Episode #79 – Human Trafficking

June 22, 2008

with Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
with Special Guest Vicki Harris & Margaret Makinwa missionaries to Vienna, Austria

(M) Several weeks ago Vicki sent me a prayer request, and it was about an area I didn’t know anything about. I knew it existed, but I knew nothing about it in detail. And it was a prayer for a ministry that Vicki’s interceding for and walking with, to rescue Nigerian women who are enslaved by human trafficking. And I sent the information around to several of the people who pray, and this is a scripture that Jacquelyn got from the Message Bible; “Paint grace graffiti on the fences, take in your frightened children who are running from the neighborhood bullies straight to you.” And it was just poignant; I sent the scripture to Vicki. And I want Vicki to tell about it, because I want to introduce Margaret Makinwa to the world. This is a tremendous need, and there are women here in Vienna who are involved in it. And ah, I’d like Vicki to tell us about it, and then introduce Margaret.
(Vicki) I had the pleasure of meeting Margaret many years ago, ah, through a prayer ministry that we’re both involved in. And as I’ve known her over these last years, we began to discuss the situation with the Nigerian women who have been ah, forced into prostitution here on the streets of Vienna. We also work with another ah woman, Sabina Carlyle, who you met today as well. She and her husband are involved ah working on the streets with these women. And Margaret has spent a great many years in trying to find out exactly what is going on, what the situation is, how it starts, how the women here are forced into Europe, whether it’s Austria or Italy or Spain; and what steps the Lord could lead us to, to help them be removed from this kind of life. We found out some really horrendous information, such as the parents of many of these women have actually sold them into this situation because of the abject poverty in Nigeria. And so we are in the process right now of working with her, both in prayer, helping find other women in the city who are interested in actually going out and ministering to the women in prostitution on the streets here in Vienna; and to support her with prayer as she prepares to go back to Nigeria in June to continue the work.
(M) Margaret, would you tell us about returning to Nigeria and what your plans are for that.
(Margaret) (Interpreted) Because I’ve been working with the girls from Nigeria for the past fourteen years, and because of that I know that most of the girls do not want to go back home, because they’ve experienced electricity and the amenities that there are here in Western Europe that they don’t have in Nigeria. So I’ve been asking the Lord, seeking the Lord, about what I need to do. So I’m planning to return to Nigeria to establish a school where they can be trained in, for example, to be a seamstress, to be hairdressers, perhaps mechanics and so forth, fields like that where they can learn to support themselves. There are things that they can do in Nigeria; and if they can be trained, then they will not want to come to Europe to earn a salary. At the present time I’m needing financial help to buy the school, to buy materials, for machines that might be necessary for the training; perhaps one or two employees for each of the departments. But I am praying and asking the Lord to open the door.
(Vicki) I think it was interesting to me as Margaret and I had been talking, and the other women that are involved with us, it was surprising to me to learn that the girls here, once they had even been brought here in the human trafficking trade, did not want to really return home because they experienced food, electricity, all the amenities that we have in the West. And even though it’s a horrible life-style they have been drawn into the security of food and, and shelter and so forth. And so I think its interesting that Margaret’s plan, I really believe it’s from the Lord, is to go back to Nigeria, and to establish a place where these young women can be trained in some kind of a skill that will earn them a good living, provide for the necessities of life rather than having to leave their homeland; which also strips Nigeria of its youth and of the generations to come I think. And so I think this has been very important, and on all of our hearts, to be able to try to see how the Lord would lead us to support her establishing a school. Even as a former educator, I’m interested in helping even think through what those types of skills might really be, as we look into the future. I mean I would think maybe even something with computers, we would like to see the girls, you know, have an opportunity to be involved in; so, yeah I think it’s really interesting what the Lord has begun to birth here through Margaret.
(M) When we spent time together this afternoon we saw a film that describes this horrendous, as the narrator said, the new slavery. Women are taken and sold; they think they’re going to a job, and to a place where they’ll be provided with food and shelter. They have no idea what they’re going to. And once they get in it, they are trapped. And it’s a very shocking thing. Ah, Margaret is also a pastor and has a church, and does it have three?
(Margaret) Four.
(M) Four places in the city.
