As football stars are scoring goals in the World Cup, Brazilian prostitutes decided to join the football fever by organising an impromptu match to draw attention to sex workers’ rights.
According to a story on RT.com, the prostitutes called themselves the Naked Football Club and teamed up with individuals from the Youth With a Mission (YWAM) base in Belo Horizonte against a local university team in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte. The “naked match” was played right after the Colombians beat Greece 3-0 in the same city.
The players used traffic cones for goal posts and wore green and yellow Brazilian uniforms. Their impromptu match accompanied by enthusiastic cheers of onlookers, was organized by the Prostitutes’ Association of Minas Gerais. “Rights must be the same for everyone. We’re no different from anyone else just because we’re sex workers,” RT said player Patricia Bonges told AFP. “We are finally breaking that prejudice and stigma.”
Jenny Jack, 35, came with a team from the USA for a couple of months to work with the YWAM base in Belo Horizonte during the World Cup. It has a ministry fighting against human trafficking. She said, “Our idea is to give these girls love without judging them. If they want to pray, we pray. If they want to talk, we talk. We are here to give them hope and show them their value,” YWAM said she told some journalists who came to cover the story. “So we have decided to help the girls from the brothels and play on their team.”
Later on Jack told YWAM, “Yesterday has been one of the most memorable and powerful days of my life. Playing football with the gals from the brothels, serving them tea in the IHOP Prayer Room and visiting them last night.”
She continued, “We have been loving, sharing, talking, praying, hugging and listening to women who on an hourly basis are regarded as objects without feelings, souls, fears and hurts. It has been so humbling for me, so heart wrenching and so marvelous all at the same time.”
YWAM said she added, “And even though I do not speak Portuguese, I can see in their eyes and feel in my heart that they believe me when I say, ‘Jesus loves you, He values you, I value you, you have immeasurable worth.’” YWAM said the group hears testimonies like this several times a day and that’s why it joined in the match.
YWAM asked for continued prayer for the teams evangelizing in all twelve of the host cities of the World Cup in Brazil.