If you only read one of my blogs, read this one.

Item: Punjammies
Found: www.punjammies.com, www.intlprincessproject.com
Rating: 10 out of 10

This posting is the start of a new season in my life. For the past few weeks my mind has been churning for ways I can bring awareness to something so important, and so desperate that I literally NEED to speak up about it. Until God directs me to formal ways, my humble Facebook blog will be my medium. In keeping with the “fashion” vein, I decided to use this pair of Punjammies in the photo to introduce you to a ministry. This is not a “Things I Want but Can’t Afford” blog, this is a “Things You Can’t Afford Not To Know” blog.

While it’s true that I love fashion, the reality is, in the scheme of life, fashion ends up being about as significant as a drop of water in the Pacific ocean.

Almost three weeks ago I heard a sermon by a missionary to India named David Grant. The sermon brought me to tears, and persuaded me to read the book Mr. Grant wrote, entitled “Beyond the Soiled Curtain”. Upon finishing this book, I felt as if a piece of my heart clicked into place for the first time. Many of my lifelong interests converged into one urgent desire. To introduce you to this new piece of my heart, read this excerpt from “Beyond the Soiled Curtain”:

“As the blistering sun descended in Bombay, India, the city’s red-light district awakened. Like mannequins in department store windows, thousands of young women adorned in bright-colored saris and jewelry took their positions on the streets. Their madams and owners lurked nearby, ensuring the girls were working hard to lure would-be customers. For the girls, not meeting the day’s quota could result in food deprivation, torture and incarceration.

Fifteen-year-old Sumi peeled back the soiled curtain of her stall on Falkland Road. She peered at a middle-aged customer and watched as he handed the madam payment for her services. The young girl, a sex-slave for 6 years now, hoped that this customer – her ninth – would be the final one of the day. She prayed that her business would be slow and the madam would release her from her stall to attend the Saturday evening church service conducted by Bombay Teen Challenge – Project Rescue.”

Here are some staggering statistics:
➢ 2 million children are exploited in the global commercial sex trade each year.
➢ Of the millions trafficked across international borders every year, 80 percent are women and girls and 50 percent are minors.
➢ A 2004 UNICEF report estimated that India supplied 50% of the children worldwide entering into the sex trade.

Three weeks ago was not the first time I had heard of human sex-trafficking, but somehow it was the first time that the true horror struck me. I suddenly felt guilty. While I sit around on Facebook writing about clothing, all over the world, girls ten years younger than I are literally being sold by their families into prostitution rings and being forced to live a life of servicing men who treat them horribly. Even worse, many of these girls become pregnant and their babies are being born into brothels – the children are dirty, hungry and unwanted. AS these young mothers service customers all night long, their babies attempt to sleep under that very bed in the brothel stall.

WHY?!? Why was I born into a family that taught me I am a princess, one of God’s precious daughters, with everything I need, when there are other girls who are taught by their families and the world that they are worthless, and wanted only for their bodies??? My mind just flooded with questions and frustration that I should live a life so full of joy while other women suffer so deeply.

But God is faithful!!! Faithful to bring me peace and teach me new truths when I cannot wrap my mind around injustice. Feeling guilty for my nice life is a complete waste of time. God requires action. It is MY responsibility to, as the Bible says, rescue widows and orphans from their distress. If I know of this horrible injustice occurring all over the world and choose to do nothing about it, I am living a life in vain. At this point in my life, I don’t have thousands of dollars to travel to India and personally help these women and their children. All I have now is my voice. My writing. My passion.

Several years ago, Mr. David Grant and his wife Beth began a ministry called Project Rescue. Along with K.K Devaraj, the leader of Bombay Teen Challenge, they have opened several “Homes of Hope” in India’s largest cities. These homes take women who are literally dead inside due to years of being used and abused and show them the love of the Lord. Their plan is to help these women heal – mind, body and soul. There are on-site counselors to help the occupants sort through the bitterness they feel toward the world. These women learn to feel self-respect and worth, often for the first time in their lives.

In addition to the homes of hope, Project Rescue holds church services IN the red-light district for the women still actively working in the brothels. Even in the midst of a life of forced prostitution, thanks to David Grant and other ministries like his, these women are finding the hope of Jesus and a reason to live.

The most inspiring part of the ministry for me is the night-care centers. Like what we would know as a day-care-center, these night-care centers provide a place for “brothel babies” to come and receive proper meals, fun activities, a clean, peaceful environment. They also learn about Jesus. To think about the incredible work that Project Rescue is doing brings me to tears. Those children have seen such horrors and Project rescue is doing their part to break the chain of violence and sex-crime in these children’s lives. PRAISE GOD!!!

The Punjammies in the photo are hand-sewn by women rescued out of forced prostitution by a ministry called “The International Princess Project”. Like with Project Rescue, these women are given help – mind, body and soul. Eventually they are taught a viable trade, such as making and selling these pajamas that can be purchased online. Proceeds for the Punjammies go back to support the ministry, and continue to help these women. I own the pair in the photo and I encourage you to buy some too!

Someday I will go to India and see these children and their mothers face to face. I will be able to take this love that has built up in my heart for them and finally be there, making a difference. Until then – I will speak. I will use the talents God has given me to tell people however I can that it is OUR RESPONSIBILITY as Christians to give these women and their children the life they deserve – a peaceful life as a respected daughter of God. Guilt does not need to be a part of my life. Action does.

I am reminded of the poignant last scene in the movie Schindler’s List, where Schindler is suddenly aware of all the insignificant “things” in his life, and he weeps that he could have saved so many more people than he did. I do not want to reach the end of my life and feel regret that I spent too much time on the silly things that did not matter, while so many people spent their lives in agony.

While this ministry is one that has captured my heart in every way possible, I am aware that it is not the only injustice taking place in our world. God does not care how you are helping others and sharing His love – as long as you are doing SOMETHING. I pray that in God’s perfect time, you will feel that piece of your heart click into place for those hurting in this world – then turn it into action.

Love you all!
~ Mir


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kimberly Taylor
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 00:10:26

    Wonderful. Wonder-full. Thank you for directing me to this entry. Perhaps we can help each other to stay motivated and active to preventing and interrupting the injustice happening all around us.

    One of the speakers last night worked for Project Exodus and they are working to build a safe house in the San Gabriel Valley for victims. It is occurring in our own backyards and we don’t need a plane ticket, so lets get started. 🙂

    The art show will be January 11, 2011 at APU in the art gallery in Duke. It will not only be inside the gallery, but will wrap around the outside wall and back inside so passersby will see it, too! I will give you more information as I receive it. SO encouraged by your comment on my blog, your own passion for this issue, and your interest in the show in January.

    Thank you, Miriam!



    • miriambernard
      Aug 15, 2010 @ 01:58:36

      Thank you so much for this comment, Kimberly!!! It brought me to tears. I am so thrilled to hear that the exhibit will be taking place SO close to home (I live in Fullerton). Is there any room for volunteers/helpers in the preparation/marketing for this exhibit?? I have been praying about finding a place where I can put some time and effort into this ministry. If there is any way you know of that I can get connected, please let me know. I’m so happy we both have a passion to prevent this injustice, both abroad and here in our own hometowns. GOD BLESS YOU!
      ~ Miriam


  2. Muriel Severy
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 08:11:43

    Most what i read online is trash and copy paste but your blog is different. Keep it like this.


  3. mandi
    Nov 30, 2011 @ 11:33:16

    I just bought my best friend a pair of pants and a top from the punjammies site for her christmas present, i think she will love them! i love this site and your blog 🙂


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