Brain tumor survivor rescues slaves in India
Jeff Schapiro reports for the Christian Post:
Pranitha Timothy is a soft-spoken Indian woman who has led over 50 rescue operations to free slaves in Chennai, India. She has survived a brain tumor and a number of run-ins with violent slave owners, and says God has cleared the path for her to fight injustice in the world today.
According to the website for The American Anti-Slavery Group, there are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today. As the director of aftercare for International Justice Mission in the Province of Chennai, Timothy and her teams have rescued 4,000 slaves in the last nine years. She has regularly risked her life for these forced laborers, never knowing for sure if she will see her husband and young daughter again, and she gives God all of the credit for her success.
“God goes before us into the places of darkness and makes the paths straight for us to bring rescue,” Timothy told attendees of Willow Creek Association’s Global Leadership Summit on Friday.
Several years ago, for example, her team discovered a rice mill where dozens of slaves were being forced to work. IJM organized a rescue mission with government authorities, but the slave owner was tipped off and fled with his slaves before the rescue team arrived.
The IJM team began praying, and shortly after a truck filled with the slaves was located just 14 miles away. The slaves were then returned to the mill, and authorities told them to go into the building to identify their belongings, but when they did so they were surrounded by a mob of slave owners waiting to ambush them inside.
Timothy was with the slaves when this happened, and says those inside the mill began to pray again. Women and children were screaming, but Timothy says God confused the mob and, after four hours, she and all the slaves left the mill safely.
Rescue missions are full of both expectation and anxiety for IJM workers, Timothy told The Christian Post on Monday, and it brings them joy to see how happy the laborers are when they are reunited with their families and returned to their homes.
After a successful rescue operation, she says, the organization helps connect the laborers to social services, though much of what they need is help dealing with the emotional impact of their experience.
“The most critical, key thing is to help them overcome the trauma of just being in captivity, of being in a place where they’ve been physically abused, their dignity totally taken away from them,” she said.
During Friday’s summit, Timothy shared how God called her to risk her life for others. While working to complete her master’s degree in social work, she felt called to fight injustice after her college’s chapel speaker read Isaiah chapter 42, which talks about a servant of the Lord who will “bring justice to the nations.”
A few weeks later, though, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
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