“Looking around at a room of worn-out, high-achieving international development leaders, she said to us, “Transformational leadership begins at home.” No matter what the numbers at work say, we aren’t a success unless our children and spouses are on board with what we do.”

Peter Greer, The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good.

My world was the four walls of our home, the housing society and keeping four little children occupied, fed and learning. Greg’s world was entirely different. He and his team of investigators would pose as customers in the seedy brothels that lined the roads in Kamatipura and Grant road.

When they spotted a girl who looked young, an investigator would pay for some time to talk to her privately. With any luck he would get her name, mumble an excuse for his ineptness and promise to return another night. An undercover camera captured the face of the girl on video, and kept the investigator accountable.

The team gave the police the information and request them to rescue the minor girl. Greg learned early not to give the exact address of the brothel, for fear the information would leak out, and the brothel be padlocked shut before the girl could be rescued.

Greg lived adrenaline packed nights and grueling days in the quest of freeing girls enslaved in the brothels.I was incredibly proud of his work. Yet the cost was so high. The International Justice Mission (IJM) had “quotas” and “targets”. For the first year we were in India, the goal was to rescue fifty girls. The following year, the number doubled and continued to double every year we were there.  The team met the numbers; hundreds of girls were rescued. Greg worked sixty to eighty hours a week to deliver the demands, and because what man alive wouldn’t like to be rescuing princesses from the dragon?  Greg had found his dream job.

Raids were always at night, often very late, and if successful, meant hours in the police station with the

newly rescued girls filing FIRs (First Information Reports). Greg would arrive home at three or four in the morning. A few hours later he would gulp some coffee and dash off to beat the traffic and start the process of raid follow up.

I was conflicted, thrilled that he was rescuing girls and living out our calling, yet angry that we only saw him on Sundays, when he was so exhausted that he slept through the best part of the day.

Those were my desert years, when I felt abandoned by husband and by God and trapped by our calling. How could I shout, “Stop!” when lives of girls were at stake? How could I not shout “Stop,”when I needed a husband and the kids needed a father?

Our move to Ooty five years later, and the founding of Freedom Firm, was our attempt to integrate family and work, our desperate desire to follow our calling and embrace each other and our children in the process.

Greg and Mala with a survivor of sex-trafficking