It’s thanks to a friend from work that I have stumbled upon this story, because my friend knows Jessie, the young woman at the heart of it.

She thought it might be a good one for my blog – and I’m inclined to agree.


Jessie is in autopilot on her morning commute. She boards the train at a well-known station in South West London, heading out towards the suburbs.

Everything is as it should be.

She has caught her usual train. She is sitting in her usual seat in her usual carriage. She has picked up her phone to scroll through her social media feed, as usual.

But as she glances out the window and then straight ahead, something unusual catches her eye.

Sitting in the seat opposite her is a dark haired young woman, dressed in jeans and a plain white top. Next to her is an older man, who is sweating profusely.

He is also wearing sunglasses, even though the day is dull and gloomy.

Jessie feels a deep sense of unease.

Their ages don’t match. Their accents don’t match. Their body language doesn’t match. The young woman clearly seems afraid of the older man.

Unsure what to do, Jessie starts to pray. “Give me courage,” she whispers to God, as she follows the girl getting off the train.

Standing on the platform, Jessie discreetly lets the girl know that she is willing to help, and then distracts the man by engaging him in conversation.

At this point, the girl makes her escape … 


To hear what happens next, you need to listen to this BBC podcast, in which Jessie shares how that day changed the direction of her life.

Driven by her Christian faith, she now works for an anti-trafficking charity, making a difference in the lives of vulnerable people, who are open to exploitation.

People like the young Eastern European woman who was, in fact, being trafficked when Jessie intervened.


Listening to Jessie’s story, I find myself asking:

  • Would I do the same, in the same situation?
  • If I was in autopilot, would I be observant enough to notice something amiss?
  • If I felt uneasy about what I was witnessing in front of me, would I be bold enough to pray and act?

Perhaps these are questions we all need to answer …


Photo via Unsplash


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