Her street name was SiSi but she was known to her parents as Song Yang. The day after Thanksgiving last year, she plummeted to her death from a third story massage parlor to avoid being arrested. One Saturday, God arranged a divine appointment when Song Yang’s mother came up to the Flushing Prayer Station. She and her son traveled from China desperate to find answers about their loved one’s senseless death. Sobbing uncontrollably at times, she was absolutely devastated. Song Yang’s death may have gone unnoticed by society but she is precious in God’s sight and certainly to her family.
That’s why Beautiful One exists because the Lord goes after “the one”. Since 2013, the Beautiful One team has been visiting immigrant women working in massage parlors around Flushing. The team consists of only a handful of individuals, some from SLM and other volunteers from different churches and organizations that can offer help.
One theme is common in each of the conversations with the ladies we visit – they came to the United States to earn a living and have a better life. Many leave their families – their children, their husbands – and travel thousands of miles to end up in a massage parlor, selling their bodies. Some women accumulate a large debt to come here and have a limited chance to make enough money to pay it back. Others have been deceived by someone they know or someone from their hometown that there is a “great opportunity” to make lots of money. They end up working 6-7 days a week, 10-12 hour days, sometimes through the night. There is limited time to make friends, see the sites of New York City, and even attend church.
That encounter with Song Yang’s mother and brother brought the realty and necessity of the Beautiful One outreach. The ladies in the massage parlors are in a serious position. How can we be there for them? How can we build trust so they can seek assistance if they need it? How can other tragedies like this be avoided? No woman should ever have to feel that selling her body for sex is the only way she can survive.