(Vicki) It’s four places. Yeah. This particular church is in different cities, in the country of Austria. Is it four different states of Austria…..yes.
(M) But there’s one right here in the city, in the middle of this district where these women are, is that right? And how do you work with them Margaret? What do you do to go?
(Margaret) I believe it’s by the spiritual grace of God that I’m able to do this. Normally what I do when I’m meeting the girls is to greet them, to joke with them, to talk with them, to listen. I like to joke with them and play with them. I try to ask them what’s going on. Ah, play with them about their lives and what is going on, because with most of them I know the stories that they have to tell. The things that are happening to these women are very painful, because I myself come from Nigeria I know, I know what the past is like for them. It is very, very bad when they get themselves involved in this voodoo. When the girls get involved in the voodoo, evil does follow them. And I believe that it really is the grace of God, the love of God; the passion and the love of God are in my heart and I believe that this is my calling. The girls are always truthful with me; they never tell me a lie. And so because I’m truthful with them, because I pray, because I trust the Lord, I’ve been praying from the beginning, the Lord has opened the doors for me with these girls. The Lord has opened the door for me to penetrate in this area. I don’t just deal with prostitutes alone, I do deal with drug dealers, with those involved in drugs, those in the prisons, those who need to come out and have a new life. It’s something that at this time in my life is very amazing. People testify at our church, I have a film that was made, I have a copy of it and I can share that with you. I believe that God is doing something beyond my understanding. I believe it is the work of God. Really it surprising, through prayer, through fervent prayer and the grace of God, I pray for them once, twice, maybe more that they will be delivered and that there’s an open door for them to open a door for a future for them that they will have a job, they’ll have a husband, that they will have a life in Him. For me, it’s something that I do by hearing the voice of God, I speak, and when I speak it happens, so. I don’t know how to you because it’s not something I consciously think about, it’s something that comes through me from listening to the Lord; through the power of His Holy Spirit, and things just work out.
(M) Is it dangerous for you?
(Margaret) I don’t believe that it’s very dangerous. I work by the power of the Holy Spirit. I lean on the Lord; and so I lean on Him, I’m not afraid, and so I believe God tells me if there’s danger out there, and if there is I don’t go. When I do go it seems that the Lord performs miracles. I plan this time to return to Nigeria; I have not been there in six years. But even though I don’t have the money, I’m still planning to go because I know the Lord has asked me to go. I believe that God has said go; I believe that I’m supposed to go before February. I don’t have any idea how the money will come for me to pay for my ticket. I might have to make different plan, but I believe the Lord is opening the door. The fire of God is telling me to go. I will leave it to God, and I know that the Lord has told me to go, even though the church is not really supporting that right now. Maybe there’s some money. But I’ve told them God asked me to go. My plan is to organize prayer while I’m there. The Lord has told me we’re not going to do a revival this time, we’re not going to be preaching this time. We’re to go and plant prayer in all of the cities where you go. I believe that God is upon me in this, and when God is with me there is no fear.
(M) In Nigeria you’re going to plant prayer groups in every city that you go to?
(Margaret) Yes; in every city that I go to.
(M) How many years has it been since you’ve been in Nigeria?
(Margaret) Six years ago. Six years and four months.
(M) Ok.
(J) One thing that I noticed in the movie was that they were speaking about the demonic, basically with the voodoo, and how that they would literally lay spiritual curses on these ladies to control them. And we’ve been talking about in the podcast basically, the control and law and tyranny. And you know some people don’t believe that. I know that you’ve seen it first hand. But some people don’t believe, you know curses you just ‘wuuf wuuf wuuf’ it away. But these women are literally entangled and in bondage to these curses that these men have used demons to basically control and tyrannize them. Is this what you’ve seen on the streets as well?
