This is the remarkable story of Sarah Bowling, told in her own words. She’s the founder of Saving Moses and she’s on a very unique mission to rescue the children of prostitutes:
We were visiting a rural malnutrition clinic. This doctor came up to us, “Did you bring money?” “No.” “Did you bring medicine?” “No.” “Well, then why are you here? Do you have blood?” I’m like “Yeah.” And so she said, “I want that blood because I have a 2-year-old, Angelina, who’s basically at death’s door.” You could see it in her eyes, I mean, she’s just like terrorized, and I’ll never – I’ll never forget her eyes looking at me.
They drug their babies and put them under the bed
I just wanted to do whatever I could to help her, and I felt helpless. And these are easy answers, you know, we’re not trying to cure cancer, just babies hanging by a thread. That was a defining moment for me.
My name is Sarah Bowling and I’m the founder for Saving Moses. We’re a global humanitarian organization aimed for zero-to-five-year-olds where the need is most urgent and the care is least available. This is like the most fragile vulnerable time of a human’s life.
We do something very distinct called “nightcare.” So we take care of babies and toddlers of prostitute/sex workers in third world countries while they work.
So they come in, they give them a bath, they feed them dinner and then there’s playtime, and then they circle up after a little bit of time, circle up and do a little bit of discipline, self-control, so they sing songs, they have a little snack, they have a little prayer time and at the end they get to sing about Jesus, which is cool. And then we take them and put them up to bed.
In America, people are like, “Oh, so you’re in favor of prostitution cause you take care of these babies so these moms – these ladies can go out and do that?”
I’m like, “Well I prefer to say that I’m supporting the babies and toddlers and protecting them.” That’s my top priorities–babies and toddlers.
I looked into it and nobody around the world is doing that. I would come to these red-light areas, brothels and all this stuff, and that’s the thing, everybody focuses, and I understand, they focus on the moms, the sex workers but in the meantime it’s these babies and toddlers – they’re on the bed with their mom as she’s working. That’s a day-to-day reality.
Prostitutes hide babies
I had 8 out of 10 moms tell me, “My baby’s on the bed with me as I work.” In one red light they drug their babies and put them under the bed so they don’t make any noise while they’re working. And I mean, you had one little boy, he wandered out into the streets, two years old, and he got run over by a car and died. This is most urgent, least available.
And you’re like, “Well, how could they do that?” I’m like, if there was a – if they could get out of it, they would. That’s hell. Most of these women, they don’t read, they don’t write, they don’t have any alternative profession, they don’t have any way to earn a living, they’ve been abandoned by their families, all this stuff, and in the meantime their babies and their toddlers, they’re on the front lines every day. And they’re the ones that have the highest risk of abuse and neglect, all kinds of stuff.
Hurt people hurt people, so you’re also part of eliminating some of the awful perpetuation of these atrocities.
Nightcare exists to turn their lives around and give them an opportunity to see a different future. And you want to change the industry, you start with the babies and the toddlers because this is their worldview. They grow up in this every single day. Get them out. And then you change their worldview so they think, “Oh, I don’t have to grow up and be a sex worker like my mom, there’s a different opportunity. I have – at least I have a choice.”
One nightcare mom says:
“I have to do this work to support my family, if I do not, no one will eat. Because of Nightcare I know my baby is safe and I can do what I have to do to feed my family. When I first started taking my baby to nightcare she was very small. Over the past year she has grown a lot and is much healthier. I am so thankful for what they do for us.”
Our nannies that work in our centers, they will, from time to time, once a week, once a month, go door to door in the neighborhoods, and pass out little cards and explain to them in Khmer language, “Hey, this is what we do. We’d love to have your baby come and visit us and you’re welcome to come.” We have open houses from time to time so the moms can come in.
Right now I run around 100-plus or minus babies, toddlers every night here in Cambodia. And I want more. And I’m talking to the staff, I’m like, “Hey, where would you like to open next?” ‘Cause I am always thinking, “Come on, let’s do more!” and I have good people on my team. They make me better. And I think they like what they do.
Program Manager “Rangsei”:
“It’s amazing to see the transformation of the kids when they come into nightcare. When they start they are full of fear, malnourished, sick, they don’t interact much with their peers, and they are very inactive. After some time, they begin to sit up and smile and play with friends. We form really close bonds with the kids and miss them when they aren’t here. Sometimes they even call us ‘mom’ which is a huge honor.”
You know, the environments where they live are pretty shady on a good day. Some of them, they live above sewage, raw sewage, and some of them fall in it, and they fish them out and they’ll come in and they’ll have like sores and bed bugs and all this stuff. Some of them the only meal they get is with us at night.
Challenges? A lot of challenges, particularly at the beginning working with prostitutes and their babies. And I think you’ve just got to keep going, you know, keep feeling your way along and don’t expect everything to be perfect the first time you try it. I think when we think that way, “It’s all going to be easy-breezy,” I think we set ourselves up for failure. Let’s keep going. If God puts it in your heart, then keep going.
I think as Americans, we need to be conscious of our own filters, our own mindset. Number one: Am I loving? Cause love is going to say, “Be compassionate, and gentle and kind.” John 13:35, Jesus says, “People know you follow me by your love for one another.” That’s the distinct definition. That’s the final distinction for Christianity, for Jesus followers, is that love is our core definition.
So if you think about it, Moses, he’s a 3-month-old little baby trapped in slavery. Doesn’t have any choice out. And he’s rescued, saved by pharaoh’s daughter. At the end of Moses’ life, what did he do? What all did he accomplish?
But when he’s three months old, his life is hanging by a thread. So you don’t know when we’re saving Moses. You have no idea. You have no idea the impact and the purpose God has for those babies and toddlers. So we’re just here to be loving, end of story.