One girl from Nepal was sold for sex.
She was 14 the morning she awoke in a brothel. She wore short dresses. She slept with dozens of men a day.
If she said no to sex, this one girl would be shocked with an electric current. Or locked in a container all night. This one girl lived in India for nine years in a brothel.
Her name is Asha.
Her husband took her to India on their honeymoon, then to a movie, then to a brothel. He sold Asha for 90,000 rupees. That's about $1,500.
She heard about the Lord. She prayed. She shouted from the rooftop.
But who would hear the prayer of just one girl?
The brothel rose high above Mumbai. She and other girls used to stand on the roof sometimes, searching for a policeman to walk by. One day, they saw him. They threw water from a bucket onto him.
Lucky for them, he was not one of the policemen who took bribes from the brothel owner. At first he was angry. But then Asha told him her story. He took pity because she was from Nepal and he was, too. He rescued Asha and 25 other girls.
She lives in Nepal again, in a place called Princess Home. It's supported by money and prayers from Tiny Hands International, a Christian nonprofit group based in Lincoln.
Tiny Hands helps the throwaway people, the orphans and street children, the girls like this one. It can get overwhelming. The sex trade is so large a problem.
So Tiny Hands workers remind themselves to remember that it's one girl at a time.
Before going to Princess Home, Asha tried to go home. Her dad tried to rape her.
She has HIV. Most girls in the brothels do.
Many get back-alley abortions, too. When they look too sick, they are thrown to the streets.
There's a myth that some men believe over there: If you have sex with a virgin, you will be cured of any sickness. So the younger the girl, the better.
Asha works at Princess Home now. She makes money making jewelry. She gets to keep some of it.
She and the others who live there make special bracelets with gold stones, to symbolize God's love. The stones are tied down by black cords, to symbolize the dark sex trade.
They make one bracelet at a time.
One man from Lincoln came up with the concept and told the story of Asha after a visit to Nepal.
His name is Paul Yates. He and his wife, Kasey, decided last year he should leave his job as president of a company in Lincoln, cut his salary in half, to work for Tiny Hands.
Am I crazy, he asked his wife after feeling called by God.
Kasey Yates grew up with a single mom. One Sunday, her family knew they had nothing at home to eat, but while they were at church someone left them bags of groceries.
No, she told Paul. You're not crazy.
(He'd hoped she'd say yes.)
He works for Tiny Hands now as a fundraiser. He visited Princess Home during a trip to Nepal and India last fall.
He came up with the idea for the bracelets, which sell for 10 bucks -- about what it costs the Tiny Hands staff in Nepal to intercept one girl at the border.
But more than that, the bracelets are supposed to remind the people who buy them to pray for one girl who's either in the brothels or about to cross the border.
Paul Yates looks at his bracelet and thinks of Gina, a girl sold at age 7.
He decided to name the gold stone for Asha.
It's the Asha stone, he says. He named this effort for her, too.