane said, adding that Gabrielle thanked them several times for coming to talk to her. “I know my heart and attitude towards these women has been changed by God’s love.”
*Name changed to protect privacy