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.
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.)
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.
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.