OCU Student Serves in Amsterdam
For the past two summers, Natasha Hudnell, a senior Intercultural Ministries major in OCU's Traditional Program, has combatted human trafficking in the slums of Goa, India. The people, the land, and the ministry there captured her heart and she thought she would be serving there permanently. However, while researching opportunities for her summer internship required for graduation, she began to feel a calling to a different country doing similar work.
This summer, she finds her ministry in Amsterdam. “For the past nine years, the Lord has been breaking my heart for those trapped in the world of human trafficking,” said Natasha. “In India I was able to work in prevention, helping to keep new victims from being taken. This summer I am working in direct intervention, helping those already taken, abused, forgotten, and used.”
She is serving with The Lighthouse; an organization working in the infamous Red-Light districts of Amsterdam. The Lighthouse is a ministry of Youth With a Mission (YWAM): Amsterdam. “They work with women who are trapped in prostitution, unable to leave since often they have been trafficked illegally into the country meaning have no passport, no visa, and no other means of supporting themselves,” according to Natasha.
Natasha will be going window to window in the Red-Light district to speak to the women, to get to know them and to reach out to them on their level. The Lighthouse also holds nightly prayer meetings, outreaches, Bible studies and works to offer the women an alternative option of providing for themselves through jewelry making.
“The most important aspect of this ministry, and the one I am most excited about, is telling these women, who have a distorted vision of men, that there is a man who cared so much about them that he died to save them,” said Natasha. “We have the opportunity to tell them that they are worth so much more than what this world is telling them.”
The team relies heavily on the power of prayer, and Natasha participates in frequent prayer walks of the area. You can help Natasha by praying for her, her team, and the women they are meeting. “Your prayers are the best support I could ever ask for,” she said.
“If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually.” - Isaiah 58:10
Pictures: Natasha at a anti-human trafficking event this Spring (top left). Natasha with The Lighthouse Team in Amsterdam (bottom right).