The Story of The Reshma Project
In the summer of 2016 a team from YWAM Asheville traveled to India to reach out to women in the red light district. During their stay they met “Reshma”, a 19-year old woman who was living in the brothels and had been prostituted since the age of 13.
The team quickly learned that the only thing keeping her in a life of slavery was the lack of a sewing machine. She had been training as a seamstress but there were no job opportunities without this item. This simple need of a sewing machine, about $200, was all that stood in her way of walking into freedom.
The group emptied their pockets and decided to partner with her to purchase the hope of a future; a skill trade.
When the team met Reshma, she was downcast and hopeless. But that summer, the Reshma Project was born, and her story changed forever. Today, Reshma is free from the brothels, running her own tailoring business in her home town, and is full of hope and dignity.
The day before meeting Reshma, a member of the team had met a local carpet maker who sold his products for thousands of dollars. After asking why these carpets were so valuable it was explained that silk is a unique material, it can only be dyed one time. Once it has been dyed, it can never be re-stained.
The Hindi meaning for silk is “reshma.” It became apparent that meeting Reshma was no coincidence, but rather the beginning of something larger than anyone imagined.
The principle that silk can only be dyed once has helped to identify one of the cornerstone beliefs of The Reshma Project. Once we have been stained by the blood of Christ, we have been marked forever.
The vision of the Reshma Project is to expose the darkness of sex trafficking, to empower the enslaved to escape bondage, and to enrich their life and self with dignity.