(Margaret) Because I come from Nigeria, I’m aware that there is a power of darkness operating. In the Old Testament we know that there are covenants. And we know that we are told not to be involved in a covenant of blood. Blood is forbidden in the Bible. But most of the men involve the girls in a blood covenant. They will take their hair, they take their fingernails, they take hair from private parts of their bodies; they take their panties. And they grind this up and have the girls drink it, and then keep part of it as a voodoo curse which requires them to promise and swear that they will pay back all of the money that is owed; and that they will never reveal their ‘madam’, or who they owe this money to. And this is invoked as a curse. This kind of a ceremony to a true Christian would not have the same meaning that it has for the young women involved in this. Christians wouldn’t believe that there was a darkness operating in this, consciously or unconsciously, but these young women from Nigeria have seen the result of these curses and they completely believe them. When I go back to Benin city I will need your prayers. I’m not afraid, but they do know me there, and I need your prayers. When I pray, God gives me the way. There’s no need to be afraid if God has given you the vision and asked you to go. He asks you to be obedient, you go, if He asks you to stay, you stay. There is truly voodoo happening. Here, even in Vienna, we know of three girls who have gone insane.
(J) So you’re seeing the literal shackles on their spirits, you’re seeing it, and on their soul, and they are bound.
(Margaret) These women have been brought to our church. One of them ah, was ah, standing before us, and we had to pray for her. And we pray that God would deliver them. I really believe that it is only God who can deliver them. Spiritually they need our prayers, they need our support. There is no way when they need finances, to keep them away from this kind of work. But the Lord can make a way, and I believe He is doing it step by step.
(J) I’m very excited that you are doing this for these ladies, and for the Lord really is what you’re doing it for, but that He’s using you to bring these ladies out of their shackles, and out of that bondage. Because, when we get into that level of tyranny, we need someone to reach down from the church, and with the Lord’s hand, and say come, come out. And help them process, get out of that, you know. So I bless you, I bless you, for doing this.
(Margaret) It’s God.
(J) But you’re willing, and you’re a vessel, and I appreciate that. And I really do appreciate that; because a lot of people would not come out of their comfort zone to go into the prison of another person to lift them out. And it’s very unfortunate. But you’re willing, and you’ve done it, and you’ve gone in with your team and helped these ladies. And I do appreciate it.
(Margaret) Blessed be the name of God.  The reason I became involved with working with the girls is because I myself had a very bad marriage. And I spent twenty plus years seeking the Lord and looking for an answer. And the answer is that my entire family has come to know Jesus. When God rescued me from this marriage, there was no way out except the way out with the Lord; but it gave me a heart for those in similar situations, those who were in situations in which they thought there was no hope out. My daughter even asked me, when I told her that her father had been involved in some things in Nigeria that were not good, she said, “Well mommy, do you hate him?” And I said no, no, I don’t hate him. But I told her that Jesus was the only way that we could come out of this, and that our marriage would work. And so it’s because of this and through this, that when I see women in distress like this, when I see someone in the church that needs help, I want to be there for them. I myself know the pain of rejection. I know the pain of trying to intercede for these girls, and being rejected by government officials. So I understand their circumstances. But the Lord is continuing to open doors for us. When the Lord dried my tears and took away my pain, I know the joy of that, and I can’t stand to see anyone else in that kind of pain or situation. God has given me the grace to do this. Actually I myself nearly committed suicide several times while I was here in Vienna. God rescued me and my family, and I can go to the deep to do whatever He needs me to do for Him.
(J) God bless you, God bless you.
(Margaret) And I thank Vicki, because she’s a special person to me. I got to know her at “Pray Vienna” here in Austria. And it can be lonely, but I’ve met many people there who’ve stood with me for prayer, and I’m grateful now that the Lord has brought many around me to pray with me. Even though in the beginning many pastors here in Austria rejected me, and the work that was going on, now I have those that are coming around me and supporting me, and there are doors opening one after another. God has delivered me from the pit, and set my feet upon the rock. When we meet together as “Pray Vienna”, we pray together fervently, and it has been a grace to be able to pray with this group. God just continues to open doors for us. The last time that we prayed together in a group, I told them that um, the Lord had shown me a picture, but I wasn’t ready to tell them what that was yet. But I do believe that it’s working and that this work is going to go around the world. What helps me is that when we gather together in prayer, I know that the word of God is confirmed by two or three; out of the mouth of two or three others, and that’s an encouragement to me. It’s difficult here for people to trust black people. But I know that in our hearts we’re all the same. It’s the color of the heart that God looks at. And so He has been the blessing to me. 

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