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Ex-prostituta volta para Jesus e cria ministério para resgatar mulheres da indústria do sexo

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Kendra Gracia, após largar a prostituição, resgata mulheres da indústria do sexo através de um ministério que evangeliza em boates – Foto: Reprodução/Facebook

Kendra A. Gracia cresceu em um lar cristão nos subúrbios de Chicago, filha de um pastor pentecostal. Mas quando se tornou uma adolescente, sua vida mudou de curso. Pois ela começou a faltar à escola e sair com amigos em Windy City que usavam drogas todos os dias.

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Após uma discussão em casa, Kendra fugiu aos 16 anos. Para sobreviver, ela começou a dançar em festas como stripper. O que a levou a se tornar viciada em drogas, vítima de estupro e tráfico sexual.

Um homem abusivo assumiu o controle de Kendra, usando seu corpo para ganhar dinheiro. De tal forma que ela foi mantida por três anos em cativeiro residencial no Alasca e também na Carolina do Norte.

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“Há muita coerção e abuso mental envolvidos”, diz ela. “É um jogo baseado no medo que eles jogam. Eu estava com mais medo das consequências de não obedecer”.

Sentindo-se presa em um estilo de vida sem esperança, Kendra orou a Deus pela primeira vez em anos, prometendo ajudar outras pessoas em situações semelhantes se Ele permitisse que ela escapasse. Um dia, depois que seu agressor saiu de casa, ela fugiu para a casa de um vizinho e ligou para seu pai, Kent Lunstrum. Ele em seguida foi para a Carolina do Norte para resgatá-la.

Ao voltar para casa, aos seus 20 anos, Kendra passou por terapia para superar o trauma por que passou. Mas fez poucos avanços. Foi então que conheceu Nicole Phillips, fundadora do Lavished Ministries, que resgata mulheres da indústria do sexo.

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“Eu queria fazer parte do que ela estava fazendo”, lembra Kendra. As duas mantiveram contato por meio de ligações do Zoom, e Nicole a ajudou e orientou de volta à saúde emocional.

O MINISTÉRIO IMPACTANTE

Desde a sua fundação em 2014, o Lavished Ministries; baseado em 1 João 3:1 que descreve o grande amor que Deus derrama sobre seus filhos, tem crescido de modo considerável. De tal forma que o projeto tem 20 voluntários regulares e cinco funcionários pagos. Incluindo Kendra Gracia que é responsável pela orientação de mulheres.

Voluntárias do ministério têm evangelizado strippers, funcionários e seguranças de clubes, todos os meses. E também distribuindo às mulheres presentes como jóias e maquiagem.

O ministério resgata mulheres da violência doméstica, exploração sexual e tráfico de pessoas. E assim fornece alimentos, moradia temporária, serviços de saúde mental, serviços médicos, transporte, colocação no mercado de trabalho e serviços jurídicos. Ao mesmo tempo que inicia o processo de cura para as mulheres, através de estudos bíblicos e aulas de habilidades para a vida.

Durante o processo, Nicole ensina às mulheres que seu valor aos olhos de Deus não se baseia na sensualidade. “Nós mostramos que elas não precisam de unhas de 10 centímetros e glitter no rosto”, diz Nicole que pertence à Primeira Assembleia de Deus em Panama City.

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A pandemia fez muitos clubes de strip e casas de massagem fecharem. Dessa maneira, o Lavished Ministries começou a oferecer acompanhamento online para mulheres que postam anúncios de prostituição em sites. Que desse modo, em três meses, se conectou com 400 mulheres através da campanha.

“As pessoas não percebem como é fácil comprar outro ser humano, incluindo uma criança”, lamenta Nicole Phillips.

CUMPRINDO SUA MISSÃO

Cumprindo sua promessa ao Senhor, Kendra ajudou 20 mulheres após terem sido traficadas.

“Estou feliz por estar livre desse estilo de vida e estou animada para ajudar a libertar outras pessoas”, diz Kendra, agora com 32 anos. Ela se casou com Sam Gracia em setembro.
Embora seu agressor não tenha recebido pena de prisão, um tribunal emitiu uma ordem de restrição para mantê-lo longe dela.

 

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