Sex worker in Soho left job after Jesus came into the room


By Charles Gardner —

Heidi Baumgartner

After Jesus came into the room of an unnamed Jewish woman working in London’s notorious Red-Light district, she walked away from the job.

It happened during the visit of a Christian evangelist, Heidi Baumgartner, and her co-worker, who both felt the presence of Jesus without seeing him, not realizing that their friend had also been affected.

Heidi was so overwhelmed that she and her colleague left the premises, feeling helpless and unable to say or do anything.

But when she later returned to the flat, she was told her friend was no longer working there. So she tracked her down and kept up their relationship. She never thought to mention what she had experienced that day in the flat until years later, over a cup of coffee, when her friend replied: “Yes, I know. Jesus came into the room, and that’s the reason why I never went back to work!”

This extraordinary incident is among many highlights of Heidi’s calling to reach out with the love of Jesus to sex workers in Soho, sensitively and beautifully told in her book Love Beyond, published by Instant Apostle in 2019 with a foreword by the late Roger Forster.

A former sex worker herself, originally from Switzerland, Heidi found peace and freedom through a personal encounter with Jesus and has been working in Soho for 30 years.

Supported by the City Gates Church, part of the Ichtus Christian Fellowship network, she has been welcomed by many who have earned their living through selling their bodies. And though some have responded to Jesus’ love by following him to a more fulfilling life, Heidi doesn’t see them as ‘scalps’ to be counted. She aims instead to show God’s love through friendship and acts of kindness, allowing the seeds of gospel truth to do its own work.

This is a wonderful account of God’s faithfulness, of the importance of listening to his voice and of sticking to the calling he has placed on our lives.

It’s proof indeed that God loves each and every one of us with a passion, and that nothing is impossible with him.

Appearing to a prostitute in a modern Western city, just as he did to such women 2,000 years earlier, perfectly reveals the relevance and all-surpassing efficacy of the gospel today.

It does seem that our Lord has a special place in his heart for such ladies, often the victims of manipulation and abuse, as he fully reveals the overwhelming mercy and lovingkindness of God without judgment or rancor. All he requires is that they “sin no more”, as he told the woman caught in adultery (see John 8:11). Another woman mentioned in the gospels, described as having led a sinful life, anointed Jesus with expensive perfume and profuse tears. He accepted her offering, and forgave her sins (Luke 7:36-50).

In the case of Mary Magdalene, we don’t know if she was a prostitute, but she was clearly involved in dark practices which required the casting out of seven demons. Yet she was elevated to the awesome honor of being the first witness of her risen Lord!

This is a profoundly moving testimony to the truth of the gospel of grace. It was hard to put down and I was greatly inspired by Heidi’s humble, honest approach, and of her obviously deep insight gained from a near-lifetime of hearing from the Holy Spirit.


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