Alabaster Jar: Working towards a world free from sexual exploitation
Helping women trapped in prostitution
Did you know that an estimated 400,000 women work in Germany’s sex industry, servicing more than 1 million men every day? Did you know studies show that up to 95% of women in prostitution have reported being physically assaulted, and up to 89% have reported wanting to escape the sex industry?
Most women enter into prostitution either by force or due to extreme poverty. Many of the women in Berlin’s sex industry come from Eastern Europe and are the sole providers of their families and/or children back home. Others are sold into slavery as teenagers and grow up on the streets.
Homelessness, drug addiction, financial and sexual exploitation, physical abuse, unprotected sex: these are all issues that these women face on a daily basis. What’s more, they often find themselves totally isolated from society and from any form of supportive community. Believing the lie that they are “born for this life” and that there is no future for them, the vicious cycle continues.
“Believe me, if I could go back to the first day I came here and take it back, I would. Once you start, it’s almost impossible to get out.”
Lives transformed, dignity restored
What we do
The mission of Alabaster Jar is to see life transformation among women working in Berlin’s sex industry by communicating the love of Christ. Based in Berlin’s red light district, we meet the women where they are at and provide a safe place for them, where trusting relationships are built and their practical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met.
Our work focuses on five key points
- Outreach: Outreach is the heart of what we do. During our weekly Street, Cafe, and Brothel Outreaches, our front-line team makes the first contact with the women in their own context. We offer immediate practical assistance, establish long-term needs, and build trust. We refer women to important service providers such as social workers, doctors, and safe houses.
- Befriending: Our team is committed to continuing to build friendship with the women outside of Outreach. Using our Outreach phone, we keep regular contact, pray together, meet for coffee, and accompany women to important appointments.
- Skills Development: We want to see the long-term success and economic independence of each woman, and work hard to make skills development opportunities such as German classes possible.
- Discipleship: We believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ transforms lives, and we walk alongside the women as they grow deeper in relationship with Jesus. We read the Bible together, organize worship nights, pray together regularly, and even connect women to churches in their home countries.
- Prevention & Awareness: An important aspect to our work is education on the issue of forced prostitution and sex trafficking. Our team has been privileged to speak publicly on this issue, as well as advise businesses on how to best respond to situations involving human trafficking.
“On the street I am just a prostitute, but when I’m here, I can be a normal woman. I can be myself.”
A table full of love
Working in Berlin's red light district
"Heavenly Father, I pray that no woman leaves the table today without feeling loved by you and by us." That's the prayer of an Alabaster Jar volunteer before the team begins their weekly outreach in Berlin's red light district. Their motivation is to help and love women in prostitution because they believe that every person is valuable and loved by God. And that is the reason why they do this wonderful work.
Ganz gleich, welchen Betrag Sie geben: Jede Gabe ist wertvoll!
Volunteering with Alabaster Jar
There are so many ways for you to get involved with our work and help us see lives transformed and dignity restored in Berlin’s red light district.
A purpose in life
Several years ago, M. decided to leave the streets for good. She got a cleaning job and secured her very first apartment. However, her new home was in very bad shape. When our team found out, we quickly rallied our volunteers and got to work laying floorboards and painting! Meanwhile, we launched a fundraiser to provide M. with kitchen supplies and a fridge.
Days later, our team visited M. and brought a card translated into her mother tongue. The card reminded M. that God loved her and had a good plan for her life. When M. read the card, she started to cry. Through the tears, she told us, “Once, I was going through a really dark time. I heard God’s voice tell me that he had a purpose for my life. Now I know that was true.”
Our team continues to keep in close touch with M. to this day.