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Road notes: Beautiful feet fight modern-day slavery in Nepal

Blogging live from Nepal
On a hot, humid evening in southern Nepal, near the country’s border with India, I watched five young women weave red threads into bracelets, winding them between their fingers and toes.

Girls at a “safe house” in southern Nepal string together bracelets for the Red Thread Movement. (Photo by Erik Tryggestad)

The bracelets – appearing increasingly on wrists across America — symbolize the Red Thread Movement, an initiative launched in 2010 by students at Abilene Christian University.
Eternal Threads sells the bracelets. The Abilene, Texas-based nonprofit that helps women around the world find means of earning a living, means to educate their children and, hopefully, means to escape the cycle of poverty and child prostitution.
Proceeds from the sale of the bracelets help fund anti-human trafficking efforts here in Nepal.
I’m in Nepal with two staff members of Eternal Threads, Linda Egle and Jennifer Patterson. They are members of the Highland Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas.
Two of the church’s ministers, Jonathan Storment and Matt Pinson, are here as well.
Our team flew from Dallas to Newark, N.J. and then took a 14-hour flight from New Jersey to New Delhi. We overnighted in “sleeping pods” in the New Delhi airport, though I found it hard to sleep with the terminal’s bright, fluorescent lights coming in through the top of my pod, not to mention the constant airline announcements. (Most of India’s international flights depart between midnight and 2 a.m.)

A view of the Himalayas from a flight between New Delhi and Kathmandu. (Photo by Erik Tryggestad)

Early the next morning, we caught a flight to Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, and then another one to our current location.
Fun fact: Nepal’s time is 10 hours and 45 minutes ahead of Central Standard Time in the U.S. This country is 15 minutes ahead of India Standard Time. Not sure why.
In the coming week we’ll look at the efforts of Christians and ministries in Nepal that fight human trafficking, which destroys the lives of countless young women across the nations of Asia and other parts of the world.
We visited a “safe house” for girls rescued from human trafficking operations. The safe house provides them with a place to stay and trains them in vocations including sewing and cosmetology.

Girls from a safe house remove their shoes before entering a nearby house church for worship. (Photo by Erik Tryggestad)

The girls at the safe house also string together the red threads that Christians wear. Girls here can earn up to $200 per month sewing together the wristbands, which Eternal Threads sells for $3 each.
The bracelets provide much-needed income for people who otherwise would be tempted by the empty promises of a human trafficker.
They also give Christians a chance to talk about their prayers for a world without the scourge of modern-day slavery.
Do you know of any Churches of Christ in southern Nepal? I want to visit as many church members as I can while I’m here. Please e-mail me or post here.

  • Feedback
    I wish to thank each 0f you for your encouragement and teachings to these wonderful girls. I would have loved to do something like this, in my younger, healthier years. You will be in our prayers and know that I am sitting on your shoulder telling you it will be alright. I know Kathy will miss the 2 of you. She has so many friends and family that will take care of her. And you know Momma, Lynn, will see to that. lol
    Good Luck and God Bles you all.
    In Christ,
    LaWana Weaver
    June, 7 2012

    Do you follow Julia Keith’s work with Global Women Connecting (http://www.GlobalWomenConnecting.org)? GWC serves to better network the women of the Campbell-Stone churches. Julia serves as the liason between GWC and the World Convention. GWC has taken on sex trade related human trafficking as a focal area.
    While researching Moldova missions I found there was a Moldova video highlighted at the Exodus Cry minsitry web site, <a href=”http://nefariousdocumentary.com/the-films/updates/” title=”Nefarious” rel=”nofollow”>Nefarious</a>, which is producing a series of documentaries on the sex trade related human trafficking system. I don’t know the Exodus Cry ministry but I pray for their efforts.
    A post about <a href=”http://blog.conmergence.com/index.php/the-syrian-********-main-street-media-cannot-cover/2012/06/01″ title=”sex trade porn” rel=”nofollow”>the US sex trade here</a> which may or may not be of interest.
    Ed Dodds
    June, 8 2012

    I teach at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. Our #1 international student populuation is from Nepal. I would love to learn more about how we can reach out to our students from there and how to help the church there.
    [email protected]
    Barry Poyner
    June, 8 2012

    Where can the bracelets be purchased?
    Kay Kosko
    June, 8 2012

    Kay: So glad you asked. Check out <a href=”http://www.eternalthreads.com/redthread/” rel=”nofollow”>www.eternalthreads.com/redthread</a> and click on the “Buy a bracelet” link. Thanks!
    Erik Tryggestad
    June, 8 2012

    My family and I will be visiting Nepal next spring. I would appreciate the addresses or email details of any congregations in any part of the country.
    June, 8 2012

    Bro Erik,

    I am an evangelist of Church of Christ in Kathmandu, Nepal. I am glad to hear the good work you are doing in Christ in Nepal. In which town or city of southern Nepal you are in? Kindly please let me know, I hope I can help you to find the churches. My cell phone no and email addresses are below:
    Cell Phone: +977-97510-09200
    Email: [email protected]
    God bless.
    In Christ,
    Parsuram Sunchuri

    Parsuram Sunchuri
    June, 12 2012

    Hi Erik,
    The movement you are supporting is great. Human Trafficking, one of the most inhuman crime has been one of the major social problem for Nepal in last few decades.Poverty and other instabilities are contributing a lot for such trafficking and other forms of forced prostitution in Nepal.
    Being a member of church of Christ in Kathmandu i do not know any churches or missions working for such movements. But many non government organisations work on such issues. I am also the student of women and gender studies so i would be glad to be any help for this movement or receive any further information on this issue.
    May God help you all for such a wonderful work.
    Nisha Sunchuri
    Kathmandu, Nepal
    [email protected]
    Nisha Sunchuri
    June, 12 2012

Filed under: News Extras Travel Reports

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