By Chris Berridge, Justice Partner in the field.
Originally posted at

Hello Kingsland! It is my sincere privilege to be guest writer for your “Kingsland Justice” weblog. As a partner in the field, I take great joy in being able to share the amazing works that God is doing here in Kolkata. And with your support, I might add!

As many of you are well aware of, I am sure, there is an unbelievable amount of injustice going on all around the world. I do not think I need to regale you with tales of woe: infants starving in the slums, HIV/AIDS continuing to ravage rural communities, little boys given guns and told to fire upon their neighbors, generations of families working 18 hour days in rice mills to pay off an unrelenting debt. Of twelve-year-old girls taken from their homes, promised jobs in the city and instead taken to brothels, where they are raped for money, all day, all night.

Because you have been burdened with knowledge of the plight of your fellow men and women, and of children, maybe not much older than yours, you are faced with a choice. The choice comes to all who know of such things.

You can turn a blind eye. You can just ignore it, tell yourself that “it’s not my problem” and go on your way. It’s pretty easy to do. I know I’ve certainly done it.

But you can choose to confront injustice. You can choose to take a stance against the marginalization, the victimization of millions.

I continuously thank God that churches like Kingsland have chosen the latter. To know that you take your time, your resources and your love and send all of it to people you have never met is so encouraging.

But forget about people like me who are working in the field. You know who really cares about your decision? Those twelve-year-old girls. How do I know? They told me so.

There are well over one hundred girls at Affection* (a pseudonym has been used for security reasons) aftercare home. Most of the girls here have been rescued out of the commercial sex trade, with all too many of their stories echoing the aforementioned scenario. They are girls of all ages, all former victims of some sort of injustice, but more importantly, they are all survivors. Each girl, in her own way, has found a way to endure, to persevere despite her circumstance. Their courage in the face of horrific injustices is unparalleled. But, regardless of their determination, there are still basic necessities each must have to survive. They need a safe shelter, food, clean water and a place to rest their heads at night. Additionally, because they are survivors of intensely traumatic events, they need professional counseling and therapy. The provision of all these essentials is critical to the restoration of each girl.

The aftercare home is a place where these needs are met. It gives them a chance to live a life that was once taken from them, a life that they deserve to live.

Around two weeks ago, 30 recent high school graduates from Kingsland came to Kolkata for a service trip. I was amazed at the amount of young people who were willing to take time from their summers to come and serve complete strangers. They served all over the city, including Affection.*

I met with a small group of young women a day after their weekend spent with the girls at Affection. Despite being exhausted from a long service trip, their faces lit up with joy as they recounted their experience with their new friends. They made bracelets and all sorts of crafts, they danced, they drew beautiful henna on their hands and arms. And although they did not speak the same language and they grew up worlds apart, they thrived in one another’s company. They connected at one the most fundamental of levels, they were able to be little girls, together.

“The simplest things brought them so much joy. It was amazing to have such an opportunity,” said one of the Kingsland women. “We loved being there and hope to come back soon. I know they want us back, they told us!”

When I took a look around Affection* after the Kingsland women’s visit, the place was abuzz with happy girls running everywhere, some dancing, some playing in the square. I was astonished by the even greater amount of joy I saw on their faces than usual. I was quickly brought to the place where all the crafts from the weekend were stored. The girls held up all sorts of beaded “lizards” and bracelets, they showed me their henna. All of them were so excited because of the time they had with the women from Kingsland. Because of security reasons, I cannot show you their faces, but trust me when I say, the most radiant of suns on a hot Texas day could not compare to the brilliance of their smiles.

You are making a difference. These girls need a place like Affection.* They need more places like it. They need bigger places like it, because the need is so great. God is moving here, and I am so grateful that you are choosing to be a part of His movement.